Saturday, October 25, 2014

Calaveras big trees

When they say "big trees", they mean big trees.  BIG trees. 
This was the first big, sequoia tree found by a man who was hunting on his own.  His friends didn't believe his story about giant trees so he had to lead them back to the tree prove his tall tale was for real. 
Sadly, the first thing people thought they needed to do to such a tall tree was cut it down. 
What's amazing to me about this picture is the "regular" sized trees hanging around the feet of the giant sequoias. 

That joint where these twin trees are joined is already fifty feet high.  These trees touch the rain clouds. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Fox Theater

Stockton has a fun old theater, restored to its original grandeur of it's opening in 1930. 
It's just the right place to watch an old film like Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Explore at the exploritorium

I had something like half an hour here, but I would recommend much more time than that at the Exploritorium.
Then you can see this toothpick creation of Scott.  It took him 37 years to make.
Or play with the lights and shadows on this screen.

If you go for longer than half an hour, you'll see a whole lot more than these.

Hyde street pier

I could have spent a lot more time at Hyde Street Pier studying its history.  For a thrifty $5, it's possible to step on to a ferry, a tug boat, a schooner, and others
Finding the stories of these ships would have been a fascinating study.  It will have to wait for another trip...

Fisherman's wharf

The signs, the sights, the streetcars...the people...
it's all very colorful at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf.

Vallejo street stairs

The Vallejo street stairs were reputed to have some dizzying views of the San Francisco skyline.
A person can see a lot from up here, it's true.

There's Alcatraz again...
...and the bay bridge.

Lyon street stairs

If you want to run up and down stairs, this is apparently the "it" spot to do so.  I was very out of place with my camera, jeans and sweater.
I could see, though, that if you want to enjoy fantastic views of the bay during your workout, these steps are the place to be.

Hamon Observation tower

The Hamon Observation Tower at the deYoung Museum is an excellent place to see the views of San Francisco.

You can even see the Golden Gate bridge from here!

Hidden garden stairs

The Hidden Garden steps (also located on 16th Ave) are the neighborhood's second installment of artfully decorated tile stairs. 
Another community effort at beautifying the surroundings with good results, these stairs have little hidden gems as you climb.  Bugs, cats, crawfish--there's something for every one.

16th avenue stairs

The AAA magazine suggested that I might want to see the artsy 16th Avenue stairs in San Francisco.
Yes, I decided, the AAA magazine was correct...and a theme was born:  The stair tour of San Francisco.
These are stairs that started the tour.

It was community clean up day and the stairs were covered in safety-vest-clad volunteers.  From the top there was a far-reaching view of city.
Also at the top was a friendly neighbor who told us the story of the stairs.

A woman who lives next door to them started the clean up efforts.  Then she organized donations to beautify stairs.  What came from that is a marvelous example of tile work and urban art.
Names of neighbors and donors are worked into the tile design, giving everyone a little piece of "ownership" in their neighborhood stairs. 

The friendly story-teller said that now people come from all over the world (I did) by the thousands every week just to see the stairs. 

San Francisco sights

You might glimpse some of these sights if you're in San Francisco...

Coit tower in the distance...

The pointy AmeriTrade tower...

What?  Is that Alcatraz at the end of the street?
Yes.  It is.