Angel Island is a historical motherload!
Known as the Ellis Island of the West, it served as an immigration hub for many years. Its history also includes native americans, spanish explorers, gold rush era settlements, military bases, cold war missile hideouts, and so on. These days you can camp and bike there as well -- we opted to walk the perimeter road around the entire outside of the island (about a 5-mile trip -- you can also bike this!) (if you're good at biking hills) (I'm not even good at walking hills) (man I hate hills).
It's cool because we just kept stumbling across various historical things -- old abandoned buildings, housing/internment camps (which stomped on my heart a little and made me feel heavy about war and racism and xenophobia and how damn hard immigration is for people), various nature and wildlife sights, views of the bay and Golden Gate Bridge (which was crawling in fog the whole morning). All in all, it's a nice mix of nature, history and stuff that makes you think. Totally my jam.
I think it's easy to look at historical things (e.g. immigration issues from a few decades ago, the civil rights movement from the 60s, etc) and forget that those things are still happening NOW. When historical movements....well, MOVE me....I'm trying to be better at turning those feelings into something productive now, instead of just viewing it as a sticky phase from the past that's all sugarcoated and wrapped up now. Because it's not. And I want to be continually fueled to awareness and compassion by the whole of it.
I'm no professional photographer (iPhone for liiiiiiiffffe), but if you are, you should definitely go to here. Angel Island is ripe for photography, especially if you're really into cool old buildings (raises hand high).
If you live in the bay area and want a half-day trip, I suggest making this happen! If you're visiting SF and want to mix things up and get out of the city for a bit, I also suggest you make this happen! The weather was nigh unto perfect when we went so I suggest always going on exactly September 26 if at all possible. Ha. Just don't accidentally step in the ocean like I did, but if you're going to go for it, I suggest wearing moisture-wicking socks. You may have worn them only because none of your regularly preferred socks are clean, but you will feel very lucky when the sea tries to attack you later that day and your foot is dry very soon after. ("The sea was angry that day, my friends.")
And now on to them iPhone photos! Stay tuned for future installments of Island Adventure Club, brought to you by the number....something....and the letter pizza. That about sums it up.
^^it was laura's birthday eve. so we hugged trees overlooking the ocean.
^^this park ranger just walked up to us holding this little guy
^^...naturally, i wanted to hold our new little friend as well. we bonded immediately.
^^the clouds were killing me that day! like a field of fuzzy sky freckles
^^couldn't stop singing the Jurassic Park theme song as our boat pulled up to this fog-laden forest island!
^^Island Adventure Club, in the flesh!! (plus I'm still holding the praying mantis)
^^the striped wood colors in this old church were perfection! they don't hold services here anymore but, fun fact, you *can* get married here! you know who to hit up if you need over-experienced bridesmaid services on Angel Island (....me....)
^^the colorful leaves framing these windows were filling me with heart eyes emojis!
^^clearly a very zoomed in photo, but the best shot I got of the bridge from the island when the fog finally cleared a bit!