Thursday, September 19, 2013



We are now parked north of San Francisco, near the bay of the same name and within walking distance of the ferry which can take us into the city.  We may take the ferry in today.  After his experience with driving around in Oakland yesterday, I am sure that John would gladly give up his wheels today!  There is no courtesy from the drivers in this state, they are all in a rush and would rather go around us in any manner possible so as not to take the time to let us into a lane.  Other than having to deal with the hazards of driving, we did enjoy our time in Oakland.  We first drove down to the harbor, in an area dubbed Jack London Square.  As perhaps you may know, Jack London was an Oakland native son who wrote The Call of the Wild, Sea Wolf, as well as other adventure-type novels.  He lived from 1876-1916.  Some of his life was spent prospecting for gold in Alaska from 1897-98.  An avid fan of the author found the cabin in which London lived while there, dismantled the building and used the wood to replicate the cabin.  The cabin was built on the wharf in Oakland.
London got the material for his novels from his life experiences as a war correspondent, miner and longshoreman.  He also found the characters for his novels in the seafarers he met at Heinold's Last Chance Saloon.  The pub opened in 1883 and has been in continuous operation since.  Its location insured that for travelers on the wharf the bar was either the first or last chance to purchase a "nickle beer" or a "dime whiskey".  A more current name for the building is "Jack's Rendezvous".  Other notable visitors to this saloon included George Sterling and Robert Louis Stevenson.  A mural has been painted on the side of the building in honor of the author.

We also saw at the waterfront the boat the USS Potomac, President F.D. Roosevelt's yacht which he used  through his presidential years.  We still had some time to kill before meeting up with John's cousin Lois, so we drove over to Willett Lake which has botanical and bonsai gardens.
The park  also has an aviary and enclosed pond where many ducks and other birds hang out.  We were surprised to see that one black-crowned night heron let us get quite close to him for his picture. 
Maybe the bird does not know it, but he should be roosting in a tree!

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