Back in April, I made a post about the Immigration Station on Angel Island. Now it’s time for pics of the rest of the island. I didn’t plan on taking this long to get around to it, but it’s finally done. Photos from our anniversary trip to the West Garrison (Camp Reynolds) can be found here.
After exploring the Immigration Station, we continued on around the island on the perimeter road. We didn’t explore the East Garrison quite as much as we wanted. We stayed up near the road due to time constraints. We’ll go back one day and spend more time exploring. Since there’s not that much to say I’ll let the pics speak for themselves.
It’s impossible to explore the whole of Angel Island in one trip as the various sites like Camp Reynolds, Fort McDowell and the Immigration Station require time and study. For our anniversary, we explored Camp Reynolds. This time, we went to the Immigration Station and visited the museum. We also managed to hike all the way around the island via Perimeter Road, but I’ll post those pics later.
I have posted the first part of our tenth anniversary adventure here and now it’s time for the rest of the adventure. Ever since our first trip to the island we’ve wanted to go back to hike. This time, rather than try to hike around the entire island (about 5 miles), we chose a section and explored. We took time to really see the area we chose rather than just hike past it.
On our first trip to the island we went as guests on a company picnic. It was our first time and we loved it. Karl The Fog was around for most of that trip. It was beautiful and it made the island feel peaceful and very secluded. This past week, however, the ferry trip out was beautiful and clear. We passed close to Alcatraz and pulled into Ayala Cove. From the cove, we followed the trail south and west to Camp Reynolds.
Along the way we saw lots of butterflies on the beautiful purple spiky flowers of the ‘Pride of Madeira” (echium candicans) which were blooming everywhere. The views from the perimeter road were stunning. We could see Belvedere, Tiburon, Richardson Bay, The Marin Headlands and the Golden Gate Bridge.
On the way, we passed the old hospital. It’s located on the road above Camp Reynolds. It was kept away from the camp so as to lessen the fear among the military men.
Once we reached Camp Reynolds we went exploring. The camp was built back in the 1860s and the bake house is still used for educational purposes. Down by the shore near the brick building, we had our lunch and enjoyed the scenery. I don’t know exactly what the brick building was used for, but it’s pretty and there are many century plants to found next to it. The old bloom stalks loomed over us. From our lunch site next to the ruins of the old wharf, we could watch the ships entering the bay beneath the Golden Gate Bridge.
After a leisurely lunch, we hiked back up to the perimeter road and head south toward Battery Ledyard. The views of The City skyline and the bay were stunning. We spent a while there just enjoying the scenery. We decided not to hike further as we didn’t want to rush back to the return ferry on time. We preferred to take our time and just enjoy the day.
From Battery Ledyard, we followed the perimeter road back to Ayala Cove. Since the ferry wasn’t due for a while, we went and found a nice spot in the shade and I got to soak my feet in the cove and watch the crows. It was a beautiful ending to a wonderful day. I love sharing the view with Lastech and hope to share many more.
Several months ago Lastech and I were invited to go to Angel Island. While there, we took the tram tour. We did that as we had no opportunity to hike the trails at the time. My photos are limited as a result. I’ve been saving the last few as they are mostly of the the Immigration Center exterior but they are meaningful to me. In 2010, President Obama declared January 21st as National Angel Island Day.
I’ve spent my life surrounded by immigrants. Lastech is an immigrant and most of my friends are immigrants as well. One of my grandfathers came through Ellis Island. Sadly, unlike beautiful Ellis Island, Angel Island was built as a detention camp. The barracks were cramped and afforded little in the way of privacy and conditions there were deplorable. It was built to enforce the Chinese Exclusionary act of 1882. Economic fears and racial prejudice were the reason for act. From the proclamation (above link):
Unlike immigrants who marveled at the Statue of Liberty upon arrival at Ellis Island, those who came to Angel Island were greeted by an intake facility that was sometimes called the “Guardian of the Western Gate.” Racially prejudiced immigration laws of the time subjected many to rigorous exams and interrogations, as well as detention in crowded, unsanitary barracks. Some expressed themselves by carving poetry and inscriptions into the walls in their native language — from Chinese, Japanese, and Korean to Russian, German, and Urdu. These etchings remain on Angel Island today as poignant reminders of the immigrant experience and an unjust time in our history.
The station was abandoned after WWII and scheduled for demolition. In 1970, a park ranger named Alexander Weiss was exploring when he came across Chinese characters carved into the walls. It was the poetry. Due to his efforts and those of others, legislation was passed to preserve the poetry. You can read more about the station history here.
This is a translation of one of the poems
There are tens of thousands of poems on these walls
They are all cries of suffering and sadness
The day I am rid of this prison and become successful
I must remember that this chapter once existed
I must be frugal in my dailyneeds
Needless extravagance usually leads to ruin
All my compatriots should remember China
Once you have made some small gains,
you should return home early.
Written by one from Heungshan
There is writing and poetry from other languages and cultures as well.
Now here are some of our pics. We intend to go back when we can hike to the center and visit the museum.
If you want to see our other posts about our Angel Island trip, you can find them here.
At the end of October, I posted about our trip to Angel Island. I only posted the fog and harbor pics from that trip.
Now I’m going to share another batch of photos. While we were there, we took the tram circuit around the island. While it was frustrating because I wanted to step out and explore, it was also good since we could see just where we wanted to go when we go back. And we certainly will go back at some point.