Sunday, March 19, 2017

National Lands: California (Part 4)

English: The Golden Gate Bridge and Fort Point...
English: The Golden Gate Bridge and Fort Point seen from the Presidio, near the Battery East Trail, in San Francisco, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Alcatraz Island, a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, is well known for the penitentiary. The island is located in San Francisco Bay to the east of the Golden Gate Bridge with access only by ferry. This attraction is usually crowded so reserving tickets is a must. The Mojave National Preserve is a 1.6 million acre desert park that is located between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. The Preserve is bordered by Interstate 15 on the north and Interstate 40 on the south. Visitors should be prepared for the visit since services are limited. Water is essential. Point Reyes National Seashore is located north of San Francisco. This park has a variety of scenery from beaches to marshes to forests. Biking, hiking, fishing and horseback riding are a few of the main activities. In January through April visitors can see the gray whale migration.

English: The lighthouse on Alcatraz Island, Sa...
English: The lighthouse on Alcatraz Island, San Francisco Bay, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial is located on an active military base, so visitors cannot drive to the site. Those with reservations must use a shuttle that comes from the John Muir National Historic Site near Martinez. On July 17, 1944, 320 men were killed when two ships that were being loaded with ammunition exploded. This site honors those men. The Presidio of San Francisco served as an army post and is located on the shore of the southern end of the Golden Gate Bridge. The area has 24 miles of trails for biking and hiking. Eight scenic overlooks give visitors an opportunity to enjoy the amazing views. The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is to the east of the Presidio. Ships and exhibits are in this area of Fisherman's Wharf. Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park honors those who made personal sacrifices in their home for the war effort. The park is located in Richmond which is north of Oakland on Interstate 580.

Monday, March 6, 2017

National Lands: California (Part 3)

Too few people know about Manzanar or its impo...
Too few people know about Manzanar or its importance to American history. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Manzanar National Historic Site commemorates the thousands of Japanese who were detained in relocation camps during World War II. Over 110,000 were kept in these military style camps. The park is located in the southern half of the state on the road between Sequoia and Death Valley. Eugene O'Neil National Historic Site honors America's only Nobel Prize winning playwright. Visitors cannot visit the park without reservations. A shuttle will pick up travelers in Danville and take them to the park. Danville is located on Interstate 680 to the east of Oakland. Fort Point National Historic Site features the fort that defended San Francisco Bay. The site is located on the property of the Presidio to the east of the bridge on the southern shore of the bay. The John Muir National Historic Site is dedicated to the man who did so much for the National Park Service. John Muir was instrumental in convincing the government to protect as national parks Yosemite,  Sequoia, Grand Canyon and Mt. Rainier. The park is located to the northeast of Oakland and south of Martinez. Interstate 80 is to the west and Interstate 680 is to the east.

The California National Historic Trail covers ten states. The trail brought people to the state for the Gold Rush. It ends in the northern part of the state. The Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail brought settlers to the San Francisco area from Nogales, Arizona. The National Park Service has a list on its website of the sites along the trail in California.  The Old Spanish National Historic Trail travels through six states. The trail cuts across the state from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. The Pony Express National Historic Trail commemorates the men who rode to deliver the mail across eight states from Missouri to California.