If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be. (Maya Angelou)
The streets of San Francisco Bay Area seemed eerily quiet and absent of traffic as Ruth and I arrived in nearby San Rafael, California for a three day, road trip visit. Our friend Dan who lives downtown had advised us of severe shutdown issues there prior to our visit so we realized the need to take social distancing measures seriously. As we watched Governor Gavin Newsom read off the latest Corona restrictions on television, we also grasped that live attendance at sporting events, concerts, beaches, movies, plays, and indoor eateries would continue to be off limits for awhile. For “Bay Area” Californians faced the realistic need to continue battling the Corona problem with such austere measures now hoping for its safe resolution in the long run.
Under these present circumstances then, what touristic activities out of the norm in San Francisco made sense for us amid this continuing health crisis? Perhaps a simple city drive or beach view would render a more observant eye for detail. Or as tourist visits to art museums, shopping centers and waterfront activities remained unavailable, money could be saved by seeking out free or inexpensive sources of entertainment. Even a short “dead end” trek to nowhere in particular might spark a fresh taste of fun. So let’s go photographic exploring for two, gorgeously sunny days at this “city by the bay.”
Driving along the steep hills of downtown San Francisco, these normally busy urban corridors were noticeably missing pedestrian and vehicle movement.
So I seemed more aware amid such driving solace of interesting architectural features of surrounding buildings.
We’ve crossed the majestic Golden Gate Bridge by car many times but have rarely taken the time to stop at nearby overlooks for a close up view.
Yet a short walk below the south entrance of this iconic bridge span provided a more intimate look at the this engineering marvel as well as several new vantage points of the San Francisco Bay environs beyond.
A normal day at famed Fisherman’s Wharf would attract throngs of tourists. But business there seemed to be severely hurting because of Covid- 19 on the day of our visit.
Perhaps we could find more excitement at nearby Pier 39. For thirty years, large numbers of harbor seals have congregated along the nearby jetties there. But sadly, the seals are now all gone. So we had to settle for a series of eye catching artpieces symbolizing their enduring presence there.
The Cliff House along a steep promontory of San Francisco Bay normally would provide an ideal patio spot to sit for for a relaxing lunch and enjoy a classic oceanside view.
But today, we would “make due” with a “takeout” clam chowder and venture out to find new “overlooks” of scenic view.
San Francisco’s renowned Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park provided the ideal place to social distance amongst wild nature’s splendor.
Without the crowds often found there, we felt emboldened to aimlessly walk around and make new plant discoveries and forego using a map or GPS for directional guidance.