Tarmac ribbons criss-crossing the landscape, dusty back roads twisting between the cool shadows of ancient pines, and less traveled pathways connecting present to past, all I wander, seeking, seeing, with my keyboard and camera capturing scenes and stories to share with you.

Now in its sixth year, this venue has become an important part of my life, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings about the things I see and do, hoping the process brings me a bit closer to friends and family who enjoy sharing my sometimes chaotic and often nonlinear observations and ideas. A journal, I suppose, but one with which I find pleasure in thinking others are alongside me on my journey.

Comments, thoughts, or just a friendly chat, use the response box below or email me at patrickgroleau@gmail.com.

April 30, 2018

SAN FRANISCO - IMPRESSIONS

... the flight from bangor to san francisco was uneventful, other, that is, than discovering that despite all the comforts provided on boeing's new 777 there's still only one way to cram hundreds of people into a giant carbon fiber tube—the precise engineering term is "no leg room" ... sunday morning we were taken across the golden gate bridge for an exploration of the redwood forest ...
   

... they've found out that these primeval plants produce two growth rings a year, so they are not as old as has been thought ... still, hundreds of feet tall and with close to thousand-year life-spans, Sequoia sempervirens are most impressive ...
   
   

... there were over 2,000,000 acres of redwood along the california coast before the logging industry began cutting them in the mid-1800s ... muir wood's 600 acres is a part of the 70,000 acres that remain ...
   

... after making it back up the park road's rather frightening mountain curves, we lunched next to the bay in sausalito ... a most charming little town as long as one doesn't take into account that the average rent for a 600-700 sq. ft. one-bedroom apartment in the area is $2,600/month (don't gasp, it turns out that it's not near as expensive as some of the surrounding towns) ...
   

... not the norm for this time of year, we enjoyed perfect weather on our ferry boat ride across the bay back to the city ...
   

... we passed close by alcatraz ... (me, i think they made it) ...
   

... that evening, while jon attended a function, i strolled along mission street ... in one of san francisco's many beautiful public spaces i watched as the day people concluded their time in the city and the residents of the night began to emerge ...
   

... accustomed (what a sad thing to say) to the homeless in boston, new york, and, yes, even waterville, maine, i was surprised to notice that in san francisco this—not quite sure of the term i should use, so i'll go with "social strata," is a different character than elsewhere ...
   

... across the street a water sculpture reflects some of the high-rises where people spend more for a month's rent than i ever ever earned in a year of teaching ...
   

... the structures are strikingly beautiful, yet the contrast between them and the people who live in their shadows unsettles me ...
   

... i continued walking, reminding myself that my consciousness and, indeed, indignation, is at least some small tiny percentage of the foundation for yet imperceivable solutions ...
   

... i like watching the layers of life ...
   

... and am comforted observing that appreciation of the sunshine has nothing to do with who you are, what you earn, or where you sleep ...
   

... i teared up, remembering that whenever i'd complain too much ma would stand me in front of her little wall plaque, "read, i'll tell you when to stop" ... i would do so, until my lips were dry, "i complained because i had no shoes, then i met a man who had no feet" ...
   

... at the end of my stroll i made sure to remember that, as every week the announcer used to tell us, "there are six-million stories in the naked city" ... (we weren't quite sure what he meant, but always we giggled at the word "naked") ...
   
   
... jon takes good care of me ... i am having a most wonderful time ...