We thank our partner-sponsors of OpenRoad with Doug McConnell, Kaiser Permanente , East Bay Regional Park District and Lake County, California for making the series possible.
-- Doug McConnell
WATCH THE EPISODE 104 VIDEO HERE
Although I've loved living and traveling around the West all my life, the San Francisco Bay Area has been my home base for the past 26 years. It's been a great place to live and raise my family, and as well as I know the region, I never tire of exploring it and discovering new places and rediscovering old spots I thought I knew. One of my favorite local destinations is Alcatraz. It never ceases to surprise me with secrets concealed in its many layers of human and natural history.
I've spent a lot of time on The Rock over the years for fun and work, and every time I go back I learn something new and gain a deeper appreciation for this icon of the Bay. I hope you enjoy the story about it that we feature in this broadcast, and if you'd like to watch a piece about the many roles Alcatraz has played in the movies, check out the story we have online in the column to the right.
Alacatraz is part of the extraordinary Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the greatest and most complex urban National Park in the nation. Since its founding in 1972, the GGNRA has been a great gift to those of us who live here and to the millions who visit from around the world every year. From near Point Reyes in the north to about Woodside in the south, the GGNRA embraces 80,000 acres of ecological and historical superlatives. The Presidio, Fort Point, the Marin Headlands and much, much more. The GGNRA is one of the nation's crown jewels and one of the principal defining characteristics of the Bay Area.
The GGNRA is very fortunate to have a non-profit partner of equal excellence, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. The Conservancy supports the GGNRA in many ways, raising millions of dollars, conducting a wide range of programs and enlisting volunteers by the thousands to work on dozens of critical park projects. Here's a link to the Conservancy. Whether you live nearby or far away, I hope you consider supporting the Conservancy's work in some way. It's a great way to give back to a Park that gives so much to all of us.
The Bay Area is not only physically very diverse and beautiful, but the entire world lives here, too. People from all over the planet rushed to San Francisco in the early days of the Gold Rush 160 years ago. In a way, it's possible to travel around the world without leaving the 46 or so square miles of the city. In fact, as Martin Yan shows us in our tour of Chinatown, you can spend a whole day or much longer in just one square block. I've only been to China once. Someday soon, I hope to go back. But for right now, I can go to China in San Francisco as often as I want....and stop by Italy and Japan and many other countries along the way. Check out some of our other San Francisco stories in the "related stories" column.
And so, whether you venture near or far, travel is really just a state of mind. Open roads. Open minds. If we're open to them, good times and unforgettable experiences can be found in our own neighborhoods as well as at the ends of the earth. Enjoy your journeys wherever you go, and please send us your tales.