day 192
alcatraz, san francisco bay

"Come here, my little unitask." - adam
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Actual Alcatraz:
The Military Fortress:
1853 - 1907

The Peniteniary:
1915 - 1963

The Native Occupation:
1969 - 1971

Did you know? The exact location of Al Capone's cell is unknown. Part of his four and a half years on Alcatraz were spent in a hospital isolation cell.

Did you know? There were no executions on Alcatraz, although there were five suicides and eight murders.

Did you know? The cellhouse was never filled to capacity. The average number of prisoners was 260, and the maximum was 302. There were 336 remodeled cells available.

Public Facilities of the Day

Benny's The Best!
We showed up for our ranger tour expecting the usual cell house talk, but when Ranger Benny saw us, he knew we needed more.

He took us past the locked gates into the hidden Alcatraz. He guided us through the tunnels and the escape routes that Hollywood doesn't tell you about.

There's only one way to get to the rock.
Eight days to go!

Rock Solid
March 6 - Boy, they just don't make 'em like they used to.

We're talking about prisons. So often these days you hear about prisoners demanding more rights, better quarters, better food, more privileges. Well, guess what? You're in prison! Get used to it.

Alcatraz is another story. At Alcatraz, a prisoner has four basic rights: food, shelter, clothing, and medical attention. Everything else is icing on your sorry-ass cake.

Alcatraz was a place for the real badasses. If you've committed a serious crime, or you've just been acting like a dink at a cushy prison nearby, out you went. Three floors of tiny cells, built on the insides of the hallways, such that to escape, you'd need to pass by that one extra row of gun turrets. It's on an island in the San Francisco Bay, with a couple of miles to swim to the closest shore. The water was cold, fast, and shark infested. You can't beat a prison like that!

You also have to wonder how bad the baddest prison in America was like back then. Put yourself back in time, about 60 to 80 years. These were the days where a teacher could beat the tar out of a student for passing notes. Now think about a prison.

If you were bad, they started taking away some of your privileges. Books were a privilege. The outdoors were a privilege. Work was a privilege. If you were really really bad, they put you in The Hole. The Hole was a six by eight foot cell with no bed, no chair, and worst of all, no light. Nothing to do but sit and think, sometimes for five days at a time.

Some of the prisons you hear about these days are so much like resorts, no wonder the inmates keep coming back. You get your three square meals a day, a comfortable living atmosphere, and plenty of time to reflect. Heck, that's better conditions than we have in our car! Oh sure, there's always that overhanging threat of gang rape in the public shower, but it's a small price to pay. All in all, it seems like a nice place to catch up on your reading.

But if Alcatraz was still up and running today? Boy oh boy, you'd have today's inmates crying like Mr. Scrooge at the feet of Christmas Future: "I'll change! I'll be good! Just don't put me in The Hole again!"

Time off for good behaviour? Ha! Conjugal visits? Forget it! And anytime you think you're going to get our of here early, just have a look at the writing on the wall...

No kidding.

modern medicine...

Medical Cell Block

Operating Room

Creepy Corridor

The Birdman's Cell

garden grounds...

Back Way Out

Outside Outdoor Rec

View of Freedom

Captain's Quarters

recreation area...

Inmate Outdoor Area


View of Cell Block

Baseball Diamond
there actually are more photos in the archive...

Current Location
(if we can find a way out)


Next Stop: Highway One

see the full map...

Today's Weather:

Daily Stats
Main Driver: Adam
Rental: Mustang
Just like Steve McQueen!

Mel's Distance:12.8km
Gas: $10.00

National Parks Pass Won't Take You there...
Parking: $9.00
Cost of Ferry: $9.95
Park Admission:Free!

Sleeping Quarters
Andy's Garage

After last night, we're out of Avery's place and into his friend's garage. Andy happened to call while Avery was out and Aim sweet-talked him into lending us his garage for the night.
Cost: Free!

Yari's Cafe
Both:Coffee from a place that tasted nearly as bad as Starbucks
Noah's Bagels
San Francisco
K's Order:Everything Bagel with Sundried Tomato Schmear
A's Order:Cheese Bagel with Garlic Herb Schmear
Little Plearn Thai Kitchen
K's Order:Pineapple Chicken Stir-Fry
A's Order:Pumpkin Chicken Curry with Rice, Fried Banana Desert
This was definitely one of the best meals of our trip. Eat here often.

© 2002. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. Your best? Losers always whine about their best.