A break from hiking, at Quarry Beach on Angel Island's east side.

It’s taken me a few years but I finally got a chance to visit – and hike – Angel Island. And it was worth the wait.

I knew next to nothing about the place other than seeing it in the distance from SF many times. Now I feel like a kid who just got back from a school trip and actually paid attention during the field trip. The history of the place is fascinating, from all the remnants of its immigration station heyday (over a million cialis 20mg price people were ‘processed’ there from 1910-1940) to the artillery outposts to the Civil War-era relics. But it’s a pretty great spot for a hike too. Not overly vigorous but if you wander around enough, it’s possible to make it an excursion.

From the ferry landing spot cialis 36 hour vs daily at the island’s marina, I headed inland and uphill to Mount Livermore, the 788-foot summit of the island. On the way and at the top are perfect panoramic views. To the north is Tiburon, the boats and the southern end of Marin County. To the east is the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and the East Bay. To the south is San Francisco’s skyline, and up close, Alcatraz. But to the west is the best part, the Golden Gate Bridge. For much of the morning, fog shrouded the lower portions of the bridge so that all that was visible were the peaks. But as the day improved – a picturesque sunny and warm Fathers Day – the entire structure came into focus.

Once at the summit, which used to be a helipad for the island but now has picnic tables and overlook spots, there are plenty of views, but lots of bugs too from all the past picnickers. I headed down the Sunset Trail for awhile and then veered off-trail slightly for a lunch break and to do some mild exploring in a more remote part of the island. Emerging from there, I rejoined a fire road and then Perimeter Road, the five-mile loop road that circles the island. Total hiking mileage was about seven miles, with no strenuous http://cialisgeneric-treated.com/ stretches but several vistas that were overwhelming.

Near Fort McDowell, the garrison structure on the buy generic viagra island’s east side, there’s a tiny strip of sand known as Quarry Beach which proved to be a great resting spot to watch the sailboats and do nothing for awhile.

Reportedly about 3,000 people a day visit Angel Island on summer weekend days, but except for the ferry ride to and from Tiburon, there was little evidence of mass crowds. It is a state park though so it was heartening to see all these paying visitors to the park, which is sometimes in contrast with non-paying people in other state parks. With all the buildings to explore, the beaches to hang out on, and the various trails to take, people scatter pretty well. Bicyclists seemed to be the most populous group and I can see the appeal of cycling around the island and cruising in and around the various buildings much more efficiently than a walker could manage.

At any event, in the afternoons on Saturday and Sunday all summer, there’s live music on the deck at the island’s nosh spot, where I got to continue my favorite post-hike tradition of a very cold beer, enjoyed while listening to a 20-year-old female singer do her best Otis Redding impression. They were sold out of the Hog Island oysters, but that gives me an excuse for a return visit.

[nggallery id=52]