Austin Bordeaux, Seth Thomasson, Patrick Taylor, Carl Williams, Josh Cabrera, Mark Cabrera Tina Fillmer, Nicole Vaughn, Olivia Fillmer, Kennedy Ellison, Michelle Ellison
Post by parent chaperone, Tina Fillmer, mom to GCA graduate, Olivia Fillmer.
The 2015 senior class and three parent chaperones recently had an adventurous trip to San Francisco, California. They hiked 6 roundtrip miles at Muir Woods National Park while observing peaceful, beautiful views of the redwood tree forest. In 1945 this site hosted 500 UN delegates representing 46 nations to honor the recently deceased President Franklin D. Roosevelt. On the ride back to San Francisco, we experienced a breathtaking view of the Golden Gate Strait from the top of the Golden Gate Bridge, a suspension bridge known as one of the Wonders of the Modern World. At the top of the bridge, our group walked upon the ruins of the old military Battery Spencer from which scrapped guns were donated for use during World War I and II. One afternoon was spent hiking the Lands End trail, the original site of a steam train railway which was closed due to numerous landslides on steep cliffs. One of our favorite activities included exploring a cave near Seal Rock, a small rock formation island near the Sutro bath ruins, originally the site of the world’s largest public indoor swimming pool, established in 1896. We enjoyed biking 3 miles across the Golden Gate Park to the ocean while stopping to view a Dutch-style windmill built in 1903 and a bison paddock preservation. Coit Tower, an art deco high-rise tower, featured a variety of frescos commissioned by FDR and his “New Deal,” which the class remembered learning about in Mrs. Mullins’ 12th-grade History class.
San Francisco features the world’s last manually operated cable car system, built in the 1800s, and we looked for every possible opportunity to jump aboard it. We visited a fortune cookie factory and ate authentic Chinese food in Chinatown, America’s oldest and largest Chinese community outside of Asia. We saw artistic murals in the Mission District inspired by the traditional Mexican paintings by artist Diego Rivera. San Francisco’s historic waterfront district, Fisherman’s Wharf, provided entertainment by comical sea lions, musical stairs from the movie “Big,” several visits to the Ghiradelli Chocolate Factory and a trip to the Musée Mécanique, an interactive 20th-century mechanical museum of over 300 20th-century penny arcade games and artifacts. We rode the ferry to Alcatraz, a National Historic Landmark, which was inhabited by the most notorious prisoners in the mid-1900s. An audio tour described living conditions within the prison as well as attempted escapes by prisoners who were never found. We also learned that a small community of the guards’ families (including children) lived in unlocked homes on the island next to the prison. The Seniors enjoyed watching the movie Escape from Alcatraz prior to our trip to the “Rock.” We are very thankful the Lord blessed us tremendously on this trip, and we appreciate everyone who supported us in our fundraising efforts this past year.