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The Carquinez Strait


This is the Carquinez Strait, about 37 miles northeast of San Francisco. It's where the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers run into the San Francisco Bay. Carquinez comes from the Spanish word Carquines, which is for Karkin, the name of the Ohlone Indian tribe who once lived in the area.

This is the Carquinez Bridge, which stands at the west end of the strait. It's actually two parallel bridges, a cantilever bridge built in the 1950s and a suspension bridge built in 2003 to replace a 1920s bridge that engineers determined would not hold in a big earthquake.


These photos were taken a few years ago when the Husband and I, along with friend BB, took a trip to Napa for the day. On the way home, we stopped for dinner in Benicia, which sits on the north shore of the Carquinez Strait.  It's a cute place with lots of art glass studios, boutiques, and restaurants. Also, the once-upon-a-time California capital made lots of interesting California and national history. For instance, in the late 1800s, the Central Pacific Railroad carried trains across the Carquinez Strait by ferries between Benicia and Port Costa.


Remember the Pony Express in the late 19th century. One of the alternative routes across the Carquinez Strait was a ferry from Benicia. There's a historic marker on the Benicia Waterfront Promenade that talks about one such incident. Here's what is inscribed on the marker (which was presented by the Benicia Parlor, No. 89, Native Sons of the Golden West and dedicated on  July 29, 1960):
Dedicated to the Memory of Pony Express Riders
1880 The Knights of the Saddle 1881

William Hamilton, the first Pony Express Rider to reach Benicia on the final relay. Carrying the mail from St. Joseph, Missouri to California. Arrived in this city April 23rd, 1860, at 7 a.m. Thomas J. Bedford, a young Benician, took the mochila by ferry across Carquinez Straits to San Francisco via Martinez and Oakland.
A mochila is a knapsack, which can only mean the Pony Express rider's knapsack full of U.S. mail.

Here's another look of the Carquinez Strait from Benicia.


I'm hanging out at Alphabe Thursday, which is hosted by the wonderful Jenny Matlock. Click here to check out what other participants are writing about the letter C.


Comments

  1. Gorgeous scenic views and images. Happy Friday, have a great weekend!

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    1. Same to you, Eileen. Hope your weekend is a blast!

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  2. Lovely to have hung out with you too through Alphabe Thursday, such a lovely relaxing place!
    Wren x

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  3. The pylons of the bridge look like they're holding up the clouds in the first pic ... must go forth and explore Benicia via the wonders of Google Earth!

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    1. I love the sound of that name -- Benicia. Be-neeeee-shah. That's how I like to say it.

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  4. Interesting post...thanks for sharing♪

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    1. My pleasure. I'm doing an imaginary take-off-the-hat and bow.

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  5. Susie,

    I enjoyed looking at your photos. I also enjoy reading historic markers. So many people walk or drive right by them without a thought, but they can make very interesting reading.

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    1. One of my things, because it's not really a goal, is to find all the historic markers in my county. Some of them are in the oddest of places.

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  6. Susie, if this is close to where you live, I am 3 1/2 hrs. away from San Francisco! Beautiful sunset in your first capture!

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    1. I used to live nearby the Carquinez Straits. We're about 2 1/2 hours to the south in Hollister. Which way are you?

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  7. What a beautiful place and interesting post. It's so nice to see the world just sitting behind a computer !

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    1. Isn't that the truth, Gattina! Thanks for dropping by.

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  8. Great photos and some neat history facts

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos and facts, Birgit. I aim to please. :-)

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  9. A bridge of clouds! Wow! What charming pictures!

    I loved this little visit for Alphabe-Thursday's letter C.

    Thank you for sharing it.

    A+

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Thanks for the good cheer. :-)

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