There is a 500 mile trail planned to run the circumference of the entire San Francisco bay, of which currently about 350 miles have been built. This completed distance is not a continuous length but is separated by gaps where obstacles block access.
It is a marginal zone here, where industries and people are pushed out to the edges of the populated areas to face away from the cities and suburbs. On the land power plants, airports, trailer parks, jails, concrete yards and other urban outliers stand near the water’s edge. Below them are salt ponds and canals, houseboats in hidden marinas, power lines running through the marshes. It is also a marginal zone of course in that it is the very edge of the ocean; fragile, constantly changing, holding a mixed slurry of garbage and abundant life, and will be the shifting margin where people soon will see the drastic longer-term effects of our hand on the environment.
The trail was approved in 1987, and building started in 1989. I began attempting to walk the unbuilt trail sections at the beginning of this year, as close as was possible to the planned route of the trail although in many places access is impossible. I have been sketching, photographing, and making drawings of the unimproved landscape as I go. These drawings included here are of the discernible endpoints of the trail sections where they hit the construction sites, industry, and restricted areas that prevent the trail from completing the circuit. Many of those obstacles, like airports, petroleum storage tanks, power stations, are linked directly to the future changes that could imperil their own landscape.