Northern California Ice Skating and Earthquakes

The night before last was actually kind of cold in San Francisco, but not really cold enough for ice. The USA is in the deep freeze right now and in San Francisco ice is made for entertainment. A seasonal ice rink is set up on Union Square, San Francisco and will be dismantled after next weekend.

The temp was in the low 50s when I snapped this photo Thursday night. The Westin St. Francis Hotel and Tower at Union Square are seen in the background. Monterey was 72 degrees yesterday, but San Francisco was only about 62 downtown.

Union Square ice skating and Westin St. Francis Hotel

Union Square ice skating and Westin St. Francis Hotel

At least most of America rarely experiences earthquakes.   The 6.5 earthquake that shook Humboldt County a few hours ago is the biggest earthquake there since 1992.

[Mon. Jan 11 – Update: News from Eureka Times-Standard indicates there was some significant structural damage in Eureka. Old Town Bar & Grill is a place I frequented many times in the 1980s. Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, the Wailers…good memories. The building was red tagged for structural damage.]

Eureka, California was my hometown from 1989-1992 and 1996-2001.  I had spent eight months organizing an education conference for teachers when at the end of the first hour of the conference on April 25, 1992 at the Red Lion Inn in Eureka, a 7.2 earthquake hit. Hundreds had to evacuate the hotel and I had to cancel the conference. There were two more major earthquakes, 6.5 and 6.7 within the next 18 hours. They really shook me up.

I wrote about earthquakes in a Loyalty Traveler post after staying at the Palace Hotel this past April 18, 2009 on the 103rd anniversary of the great San Francisco quake. There were two survivors at the commemoration ceremony. One of those persons, Jeanette Scola Trapani, died last week at age 107.


Grand Hyatt San Francisco just off Union Square
Grand Hyatt San Francisco just off Union Square
San Francisco hazy sunset from Twin Peaks (geographic center of the city) today
San Francisco hazy sunset from Twin Peaks (geographic center of the city) today

A few days after the Humboldt County earthquakes I presided over a statewide education conference in San Francisco. The Rodney King police beating acquittal verdict occurred just as the three day conference was scheduled to begin and initiated riots throughout the state.

I stopped organizing education conferences.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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  1. I used to have family up there and spent a lot of time in Humboldt County. Lovely place. Always enjoyed the drive up through the redwoods.

  2. “I’m driving a big lazy car rushin’ up the highway in the dark
    I got one hand steady on the wheel and one
    hand’s tremblin’ over my heart
    It’s pounding baby like it’s gonna bust right on through
    And it ain’t gonna stop till I’m alone again with you”

    Bruce Springsteen – “Valentine’s Day”

    I spent hundreds of hours commuting in my car between San Francisco and Eureka over the years. Every time I hear Springsteen’s song I envision the dark, long night drives on Highway 101 through the redwoods of Mendocino and Humboldt to get back home.

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