Golden Gate Bridge

I knew the bridge was huge. I mean, it’s this world-famous giant orange suspension bridge, with San Francisco Bay on one side and the Pacific on the other, so you know it’s not going to be a dinky little thing swaying in the breeze. But seeing it is not at all like imagining it. It even looks huge from miles away, and it positively looms as you approach it.

Driving across it, I didn’t even feel like we were on a bridge. It was wide enough that it seemed like it was just a road, up really high. Yes, I realize that’s essentially the definition of “bridge”, but I’m bad with heights, and driving on most bridges makes me a little nervous. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge to the Eastern Shore, for example. Butt clenched the entire way across, every time I’ve had the happy opportunity to cross it. The Golden Gate bridge didn’t give me that “OMG I’m going to plummet and die” feeling. Until I tried it on foot, that is.

There was an observation area by the highway on the north side of the bridge, so we got out and enjoyed the view for a few minutes while I rustled up some courage for the big walk. The walkway is nice solid concrete, and wide enough for me to be able to stay on the roadway side of it so I wouldn’t feel like I was falling off. I was surprised that the railing was so low along the edge – the big bridge in Montreal has a “cage” to keep people from jumping. Maybe they don’t have as big a problem with jumpers in SF?

There were lots of other people on the bridge, and I got a good giggle out of the one girl who decided a mini and go-go boots were just the thing to wear for a windy walk – hope she was doing it on purpose, because a whole lot of people were enjoying views of her undies! We walked all the way to the first giant upright section you can see in the picture, and at that point the wind seriously picked up and I started to feel nervous, which was expressed by my death grip on the railing and my shrinking towards the ground. I kept unconsciously folding up into a crouch as I walked, like I was trying to crawl back to the car, and even though I kept catching myself and telling myself to stand up and stop being a chicken, it kept happening!

I will say that it was absolutely worth the terror, though, because it was a view and experience I’ll never forget. The sun was out, the city was beautiful, I was on the Golden Gate Bridge with my husband, and that is a memory to cherish.

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