The Golden Gate Bridge

The main reason I went to California was to see my friends R and JP and attend the celebration of their marriage. R is originally from a smaller town on the outskirts of Santa Cruz but now she lives in Oakland. Because of my travel plans, I only had one day to see San Francisco, and my priority was the Golden Gate Bridge. R had to work, so JP played tour guide. After starting off our day with some Chilean empanadas, we headed to the bridge.

There is a huge park on the San Francisco side of the bridge, where people were out running, biking and walking their dogs. It was such a nice day out and everyone seemed to be taking advantage of the weather. At the end of the running path, at the base of the bridge were these hand prints that everyone seemed to be touching before turning around. The plaque reads “Hopper’s Hands”. I had no idea what the significance was, and neither did the guy we asked happened to also be a tourist so he didn’t know either. When I got back, Google told me that Hopper was a man who volunteered on the bridge to try to convince people not to commit suicide. Very noble.

The good thing about touring around with JP is that he’s an engineer, so he could explain all the technical aspects of the bridge to me. He even drew a picture. I should have been taking notes, though, because I don’t really remember anything, except that it’s a suspension bridge, and those vertical cables are very important.

We crossed the bridge by car and then walked about halfway back across. This was actually quite stressful for me because I am afraid of heights and the bridge wobbles A LOT as the cars go across. It was like being in a constant temblor but way above the San Francisco Bay. I was also afraid of getting run over by cyclists who were zooming across the bike lanes. I felt like if I stepped a millimeter out of the pedestrian lane I was going to get clipped, but I also didn’t want to get too close to the edge in case I fell over. Yes, this is a legitimate fear of mine.

Anyway, after that, we drove up this little hill that overlooks the bridge and the whole bay area. We did a little exploring and found what was a never-used military bunker-type thing (I’m so good with technical terms!) dating from around World War I (or was it WWII?).

The Golden Gate Bridge is always something I’ve wanted to see, and if I had a bucket list (I don’t) I would get to check this one off the list. It was so impressive to be that close and see what a marvel of engineering it is. And to top it all off, it’s very photogenic.

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “The Golden Gate Bridge

  1. Beautiful photos, Abby!

    Re: Hopper’s Hands
    This is from examiner.com, found in an article by Aimee Zimmerman:
    “The Hopper’s Hands plaque is named for one of the Golden Gate Bridge’s iron workers. Ken Hopper not only helped in the construction of the bridge, risking his life on a daily basis, but later he became a suicide rescue volunteer. Hopper noticed runners slapping the fence as they turned around each morning and asked the bridge painter to paint a picture of two handprints for the runners to hit.

    Although suicide rescue duty is voluntary, all iron workers took turns convincing hopeless souls that their lives were valuable. It is estimated that Hopper came in contact with 30 jumpers. He was able to persuade most of them off the bridge, but did lose two. Hopper had an honorable job. He protected and preserved one of the world’s most beautiful bridges and saved lives in the process. It’s hard to say which job is more challenging – risking your own life every day working on the bridge, or trying to make sure a complete stranger doesn’t take his.”

  2. Beautiful photos, Abby!

    Re: Hopper’s Hands
    This is from examiner.com, found in an article by Aimee Zimmerman:
    “The Hopper’s Hands plaque is named for one of the Golden Gate Bridge’s iron workers. Ken Hopper not only helped in the construction of the bridge, risking his life on a daily basis, but later he became a suicide rescue volunteer. Hopper noticed runners slapping the fence as they turned around each morning and asked the bridge painter to paint a picture of two handprints for the runners to hit.

    Although suicide rescue duty is voluntary, all iron workers took turns convincing hopeless souls that their lives were valuable. It is estimated that Hopper came in contact with 30 jumpers. He was able to persuade most of them off the bridge, but did lose two. Hopper had an honorable job. He protected and preserved one of the world’s most beautiful bridges and saved lives in the process. It’s hard to say which job is more challenging – risking your own life every day working on the bridge, or trying to make sure a complete stranger doesn’t take his.”

  3. Ooh, I’ve just been there! Yay! 😀 Hehe. And actually I’ve got quite a lot of photos from the angle of where your last pic was. Loved seeing the Bridge – it was such a surreal ‘Wow, I’m actually here’ moment.

  4. Ooh, I’ve just been there! Yay! 😀 Hehe. And actually I’ve got quite a lot of photos from the angle of where your last pic was. Loved seeing the Bridge – it was such a surreal ‘Wow, I’m actually here’ moment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s