San Fran Shorts: International Orange, The Bridge Walk

It was an unusually clear and sunny drive through San Francisco, and after dropping my husband curbside at the airport for an earlier flight, I was left with a free day before my trip home.  The gift of blue skies and fog free weather jump started my plan to walk the Golden Gate Bridge, something I’ve always wanted to do, and was looking forward to moving this item to the “mission accomplished” section of my dream list.  The drive to the bridge is an easy one from the airport, North on US 101, and the public lot, located just as the directions indicated, is the last exit before the bridge. A sharp right off the highway brought me to the welcome center and metered parking with a two-hour limit, hopefully enough time for me to walk over the bridge and back again before the blinking green lights on the meter turned red. International Orange is the official paint color of the Golden Gate Bridge, selected when a consulting architect noted how the first coat of red primer paint on the steel complimented the natural bay setting. The bright hue popped against the blue sky and like a beacon, drew me in along with the other walkers, bikers and runners. Perhaps it was the crisp morning, the mountain framed skyline of San Francisco in the distance, or the sheer size and strength of the structure, but I was almost half way across the great span when I realized there was no feeling of terror. The only trembling going on was from the bridge itself, the endless barrage of cars never offering an option for stillness. As in past adventures, this one had barely begun when I began planning a repeat Golden Gate crossing with my family, maybe by bike and along with a visit to Sausalito or a hike in the Marin Hills. I capped my morning off browsing through the gift shop, and made a mental list of things to do on the next visit to San Francisco, ate a quick lunch and then a drive back to the hotel to organize for the trip home.

For more information visit: Golden Gate Bridge

77 comments

  • Elisa, these are gorgeous photos–the light, composition, and color is really beautiful. I enjoyed knowing the backstory, too. Thanks for another great post.

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    • Naomi it’s always a treat when you visit and read my posts. You have a knack for understanding where I’m coming from and convey your thoughts so well in your comments. Thank you for that!!

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  • Great photos, Elisa, and an accurate account of the Golden Gate Bridge in all its glory. How fortunate you had sparkling clear vistas and sunshine that day!

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    • Thanks, Jet. San Francisco is a treat even in bad weather, but when the sun is shining it’s like a gift all wrapped up in a stunning package! Have a great week!
      Elisa

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  • Beautiful, beautiful photos, Elisa. It’s not often you can get an absolutely beautiful day in the Bay Area. At least, the sway in the bridge wasn’t much.

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    • I was so happy to have had such beautiful day for my adventure. I imagine it would be a little more spooky in the fog!
      Thank you, David.

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    • Ha, thanks! I always struggle with which photo to choose for the reader and I think I picked the wrong one….should have been the second! Glad you liked. Thanks for stopping by,
      Elisa

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  • I had a similar experience walking out with the intention to go completely across only I turned around half way. Not out of “terror” but from what I convinced myself was prudence. The sidewalks are crowded and narrow, and the cars/trucks come roaring by way too close for me. I wobbled back to the safety of the gift shop and bought a hat which I still wear.

    Great images, very creative as usual.

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    • I was almost wiped out by a biker and then turned around and had to tangle with a double seated baby stroller. I should have worn a crash helmet! Still good fun, but it’s probably better to go first thing in the morning, and on a weekend when the traffic noise is reduced to a dull roar. I wish I had bought a hat. 😦

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  • As always a great post. Elisa. I have walked the bridge several times. Once in the rain with a very strong wind, it was one of my more memorable times. Thank you for reminding me of that and for sharing yours. Take care. -Max-

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    • Max, I’m glad you mentioned your experience in the rain. I’ve been to San Francisco several times (I’m totally jinxing myself here) and the weather has always been perfect. I’m looking forward to a crazy fog rolling someday, in so I can stand and wallow in it at the highest point of the bridge. Have a great day!

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  • Must have been a brilliant walk.. and I’m sure there were many more photos taken… looks an ideal spot for photos…

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    • Rob, you’re perceptive. I did take quite a few, but I think I need an editor….and a thunk in the head to not worry about it so much. I hope each day brings you more relief, we’re all pulling for you.
      Take good care,
      Elisa

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  • All your great posts from California brings back so many happy memories, especially this one, I feel quite touched. My first visit to the US many years ago started in San Francisco and I thought the Golden Gate Bridge was pure magic. Such a magnificent bay! You have captured this magic so well, I love all three photos; each and every one with a different moody view and it was a pleasure to read your little story. What a lovely start to my morning! 🙂
    All the best, big hug
    Dina

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    • It’s funny how in the blog world we often times live in a parallel universe, going on the same journeys, being touched by similar experiences and sharing our joys. The sharing is what I love about blogging, and I’m so happy that you shared your San Francisco experience with me and that you enjoyed my journey as well!
      Take good care, and hi to all!
      Elisa

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    • Tish, if I had the equipment and the know-how, I would so happily print a poster size copy of that image and send it to you. You are sweet and you absolutely made my day!
      Take care,
      elisa

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  • That orange against the brilliant blue sky is just perfect, Elisa. I’m glad that you fulfilled your dream of walking the bridge, and to do it on your own, must have been even more special. 🙂

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    • Thank you, Sylvia. After I posted those pictures and story, I wondered if anyone would think it strange that I went by myself. Sometimes I seek out special places that I can experience by myself so I can take it all in without any distractions. I’m glad that you connected with that part! A moment shared is wonderful, but sometimes a longed for experience alone can be powerful.
      It’s a beautiful day here, I hope it is as beautiful where you are today!

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    • Thank you, Maureen! I was given the gift of sun in San Francisco! (I should have purchased a few lottery tickets ;))
      Take care,
      Elisa

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  • wow, Elisa, these are beautiful photographs! They are so perfectly framed and the color is really fine. I love the first one. What is that round disc in the upper left corner? A fascinating angle too. You are such an adventurer! I smiled reading your back story. Thanks for a superb post. I enjoyed it! 🙂

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    • George, thank you! The disc is a street lamp globe,an art deco element used when they designed the bridge. I’m glad I “snapped out of it” and stopped taking pictures of the darned bay….I had this huge architectural wonder in front of me and I was looking for ships heading out to sea. I cannot wait to go back someday. You’ll appreciate this. I rented a small fixed wide angle lens to practice with. I was in love with it purely for it’s size and light weight. When we arrived in San Fran I started taking pictures and realized I had no idea how to use it. Everything was so far away and no zoom. It was good practice for me, but next time I’ll opt for the heavier zoom lens!! Thanks for stopping by and take good care of yourself!
      Elisa

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      • Actually, you need a wide-angle. You’d use it more than you think. Travel photographers (like you) use it for photographing the inside of rooms, hotels, etc., and it is wonderful for architectural photos like the inside of big buildings where you want more in the frame. When you have to stand very close to something, you can get a lot more in a frame too. Besides, you can get some really interesting angles with it. I’ve begun to learn how to use mine and I like it. It is no replacement for a zoom, but it is a great specialized lens. 🙂 Don’t give up on wide-angle…

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  • Why can’t I “like”? I’ve had this to happen several times lately. That “verify” thing pops up with no way to verify! What the heck???

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    • Don’t you want to throw your computer out the window sometimes? Who comes up with this stuff? Don’t worry, your comment was worth it’s weight in gold!!

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  • Great way to spend some time. Years ago I took a ferry to Sausalito for lunch, then walked from there across the bridge to the Presidio. Thanks for bringing back the memories.

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    • Sausalito is beautiful in of itself, but the surrounding views are amazing. I understand why you have wonderful memories of your visit.
      Elisa

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    • Thank you, Patricia! I sure do miss you, I’m finding it more difficult to stay connected with my blog friends. I hope you are well and enjoying the springtime that has been long in coming!

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      • What a nice thing to say! I am trying to post weekly, plus I added a monthly newsletter (everything takes time, doesn’t it? Happy Spring to you!!

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  • Beautiful shot! I loved walking over the bridge, and plan to do it again next time we visit. Spectacular when you get a wonderful clear day and all the sailboats on the water.

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  • I guess our trips overlapped. I walked the bridge two years ago with my grandchildren. It’s magical. I’m pleased that you got to see one of our country’s great icons. And the stroll across it is marvelous. Engaging images.

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  • Gorgeous shots, especially with that blue sky!! Makes me long for San Francisco 🙂

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    • Thank you, I long for it too. How can one city have so much natural beauty. Everywhere you turn is a beautiful surprise!
      🙂

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  • Fantastic post, Elisa. Great shots of the bridge. I always feel like my camera is going to fly over the railing….quite irrational but it’s just so high up!

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  • Marvelously composed images and wonderfully descriptive writing Elisa. I could totally relate to your wanting to walk on the bridge without distractions.

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    • I have a new “to do” list. Conquering (or at the very least walking over) the great bridges of the world! Not all of them have sidewalks, so I’ll have to be selective!!

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    • Like you, I’ve always thought of the Golden Gate Bridge as being reddish in color. Maybe the “golden” refers to the light from the beautiful sunsets? Either way, it’s perfect for the setting. Thanks so much for stopping by…take care,
      elisa

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