Da Bridge! Da Bridge! Thursday, 4/28/16
Thursday's sunny morning was far different from the rainy day before. It didn't even seem too windy, which was good for our plans. We checked out of Cow Hollow Inn, packing our stuff in the Prius, and drove to and parked at the Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center, San Fran side. Today we're walking the entire distance across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco to Marin County. Not an especially big deal, but it's something we wanted to do. And today is a stellar day to do it.
Dressed in layers against the chill morning, here we stand near the welcome center.
Lucky us, there's nary a cloud in the robin's egg blue sky.
Below this end of the bridge is Fort Point, a Civil War fortress.
Surfers wait for the big ones in the white water.
It's a nice three-and-a-half-mile scenic hike from end to end.
This "toy" helicopter flew UNDER the bridge; very strange to see! It wasn't a toy!
Not often a real helicopter flies below you.
Jimmy is standing at a viewpoint on the bridge.
High rises in the City of San Francisco are visible left, center.
Lime Point Lighthouse sits at land's end on the northern side of the bay.
Built in 1883, but I don't know if it's still operating. It was off limits.
Hooray, we made it to the other side! The bridge wasn't too crowded, either.
What a great walk, and now we get to turn around and go back where we started from!
Both sides of the bridge approaches are being seismically retrofitted.
Ongoing work includes new support towers.
Did not know a thing about Angel Island, but now we do. The entire island is a state park (1962), accessible by private boat or public ferry. In the mid-19th Century it was used for cattle ranching. Later in the 19th Century, Fort McDowell was established. From 1910 to 1940 it was used as an immigration station, processing approximately one million Asian immigrants into the US. It has an active lighthouse at Point Blunt. Tourist activities, biking and hiking and even limited camping are what's happening these days. Oh boy, another new place to explore.
Telephoto of Alcatraz Island, stuck out in the middle of that cold bay!
At Vista Point, some guy sidled up to us, took my camera in hand, and said, "Have some fun with those pictures! Here, hold your hands like this, and like this." And he moved back and clicked the shutter! The Marin County side of the bridge has a much bigger parking lot, and it was chock-a-block full of cars and buses and crowded with people. More restrooms, too. I think I heard every language spoken on earth at this spot. That's how famous this bridge is. Both ends of the bridge touch the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, but on the Marin side, the NRA extends a long way. More fun in the works!
Back on the SF side.
Of course, it took us much longer than we intended, as we stop often to gawk or study something, but we weren't in a hurry. This was what we wanted to do -- so be it. I can tell you that Tues-Wed-Thurs were high counts on the ol' fitbit. Yesterday we put in over 19,000 steps (yep, we were in bed early). So, we enjoyed our brief SF outing. We ate pizza one evening and ate in Chinatown the next evening at R & G Lounge -- love their spicy eggplant. We took the #30 bus to Union Square (that actually was a lot of fun and a lot easier than driving and looking for a parking place) where we shopped at Uniqlo and bought a few things.
Transamerica Pyramid from Chinatown.
We finished our bridge walk around Noon, and headed for home, with a stop first at Ikea, and then a short visit with Matt and Jen in Sacramento. They're redoing their front yard landscaping with drought resistant plants, and it was beginning to take shape, looking very nice, very professional. We finally got home around 7pm.
Time for a cute pic. Our friend, Fran, handed us this goofy toy to give to either Sophie or Maggie (Matt and Jen's doggies), tho I'm here to tell you that no way, NO WAY, was Sophie going to move with that "monkey on her back!!"