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Orange Crush: My First Visit to the Golden Gate Bridge

I couldn’t help borrow the “Orange Crush” title from a Life photoessay on the Golden Gate Bridge’s 75th anniversary.

My first time across the Golden Gate was a few years ago. I had visited my friends Archie and Rebekah, who live in San Jose, California, and on the Monday after Easter, we rode up to “The City,” which is how most people in the Bay Area refer to San Francisco. No trip to The City is complete without at least a look at the bridge.

Most of the time, those icons we’ve grown up seeing always appear smaller when you actually reach them in person. Sometimes, they’re downright disappointing. We’ve somehow managed to elevate them into something larger than life could allow in our imagination.

But the Golden Gate didn’t disappoint.

It’s massive. Rebekah tells me that it’s 3.5 miles round trip — she and Archie just ran the bridge the other day — but it feels longer than that. And those towers! They’re like skyscrapers: it’s hard to get your brain around how big they are, even when you’re driving under them.

NBC Bay Area, the NBC station in San Jose, ran in interesting piece on the people who maintain the bridge and the fact that it is constantly being repainted. One guy in this story says he’s worked on the bridge for more than 20 years and hasn’t completed a full pass across the bridge, yet!

Here’s a picture Rebekah took of Archie and I:

Two years later, Archie and I returned to The City, and drove down to Ft. Hood, a former Civil War-era fort that is at one of the bases of the bridge. Fans of Alfred Hitchock’s Vertigo know the area as the location where Kim Novac jumped into the San Francisco Bay.

You can’t get to that exact spot these days because of heightened security at the bridge itself. But you can get relatively close to it, and you can get a spectacular view of the Golden Gate:

It’s an amazing site and if you haven’t been to see it in person, it should definitely be on your bucket list. If you have been, did it seem larger than you expected?

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.