If you go to San Francisco…

It was Saturday, and there was a constant stream of cyclists coming over the Golden Gate Bridge,

seeking open countryside, and a release from city life. I appeared to be one of the few going in the opposite direction, and because of the constant traffic, pedestrians were restricted to the east crossing, and cyclists to the west.

The Golden Gate Bridge is the iconic symbol of San Francisco …called Golden Gate, not because of its colour (which is red, like my kit), but because of the name given to the bay, which pre-dates the goldrush of 1849. When the settlement was established by the Spanish, it was originally called Yerba Buena, but changed to San Francisco when it passed to the Americans.

It’s fame doesn’t rest on it being the biggest and best suspension bridge in the world, but it certainly was the first of its size, and built during the period of austerity after the Wall Street crash in 1929. For its period, it was a hugely ambitious example of engineering.

It was a special experience being able to cycle across it, gazing out to Alcatraz on one side, and out over the open sea on the other. If you’ve never done it, put it on your bucket list, and don your cycling kit.

Rather than go into the heart of the city, I steered a course around the western fringes, passing landmarks like the Legion of Honour, Lands End Lookout, and Cliff House, and as I gazed across the beach, a large crowd of people had gathered

….now this can only happen in San Francisco….for a contest of Corgi dogs…..you’ve got to be kidding, I hear you say.

I stood on the very spot where the first uninterrupted east-west highway finished, the Lincoln highway, well over 3000 miles long

…..and then I headed out along a traffic congested Highway 1 along the coast, past several surfing beaches …..(get those Beach Boy vinyls on the turntable)…

to finish for the night at Half Moon Bay, where my tent is pitched just 50 metres from the crashing waves…..a sound I find wonderfully soothing, especially in the small hours.

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About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on October 14, 2018, in Vancouver to Mexico 2000 miles and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Margaret Butterfield

    Cycling over the Golden Gate Bridge is quite wonderful. I did it some years ago when it wasn’t so safe for cyclists as there wasn’t the fence I see in your photograph, just a small upstanding kerb, and the pavement was shared with pedestrians. I cycled in the direction of Sausolita (not the correct spelling I know) on to Tiberon and then took the ferry back to SF. Super experience but I have to admit some of the hills in SF beat me on the way back.

  2. That would be amazing, sleeping that close to the waves! Sleep well, Frank.

  3. Lovely story, thanks for sharing! But, I don’t see the flowers, in your hair…

  4. Gee you create some wonderful memories.

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