I had previously seen and driven over the Golden Gate Bridge, but my brother, Rob, had not. It was cloudy when his plane landed, so he was not able to see much of the city.
I said that I would drive us over it and stop for a few photos and a walk along it. It was cloudy when we got there. The bridge was sat snugly in a large bank of clouds. Undeterred, I parked the car with no name and we mad our way onto the bridge. As with fog, you have a level of visibility around you, it’s the distance that is hard to see. So, once on the bridge we veered from believing the cloud was lifting to realising the visibility was ok.
The bridge is quite magnificent, even when shrouded in cloud. The height and the view to the waters below is scary. The view reminded me of the documentary The Bridge, where a filmmaker trained his camera on the Golden Gate Bridge and captured a number of suicide jumps. What must drive you to such a thing, where quite possibly the most frightening thing becomes a source of comfort, is beyond me. The view from the bridge was dizzying when stood on the sidewalk, let alone were one to climb over and onto the ledge.
After the bridge, we headed to the beach. Stinson beach. Purely for a ride out and it gave Rob the opportunity to stand on the sand of the West Coast (I had done this previously in Oregon). The stop also gave us a chance to see a shark attack warning poster and to work out what we were going to do next.
We decided to go to Fort Point, which is your archetypal view of the bridge. It is on land near the start of the South part of the bridge. It is featured in Vertigo and High Anxiety.
Several photos later, I drove us on the scenic 49 mile drive around San Francisco. Maybe it was our starting point, but with mist starting to roll in and the route that we were following, it was not so scenic. It became a little dull. So we jacked it in after perhaps 15 miles.
I headed for Pacific Heights and he surrounding hills to drive up and down the streets a la Bullitt and Dirty Harry. We had a lot of fun, as it is only when you reach the crest of the hill that you realise how steep the hills are. The car with no name is no Ford Mustang, but it bounced quite happily over the hills and even screeched round a couple of corners…all within the designated speed limit, of course!