San Francisco, Open That Golden Gate!

By Ralph Hipp

As we go through all our pictures and e-mails, and get back in the groove of our normal work lives, I wanted to get my pix in order and start showing you some of the highlights of our Holiday Vacation to San Francisco and the Napa Valley last week!  38 of us were part of a remarkable journey, becoming good friends and sharing memories that will last a lifetime.  And seeing the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge is certainly one of those highlights.

Long considered as unbuildable because of the city's fog and high winds, the bridge was finished in 1937 and can still sway 27 feet in either direction if the winds reach 100 miles an hour!  All that concrete poured into the bridge's anchorings and piers could pave a five-foot wide sidewalk that would stretch from San Francisco to New York!  Its two great cables carry enough steel strands to circle the globe 3 times!  And it's strong structure is all thanks for the genius of its amazing chief engineer.

An ambitious and determined Joe Strauss saw the "big picture" of the Golden Gate Bridge, (I'm standing by his statue) and set out to make it a reality despite the protests of ferry operators.  The bay boaters ran the only game in town in getting from San Francisco to Sausalito and Marin County.  I don't think there's a living adult who doesn't know the spectacular unique quality of this five-lane bridge.  Crews are constantly re-painting a section of it every day.  Millions of cars cross its famous spans every month.  One of our tour group members even remembered his ship returning underneath the Golden Gate Bridge after World War II.. and his return last week certainly took him back in time.

I will keep posting more pictures as we go along, but hope to share a sample of this wonderful part of our trip!   Ralph

(Also more from Alcatraz, and the Hearst Castle as I get my pictures together this week!  RH)

 

 

 

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