For most of us, it is nearly impossible to envision the Golden Gate–that area of the San Francisco Bay where it joins up with the Pacific Ocean–without the majestic presence of the Golden Gate Bridge (the bridge took her name from the location, not the other way around). Still, it just seems like she was always meant to be in that very spot, and just bided her time until humans evolved enough to be able to help her rise.
In my nearly quarter century of living in the Bay Area, I’ve crossed the bridge on foot only a few times, but every trip has left me wondering why I don’t make that trek more often.
By crossing the bridge slowly on foot, instead of racing across by car, my senses get to savor much of what I love here: the delicious brine of the air with an occasional hint of eucalyptus, the way seasons seem to change hourly, watching all kinds of sea and shore life from porpoises to pelicans, hearing dozens of different languages spoken as I pass fellow travelers, observing the busy ship and ferry traffic. And then there is the absolute wonder of the structure itself: the intricate patterns of the rivets, and how it feels alive, when I feel the vibrations through the cables.
Happy Birthday, Beautiful Lady! May you watch over the San Francisco Bay for many many more years to come.