Sunday, October 27, 2013

My Walk Across the Golden Gate Bridge

Last week while I was in San Francisco for the Nike Women's Marathon, I got to do something I have wanted to do since I was a child--I walked across the Golden Gate Bridge!  The international orange bridge is such an American icon, it felt surreal to actually be there, to be walking across.

The weather that day was chilly, but it was actually clear enough to see for miles from the bridge.  This can be a rare occurrence in San Francisco, as both Nike Women's Half Marathons I have done it was to foggy to see the bridge, even though we ran just feet away from it.  My runDisney friend, Denise, meet me at the race expo and she drove us to the bridge.  We parked at Presidio and walked to the Golden Gate Bridge welcome center.  Then we were bridge bound!

Marin County side.  I love the shadow on the water! 

The Golden Gate bridge was completed in 1937, just at the end of the Great Depression.  It is 1.7 miles long and is about 240 feet about the San Francisco Bay.  The Golden Gate bridge is a famous world wide, both for her majesty and
beauty.  People come from all over the world to see it.  The Golden Gate Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world for many years.

The views from the bridge were breathtaking!  Just a few steps in, you can see the city of San Francisco on the right.   The first thing I noticed was how loud and windy it was up there!  Several lanes of traffic were zipping by in both directions.  The wind was so strong!  I was glad I had my hair in tight french braids and that I had my Team in Training hoodie with me.  The two main tower of the bridge looked like they went up and up for forever.  One thing that really surprised me about bridge itself was just how wide the main cables are.  Those things must be 5-6 feet wide! I reach my hand up and touched one.  I could not keep my hands off of that amazing, international orange piece of Pennsylvania steel.

Denise and I reached the Marin County side of the bridge and turn around.  That is when the best views
could be seen.  We could watch San Francisco the whole walk back.  At each of the two bridge towers are observations areas.  We stopped for a while and took some pictures.  I could see Alcatraz, the port of San Francisco, and the hilly San Francisco skyline.  The view its self was worth the flight to San Francisco.

Photo borrowed from Wikipedia
One very strange thing I saw on the bridge were signs and telephones with hopes of persuading people to not jump--suicide by bridge.   I chuckled at the silliness and then shrugged it off.  I thought--this is California after all, they have all kinds of crazy warnings for stuff, right? I had not thought about those signs until I started to right this post and review my pictures from the trip.  Those signs had me so intrigued, so I did a little goggling and discovered that the Gold Gate Bridge is the number one suicide location in the world!  Sadly, the bridge sees up to fifty suicides per year. Wow, I had no idea when I was there!  That is why the little signs were posted every few feet.  It's a sad, unintended effect of a bridge so romanticized by the world.

My trip to the Golden Gate Bridge was an amazing experience!  I am so glad I finally got to do it.  Our trip to the bridge came to an end at the Golden Gate Bridge visitors center.  For $1, guests can buy an official "I walked the bridge" postcard.  The postcards are numbered and stamped with the date.  I think its the perfect keepsake for such an amazing experience!

A dream is a wish...



  1. Great write-up, and I loooove your hair! I have hair envy!!

    1. I got my hair done for free at the expo! Come do it with me next year!!!

    2. I am seriously considering it Amy! I tried to find the date online but I don't think it's posted yet. I would really love to join ya!!

  2. I am glad you read up about the number of bridge jumpers we have each year. A friend of mine has seen one of these unfortunate events in person. He was devastated. At the base of the bridge at a place called Fort Point there is a little wooden sign with a pair of hands on it. Above it is painted with the words "Hoppers Hands". It is popular with runners as we use that as the turn around point. We touch the wooden hands with ours as a sign of respect as Hopper is one of the men who get called out when a jumper is spotted and who in my opinion has a tougher job than most. You can read more about Hopper by searching for it in Wikipedia.

    1. Thanks Heather. I just spent the past hour reading about Hopper and company. Wow--what amazing guys they are! I had NO idea what a problem this is. Is it covered on your local news often? I have never seen or heard anything about the suicide problem. I guess all most of us on the the East Coast know is about how beautiful it is. We romanticize the bridge, the city...we don't see the sad reality.