Golden Gate Bridge

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by notso62 on January 12, 2006

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most recognizable man-made structures in the United States. It's hard to think of an America without the Golden Gate, but the bridge has only been connecting Marin County to points north since 1937. In under 70 years its iconic Art Deco shape painted "International Orange" has become timeless. The 1.7-mile span over the opening of the San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean has been crossed by over 1 billion people over the years. It's impossible to say what San Francisco would be like without it.

I must admit I was quite disappointed with the Golden Gate Bridge before I went to visit it. For the week before I went to the visitor center and crossed over the bridge itself, I could never even see the structure due to the thick fog that forms around it each and every day. I had seen the orange structure in movies and television shows, but I was very dismayed when I could not see it for myself. The fog is formed by the warm and humid Pacific air meeting the cold water of the bay almost at the point where the bridge spans. This is the reason why the bridge was painted the orange color to begin with.

When I did visit the visitor center (open from 8:30am to 7:30pm each day) on the Marin County side of the bridge, I was pleasantly surprised by the interesting facts and history that surround the structure. I wasn't quite as let down about not being able to see the bridge anymore. What I found particularly interesting was the information about painting and work on the bridge, which is continuously ongoing. These workers brave the fog and extreme heights to keep the roads and structure safe without having to close it down ever for repairs.

When I finally did leave Marin County by crossing the Golden Gate Bridge itself, I was even more pleasantly surprised. Though you could not see the bridge unless you were on it that day due to the fog, it was quite striking to see the beautiful orange Art Deco towers emerging from the mist as you made your way over. Though I never did get to see the bridge in its entirety from the distance, the trip over it more than made up for this.

Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco Bay
San Francisco, California

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