Thursday, May 19, 2016

Impossibly Soaring Icon --- Day 5/91

Walk: PGCC workout room, City Guides Golden Gate Bridge Tour, Garage
Distance: 1.8 miles, machines workout, small yoga 

Continuing her research for her San Francisco art and history tours, Ciwt took a tour of our Golden Gate Bridge today. It was ferociously windy, and Ciwt assumed she'd find a couple of other hardy souls at the meeting place.  But, to the contrary, the visitor area might as well have been the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  It was packed with bike riders, walkers, photographers - and not entirely well marked so we all had to watch out for each other.

The bridge really is an international icon, a popular one as well as an icon among architects and engineers who voted it their most admired man-made structure.  And for good reasons as Ciwt learned today: from an engineering point of view it was deemed nearly impossible, and, in the middle of the depression, so were the funds.  The architect who gets credit for the bridge (Strauss) was essentially a scoundrel whose bridge would have been ugly and collapsed if he'd actually been in charge.  Ellis, the civil engineering hero who designed every stick and detail of the bridge was unsung until very recently.

The many tales of treachery and vast achievement surrounding the bridge were fascinating stuff.  But they were learned in gale force winds.The bridge accommodates the winds by moving and swaying. If you look carefully at the middle span of the Golden Gate picture Ciwt took today, you can see it bowing out to the right/toward the City.  Experiencing that movement and howling wind and loud traffic noise was not for Ciwt, so she slunk off to safety while the rest of the tour ventured on.

Imagine the men who built the bridge in that same wind, high up in the towers!

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