Category Archives: Explore

Golden Gate Bridge

It’s an icon, a landmark, a beautiful sight when driving south from Sonoma. When movie directors want to localize their scene in San Francisco, they skillfully display it. Everyone will recognize it and nobody need another cinema sin for displaying the city name on the screen. I’m talking about the Golden Gate Bridge!

Of course, if it’s a bridge, then it’s over something. The Golden Gate (not the bridge) is a strait that connects the bay to the ocean. I remember learning that it was extremely difficult for navigators to see the passage from the ocean. According to Wikipedia:

The strait was surprisingly elusive for early European explorers, presumably due to this persistent summer fog.

Ah! It was Karl‘s fault all this time. Yes, for those who don’t know, we named our fog up there, and it even has a Twitter account.

And the greek name of the Golden Gate is Chrysophylae, named by Captain John Frémont in his memoirs.

As for the bridge, here are some key dates:

  • In 1872, railroad entrepreneur Charles Crocker calls for a bridge across the Golden Gate strait.
  • In August 1919 San Francisco’s city engineer, Michael M. O’Shaughnessy was asked by the city to explore the possibility of building a bridge spanning the Golden Gate strait.
  • Joseph Baermann Strauss came up with a first design proposal on June 28, 1921

This first design is what the Golden Gate Bridge could have looked like:

  • Thankfully, the public voiced their opposition, and the final design, that we know and like, was approved in December 1922.
  • Construction began on January 5, 1933 with a $35M bond issue. The bridge opened on May 27, 1937, four years later.
  • And on February 22, 1985 the one billionth driver crossed the span.

So there you go, a small history of one of my favorite bridge across the world! It is also the most photographed and the most destroyed bridge by movie directors.

Photo I took from the piers

Additional online resources:

Photo by Joshua Sortino on Unsplash

Beautiful British Columbia

Thank you Facebook for reminding me that, one year ago, we were camping in one of the most gorgeous park I’ve eve seen: Golden Ears Provincial Park in British Columbia, Canada. This was the final destination in our summer road trip, all the way from San Francisco, California, to Vancouver, British Columbia. Almost a thousand miles driven (or 1,600 kilometers) to reach the park and camp in Beautiful British Columbia, Canada.

A Canadian goose walks by the Alouette lake

Funny story about the camping: so far we got very lucky with the weather. We camped in Northern California and in Oregon without ever worrying about the rain or anything. So when we arrived to the supposedly fully booked campsite, we got surprised that a lot of spots were unoccupied (despite the “reserved” sign). Looking around, everyone is adding extra tarps onto their tents. Surely, they know something we don’t, right?

Got off the camp, got some network, checked the weather: light rain scheduled for the night. Ah well, we should be fine. We still stored most of our stuff in the car this night, but left the firewood and our shoes outside the tent. And then, we went to sleep.

It is now 3 AM, I hear the light rain, very little noise. Sweet, everything is alright, this should stop soon, right? Falling back to sleep, only to be woken up 2h later by my hand touching some water. Wait, what? Water in the tent? Oh right, I forgot, I’m wearing ear plugs when camping. Looks like it has been pouring rain for the past 2 hours, and it’s not looking to stop anytime soon.

And that’s how we discover that (1) the tent is not fully weatherproof (only in the corners though, due to some condensation) and (2) you should always trust the locals rather than the weatherman! 😀

The waterfall during our hike

For the rest of our trip, we enjoyed a beautiful weather. We hiked in the wood, used a canoe to go in the middle of the lake, and overall we got subjugated by the beauty of Canada.

Surely a Canadian road trip is incomplete without Poutine!

Can’t wait to go back!