My trip to the top of the Golden Gate Bridge

Ten years ago, Lew’s girlfriend Krystal asked if I wanted to go to the top of the Golden Gate Bridge. Did I! I had connections. First, I was born in San Francisco; second, my dad had walked out to the south tower on a wooden walkway above the net when the bridge was under construction in 1934. Krystal knew the bridge’s resident architect, and she and Lew had been to the top already. In mid-September I got a call and took off to meet Krystal and Bob in the parking lot on the San Francisco side. We rode in a little electric vehicle out to the south tower, and inside ascended in a tiny elevator, three of us crammed in, to the bottom plate of the top horizontal strut of the tower. From there it was a metal ladder to the top and Bob let me go first. I pushed open the hatch, climbed out, and was stunned. I was 700 feet above my hometown, seeing it from the top of this beautiful structure built 65 years earlier. It was a warm night, and we hung around up there for about 45 minutes, until the sun went down. It was surprisingly comfortable, at that height. The only scary part was when I walked out on an open-mesh metal walkway and looked down through my feet at cars 300 feet below.

Every single time I go over the bridge, or see it from the city, I think of that night.

This was the very first time I used a digital camera.

The panorama/collage is actually a 360, with Marin on the left, SF on the right. (Panoramas are way easier to do now, 10 years later.)

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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