I had the opportunity to go on an exclusive tower tour on the Golden Gate Bridge while I was in California. 15 minutes prior to the tour the fog was still hanging around the tops of the towers so it looked liked the tour might be cancelled. At the last minute the sky cleared and we were good to go!
I was accompanied by another guest, our Golden Gate Bridge employee sponsor (my wonderful cousin) and a bridge safety supervisor. We checked in at the security desk, signed waivers that included not posting any photos online from the tour (due to security issues), and were issued hard hats. After a quick walk across a small portion of the bridge to the South tower the bridge supervisor unlocked a heavy iron door that led to the inside of the tower. You should have seen the strange stares from the people visiting the bridge as we stepped into the tower and locked the door behind us.
Once inside the tower, we took a very small phone-booth-sized elevator to the top of the tower. On the way up I got to marvel at many of the 600,000 rivets that are part of a single tower of the bridge. Each rivet was white-hot when it was pounded into each hole, fusing itself with surrounding steel as it cooled. I can somewhat imagine the incredibly dangerous and laborious work that was involved in building the bridge. I have the deepest respect for the builders of this bridge.
The view from the top was absolutely stunning! Looking down to the bridge deck below with the sweeping main cables and guide cables was an incredible site. The views of San Francisco, the bay and surrounding area was so beautiful. While we where there, a massive oil tanker passed under the bridge on it’s way to oil refineries. Tiny sail boats raced on the water below. We thought we saw a raft (group) of sea lions swimming out to sea. It was an experience I’ll never forget.
A huge thanks to my cousin for making this happen!