The Spectacle at the Gate

April 17, 2015 | By | Reply More

Golden_Fog,_San_FranciscoThe most spectacular show put on by the fog takes the place at the narrows of the Golden Gate.

For a close view drive to Vista Point, overlooking the bay just north of the bridge. Go there at the beginning of a weekly fog cycle – about noon on a summer day when the vapor makes its first appearance after a several day absence.

Then you command a view comparable to that from the lookout point at the brink of Niagara. Standing in the sun, you face a river of fog that may be a mile wide and hundreds of feet deep.

Here funneled winds whip through the narrow strait which accelerated speed and turbulence, and the fog, which elsewhere moves in at a rate of then to twenty miles per hour, here seems to double its pace. In the course of an hours, a million tons of water vapor will float past in front of you to the accompaniment of a foghorn chorus.

Most of the bridge is obscured. Streams of southbound automobiles move down the approach ram, out onto the deck, and disappear in the moving various. The bright red top of the north tower rises above the fog river, appearing incredibly gigantic, detached as is from all visible connection with land or sea.

Occasionally, through the drifting vapors, the entire tower and the deck beneath it come into view. In front of it pass swiftly floating masses, banners, streamers, and swirling wisps that sift through the pattern of cables like billowing smoke.

To your right, just north of the span, seething vapors appear over the top of a ridge, boiling up from the windward side like a steam from the nether regions.

There the sudden change in the direction of the air currents creates a myriad of volatile fog shapes which shoot high into the sunlit air like foam from bursting breakers.

Lower layers of the fog flow over the top of the ridge in intermittent streams, then fall slowly down the Cliffside.

Halfway down the slope swirls of the falling vapor leap out from the cliff, hit the bridge deck and the tops of moving cars, rebound in long curves over the east rail, then continue to plunge toward the bay, tumbling, eddying, and billowing like the spray of a mountain waterfall.

Adrift from Simon Christen on Vimeo.

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Category: Curiosities, Fog City - City of Fog

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