Sunday, November 17, 2013

On Tour

I like to plan trips around my hobbies, which means I will not bother leaving Anchorage unless I can accomplish one of two things. First, continue my exploration of the artisanal pickle world, perhaps by meeting a producer, tasting product, or volunteering to shepherd free range cucumbers from their summer to winter pastures. Or second, by visiting iconic bridges. Really, other than the satisfying crunch of a perfectly brined and seasoned Kirby, does anything satisfy the soul like a beautifully designed conveyance across water?

To advance my appreciation of river crossings, I launched my Tour of Iconic Bridges back in 2011. You've probably seen my Kickstarter campaign, setup to fund my Tour (although don't think that I haven't noticed that you haven't contributed). The Tour got off to a bang-up start, with an early visit to the Tower Bridge in London.

The Tour slowed significantly thereafter due to lack of activity on my Kickstarter page, but last month I had the opportunity to visit the Brooklyn Bridge.

And now I got to visit the Golden Gate Bridge early this month, hopefully a sign that the Tour's momentum is really picking up.

With any luck, you will find the above photos inspirational, pull out your credit card, and rush to make a donation. Feel free to recommend another Iconic Bridge as a stop on the Tour at the same time. Perhaps the Trenton Makes bridge from Trenton New Jersey?

Since we were already in San Francisco to admire the bridge, C and I decided to make good use of our time and attended Alex and Daniel's wedding. They exchanged vows and then proceeded to impress us all by serving a fascinating selection of artisanal pickles at the reception. Other highlights? The chance to join the hungry crowds on Mission St. at 1 a.m. looking for burritos, stumbling upon a ukulele orchestra playing Sinatra tunes in the Presidio while hiking a big loop through the city, and realizing that the tourist zone in and around Union Square still bumps up against the city's rougher edges when gun shots rang out somewhere outside our hotel late one night. Three rapid shots, followed shortly thereafter by a flood of police cars rushing up Taylor Street. Nothing in the paper, which left me to assume that the gun play involved some dispute over an artisanal pickle sale gone bad. San Francisco's pickle mongers are, by reputation, some of the most territorial and fierce to be found. It will probably be safer to just focus on the bridges from here on out next time we travel.

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