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3 February 2021

After publishing the morning's stories Monday, we escaped the bunker for a walk up the mountain. The city had recently announced plans to reopen the southern road up Twin Peaks after shutting it down to vehicular traffic during the pandemic for recreational use.

Sutro Tower. Nikon D300 with 18-200mm Nikkor and UV[0] filter at f8, 1/1000 second and ISO 200. Processed in Adobe Camera Raw.

We really do hate to see it open up to buses and cars again. It's been blissful to walk and bike up the hill in peace.

Vehicles aren't the only things that will be returning to the hill when the roads reopen. We're more than a little apprehensive about the return of crime to the area, too. We don't have the stats at hand, but we suspect there have been next to no robberies and no murders on the hill since the roads were closed. There were more than enough of both before.

So we didn't let the day go by without another hike up the hill.

The winter sunlight was strafing the landscape, throwing it into high contrast. For a change we didn't have the polarizer on the zoom but a UV[0] filter.

We took a lot of shots we'll talk about later but on the way back, just as we were about to descend the hill, we thought Sutro Tower looked particular striking as it pierced the clouds floating in the blue sky.

We usually focus on the natural and avoid the constructed on the hill but on this walk we did just the opposite so we took the shot.

It was quick. Just turn, see the shot, zoom out and fire.

But as we prepared to holster the camera for the walk down the hill, we did a double take. We had noticed a strange yellow blob in the sky. What's that? we wondered.

We raised the camera up to our eye and zoomed in on the blob. It was a gondola suspended by wires attached to the top of the tower. A group of workers in it were descending for lunch.

That's an act of faith, we thought. To get in that little box and trust those thin wires to carry you through the air to perch on nothing but the steel skeleton of that tower. And then to ride back down. In the wind, no less.

We wouldn't do it. Not even if you stuffed that gondola with gold.

We were happy, instead, just to have noticed it. Had we been following the flight of the crows or lining up a shot of the chert, as we usually would have been doing, we would have missed it.

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