|San Francisco's Famous Hopper's Hand|
My adventure was just under 7 miles and involved touching the hands about 1/3 of the way through. Starting at the corner of Van Ness and Bay St., I ran straight through Fort Mason and passed Crissy Field to Fort Point. At Fort Point, I reached the end (just under the Golden Gate bridge) and gave the hands a high five. From there I turned around and ran up the stairs that lead to the Golden Gate bridge. I ran along the Golden Gate bridge (another must do if you live in SF or are planning to visit) and took in the spectacular views. At the turn around point, I ran back across the bridge and completed by route by following the same path back. If you plan to try this, you should try to do it early in the afternoon. The Golden Gate bridge is usually saturated with tourists and on a clear day, between the bicyclists and pedestrians, it can be a little difficult to maintain your pace.
So, what are Hopper's Hands exactly? Well, as you can see from the picture, they are a pair of hands. Not shown in the picture are the sets of paws located below them that can be used for you pet to touch. The hands were named in honor of one of the Golden Gate bridge's iron workers. Ken Hopper was an iron worker who not only worked on the dangerous bridge but also took part as a volunteer to aid those sad and lost souls who went to the Golden Gate bridge looking for an exit to this life. He talked several out of jumping and in time, these volunteers were recognized by having the plaque of hands created.
Today, the plaque remains as goal for runners and walker alike. Every day, you see the runners go and touch the hands. It's become a symbol to keep moving and a way to inspire oneself to finish.