“Wicked” – Bay Bridge, San Francisco, CA
For a good laugh at my expense, keep reading. In July, my wife (Amy) and I took a short trip to San Francisco. Mostly for fun, partly for photography. I have wanted a Bay Bridge shot since I saw Toby Harriman’s and Lincoln Harrison’s takes from a couple years ago. I asked around and got some details on how to get down there. Didn’t sound bad at all…jump over the guardrail, walk down a sandy trail and voila, you’re there! You can’t park anywhere close by and aren’t allowed down there, so I asked Amy to drop me off a little south of the bridge overpass. I immediately jumped the railing and descended into the woods. After I was out of sight, I realized I was much farther away from the spot I intended to shoot from than I anticipated. Oh well, no biggie. The terrain wasn’t that bad, just required climbing/falling through plenty of brush and vines. My tripod worked quite nicely as a bushwacker. I arrived at my spot about 30 minutes later and muttered to myself that the directions I received could have used a little polishing. It was all good though, the close up view of the Bay Bridge and San Fran was worth the trouble. I shot for an hour and then stumbled upon the sandy trail that led right up to the road…okay the directions weren’t that bad after all.
I was filthy after scrambling around down there, so I decided to hop in the shower when we got back to the hotel. I noticed my tripod was dirty and could use a rinse, so I brought it into the shower with me…you know, to kill two birds with one stone? Amy happened to walk in after this, and yep, first thing out of her mouth was, “why are you showering with your tripod?” I assured her that this was normal, all photogs do this and it’s important to keep your tripod clean. Anyone that can confirm this, please speak up. And that was the end of it. Or so I thought…
A couple days later I notice an itching coming from an area you don’t want itching. After closer inspection I see that I have a spotty, itchy rash all over my, umm, privates. WHAT THE $%@#?!?!? What did I pick up in San Francisco? I immediately begin racking my brain for an explanation. Did I use a toilet that was THAT dirty? Impossible. Within a couple hours I see a similar rash spreading on my face. Not good. Probably just a fluke. Next day I wake up and the rash has spread to my legs. My stomach. My feet! Ahhh! Then it dawns on me. I do some quick online searching and sure enough…Yerba Buena is covered in poison oak. Poison oak that I obliviously climbed through, over and under for 30 minutes and then spread all over myself by rinsing my tripod down. Relief floods over me. This won’t be bad, it will be gone in a couple days! Nope, not even close. Orals steroids, topical steroids, two doctor visits and 4 weeks later…I am proud to announce that I am finally poison oak free! Gotta do what ya gotta do to get the shot!
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