15 December 2020

Sky Star

The mountain came to Mohammed in the form of the Sky Star‘s arrival in San Francisco. It had previously been installed in Louisville, Norfolk, and Cincinnati, where it was wildly popular. It will stay here only a year, so go ahead and ride it. If you’re not here in SF, watch for it to arrive near you. That said, it isn’t exactly cheap – the ten-minute ride costs $18 for adults and $12 for children and seniors, but I thought I got my money’s worth.

Actually, it’s been here since March, but the opening was slowed by the pandemic. The gondolas are quite comfortable and seat up to six, but don’t worry. You are not jammed in with strangers but rather are grouped by party. I rode it with just my friend Bob in our gondola and loved it. Not that the ride was all that dramatic or, despite the height, frightening. Rather, what I most liked about it was the serenity as it gently and smoooooothly rotated me 150 feet into the sky. The only jerky part was whiplashing my neck around to take in the 360 degree views from the East Bay to the Farallones and back. And yes, it was quite nice to look down at the De Young museum’s observation tower. Scurry around, Earthlings.

I wasted a lot of time during the all-too-brief ride taking photos of the various views and, you know how I am, of the wheel’s engineering. Wasted because when I went to suck the photos off my camera’s chip, it was empty. Just another tiny little switch somewhere somehow switched wrong, an increasingly common occurrence. And not just in camera settings.

Fortunately, my Bob came through for me with the same sort of shot that I thought I was taking. No need for a photo of the wheel from afar because the web is full of ’em.

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