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Friday Slide Show: A Deserted Twin Peaks Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

17 April 2020

When the temperature soared into the seventies this week, we decided to jump on the bike and pedal up Twin Peaks. We wanted to see what the view looked like with the cleaner atmosphere.

Actually the views were no more crystal clear than after a storm. Having the Pacific Ocean handy makes it a breeze to clean the air. The rain washes the sky and the winds blow dry it. For one day you have clarity.

We had clarity without a storm thanks to the reduction in vehicle emissions. So it was worth the trip.

The place was deserted but not desolate.

But as we got to the hill, a city worker was closing the big yellow gates to the roadway. We asked if the road was closed to bikes and he told us we'd just have to go around the gate. So we did.

The ride up was unremarkable (we keep our nose to the asphalt grindstone anyway) but when we reached the part of the roadway normally barricaded against vehicle traffic for pedestrians and bikers, we stopped to make a panorama.

We took one shot of the city with the camera in Aperture mode to get an exposure that would work for images to the left and right. Then we set the camera to Manual mode, setting the shutter speed and aperture to the main shot so the exposure wouldn't change as we panned toward the sun.

We took just four shots from north to south.

Panorama. Four shots merged in Lightroom with a light touchup in Photoshop.

We rode to the overlook which is usually packed with cars, SUVs, tour buses and dozens of tourists, visitors and residents.

There wasn't a vehicle in the lot. And nobody looking out at the view through the blue scopes.

Even the public restrooms seemed to feel a little lonely, randomly opening and shutting their automatic doors.

We got a shot of the Golden Gate Bridge with almost no traffic on it. And the last image in the slide show you can see a roof with a map of the U.S. on it. While most of the shots are devoid of people, not all of them are.

The place was deserted but not desolate.

We'd seen people at the top of both peaks on our usual daily jaunts around the neighborhood and wondered who they might be. Now we knew. They were neighbors.

There were hikers, sometimes whole families. And skateboarders. And people on bikes, of course. Keeping their distance but getting their exercise.

What we didn't immediately appreciate as we stood looking at the city down below us was that everyone was home and downtown empty, a reverse tide at that time of day when residences are empty and downtown packed.

It looked the same but, as you may have heard, appearances are deceiving.

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