Sutro Baths – Night

by Mark Hahn

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It’s a cold night with an icy wind. My metal tripod wants to slip from my freezing hand and crash onto the rocks below. The crooked sign reads, “PEOPLE HAVE FALLEN TO THEIR DEATHS FROM THIS POINT.”

We find a break in the fence and follow one of the many little winding paths — some lead to nowhere. The grass is dead and dry. The thin soil covering the rocky earth beneath our feet is slick and perilous. We continue downward, drawn by the sound of the waves below — always, drawn to the waters edge.

On a broken landing, we have a good vantage point to view the ruins of the baths lying all around us. Waves crash over the rocks and threaten our gear. I think this is where a peace protesting Maude tricks Harold’s uncle into abandoning his pursuit of Harold’s military career. Harold and Maude is Kim’s favorite movie from when she was a kid. She grew up in San Francisco and this is our first trip there together.

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