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Sutro Via Diablo

July 27, 2009

Flicker user craigiest has some nice shots of the city from Mt. Diablo.

I took the liberty of merging them into a panorama (which is of course completely illegible thanks to the WordPress 450 pixel width limit. Do click to enlarge — especially nice if you have an 8000 pixel wide monitor).

Mount Diablo towards San Francisco Panorama

Fuzzy Highlights (keep in mind Mt. Diablo is 31 miles away from here…)

sf from sutro

I use the angle between the Transamerica Pyramid and the Bank of America building to get perspective when I’m looking at SF from a weird position. Still, I was getting seriously confused trying to figure out what I was looking at here.  This view encompasses the Mission.

sf hills from sutro

(Ok, so there’s Sutro Tower, and,um there’s Twin Peaks, I think… No, wait. What the hell is that big thing over to the left? Where’s Bernal? Potrero? Hey, I think I see Japan in the background. I need a drink.)

In today’s edition of Know Your Hills, we learn that Mount Sutro is the one to the right/north of Sutro Tower (it’s on a subhill of Sutro, Clarendon Heights, tricky!) and that Mt Davidson (the one with the cross) is actually the tallest hill in the city at 925 feet. To its right is the surprisingly high Forest Hill at 778 feet. (Hills in the rest of the city are insignificantly low. Pacific Heights?  I laugh at your 370 feet.  Russian Hill?  Come back when you break 300.)

But where is my favorite hill, Bernal Heights?

Google Maps to the rescue.  We draw lines from Mt. Diablo to the hills we can see, et voila, vectors. (Click to get a zoomable Google Map.)

diablo vectors

diablo to sf angles

Using the power of line/arrow color coordination, we can tell that Bernal is the green patch to the left of Mt. Davidson, which is certainly not what I was expecting.

Click to enlarge:

diablo sutro

The angles get really weird, but just remember that Mt. Diablo is east by northeast rather than the straight shot east as I tend to think (which is the excuse I am using if any of this is wrong).

I’d love to get a photo from Mt. Diablo using a ridiculously powerful zoom lens showing the fog curling around these hills protecting the Mission while the rest of the city is socked in. (Hint hint, Plug1.)

Anyway, the guy that started this whole damn post also has some dramatic shots of Sutro standing sentry over the city at sunset:


Even when really foggy, Sutro Tower promises not to attack the Golden Gate Bridge.  (The Bay Bridge is another matter entirely.)

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Stucco Sux permalink
    July 27, 2009 1:11 pm

    JohnnyO, you are a loon. You are also my kind of loon: mildly obsessive and utterly genius.

  2. Slappy permalink
    July 27, 2009 8:56 pm

    Very nice, thank you!


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