Friday–10 February 2017

Long day yesterday. Took Pam to the airport so she could visit the new granddaughter in CA. On the way back, some heavy rain around Tacoma (slow-down-to-30mph and the wipers still can’t keep up with the water). Stopped in Silverdale at The Habit (great stuff); they had a short power outage while I was finishing up the great cheeseburger. Filled up the gas tank. Headed to  WallyWorld to pick up prescriptions and a few other things. As I was getting ready to leave, got a text about the Hood Canal Bridge being closed because of high winds.

This happens when the winds on that floating bridge get above 45mph, and can be exacerbated by higher tides. That combines to put pressure of the current on the floating part of the bridge. (Years ago, that combination of things caused a section of the bridge to float away.)

Since the bridge was between my current location and home, I knew there would be a long wait to get home. I’d usually take the long way around Hood Canal (head south then over to Highway 101 north), which is about a ‘three hour tour’. Nice scenery, so not too bad.

Except there was a landslide across 101 near Hoodsport (south end of Hood Canal), so there was no telling when that would be fixed. So I resigned myself to an extended wait. I headed the back way to Port Gamble (right next to the bridge); that would put me close to the head of the line if/when the bridge opened – instead of waiting for a 6 mile backlog to filter across the bridge when it opened.

So, I parked next to the Port Gamble Cemetery – an open spot with few trees; since trees across roads or falling branches are not a good thing to be next to during high winds. Got quite windy; winds 25-30, with a few gusts that appeared to be 50+mph. And my view included the wind-whipped whitecaps on the Canal.

I got there about 2pm. The bridge opened at 830pm. A long wait, but I had an ebook to read, and stayed warm in the car. Finally got home about 900pm. Discovered there had been a power outage while I was gone (caused by a tree across the road home near here taking out a power line), but the lights were on when I got home.

This morning, rain (heavy at times), with another wind advisory. High winds have stopped ferry service near here. Getting gusts to 25mph here at home (my place is sort of wind-protected; the winds will be higher out on the Puget Sound). I suspect another closure of the Hood Canal Bridge, so today am staying home, hoping the lights stay on.