Lovely Little Expedition

If i thought he could forgive me for all my sins, i’d accept him as my personal savior in a millisecond. Of course beforehand i’d run out and commit all those sins i hadn’t thought i could get away with. Oh, but wait. Gotta rethink this. Naw, can’t do it. All my sins being instantly absolved would leave such a vast vacuum that the air rushing back in to fill it would cause a cataclysmic shock wave and wipe out vertebrate life west of the Sierra Nevada.


I had such a lovely little expedition last Wednesday that i gotta make a post of it.

See, i’d known that i needed to make another effort to find a vantage from which i could photograph from the west the NWP (Nowhere in Particular) railroad drawbridge and the still under construction massive US-101 bridge across the Petaluma River just a hundred yards apart on the southern edge of town.

My energy level was up, and the air and all had been scrubbed clean by our first little rain of the season on Sunday, so i pulled on a coat (yep, winter is on its way) and set out down Petaluma Boulevard South at 8:30 on the crisp, sunny morning.

And discovered that at the traffic circle just north of the bridges i could wind and twist my way west up the hill through a brand new upscale subdivision and then ease along a little park placed there for the upscalers (but so far without nasty LOWER CLASSES KEEP OUT signage) until i could get this vantage.

US-101 Bridge, Petaluma


And at the end of the purple flowered road i was at the brink and could get a closer look at the new highway bridge construction.

US-101 Bridge, Petaluma


And take advantage of the zoom for some construction detail.  Don’t we just love our sideways winter sun!

US-101 Bridge, Petaluma


And OK, maybe a bit hokey on the detail, but this is a fun post.  I applaud the engineers for adding some texture to what would otherwise be boring flat gray concrete.

US-101 Bridge, Petaluma


Then it got good.  This is a construction zone, so amenities like sidewalks and bike lanes have yet to be installed, and shoulders?  Oh please.  I considered just getting out onto the roadway and exercising my constitutional right to bear batteries but took a second look at the traffic whizzing past at 50 MPH on what is by now the freeway entrance to US-101 South.  Nope.

And then i looked across the road and saw that there was a bit of a shoulder over there and that in any case i’d be closer to the river.  After a minute or so there was a break in the traffic big enough for me to whirr across both lanes to the safety of that shoulder.  Unfortunately, it was completely blocked by a construction truck, but i rolled up to it and dismounted with a grin at the worker, brandishing the camera to make clear my intention of just grabbing a couple of shots.

That’s when the miracle went down.  He took pity on me and flattened himself against the truck, thus making just enough room for me to squeeze past him on the Segway.  Which i did and got my first shot of the NWP drawbridge from the west, with the sun on it to boot.

NWP Drawbridge, Petaluma


Some mechanism detail, which i just love.

NWP Drawbridge, Petaluma


Since i was on the west side, a shot of the US-101 bridge from over there.  You want something scary?  Try riding a Segway on fist-size loose gravel.  Hell, i could barely walk on that stuff, it not having been compacted at all.  The nice guy’s truck is sitting in the shade just beyond the bend in the shoulder.

US-101 Bridge, Petaluma


And underneath.  I’ve observed before that the undersides of bridges are underphotographed.

US-101 Bridge, Petaluma


Another detail.   How did i live without my zoom?

US-101 Bridge, Petaluma


And a final detail.

US-101 Bridge, Petaluma


OK, post-finally, a shot of that bridge taken a few minutes later from the D Street Bridge.  Used the zoom, of course, since it’s a couple of miles away.

US-101 Bridge, Petaluma


Yes, lots of folks fish off the banks of the river.  Actually, i’m thinking there’s no reason a Great White couldn’t just mosey up the estuary with the tide and lunch on kayakers.  You have to spit out the tough and tasteless hide, but the insides are delicious.

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  1. Rick C.
    Posted 7 November 2015 at 05:45 | Permalink

    When I read “and exercising my constitutional right to bear batteries” I burst out laughing. Nice, Matte. And GREAT photos. With all the different angles and close ups and wide shots, I feel like I was there. (I love the “mechanism detail”, too, thanks…)

    • Posted 7 November 2015 at 07:18 | Permalink

      Well, i do bear my batteries on city streets without bike lanes, but at that point Petaluma Blvd. is no longer a city street but rather a 50MPH feeder road onto the freeway. Glad you liked the line….and the photos, as I had enormous fun on that shoot. It was one of those rare days when things just jumped in front of the camera and yelled, “Take me now!” You can’t imagine my joy when i got out from behind all the beams and girders and cranes for the highway bridge and there, resplendent, was the railroad drawbridge.

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