Proof That It Works!

Homeland Security is focusing on the lesser danger: 2001 is the only year in history in which more people here were killed by Islamic terrorists than dogs.


Oh, my goodness, every time i do a good deed, i get paid back several fold immediately.  Here’s yet another instance.

Last Sunday i kindly took my friend Christian along to the Marin Farmers’ Market so i could introduce him to the market and to some of my favorite vendors.

Well, we both had a good time, me because i got to show him to my vendors and he because he kept running into Francophones he knew, and it was like old home week.  Not, of course, that i didn’t also enjoy trying to resurrect my French.

So i got a great time out of that.

Oh, but it got better.  As we were leaving the market Christian wondered whether we might take a detour on the way home and stop by the Northwestern Pacific drawbridge i’d told him about at the mouth of the Petaluma River.  Sure, it’s a fascinating bridge, and i’ve written about it on several occasions even though i’ve yet to see it closed.

So i cut east on CA 37, pulled off at Black Point on Harbor Dr., turned right on Bay Canyon Rd, crossed the railroad tracks and hooked an immediate left onto little Beattie Ave.  Some avenue, the thing is semi paved and only about a hundred yards long until it passes through a cluster of houses and deadends at the railroad tracks.  Ignore the Private Road sign because it isn’t.

We got out and scrambled up the steps to the tracks, walked down 30 yards to the Keep Out signage at the beginning of the bridge (which is valid since this is the railroad’s bridge), where i left Christian to venture farther while i gimped back to the car.  I’d barely got settled when a pickup pulled up behind me and a man got out, climbed up the stairs, and disappeared down the tracks toward the bridge.  Strange, i thought, since he didn’t seem to have a camera with him and who else would go out there?

I pondered this for a couple of minutes, got out of the car, and immediately noticed that the pickup was equipped fore and aft with those adapters that would let it ride on railroad tracks.  Omigod, he works for NWP and he’s either going to perform some barehanded maintenance, or he’s the bridge tender.

I scrambled up the steps to discover Christian approaching.  Yep, it was the bridge tender and the train is coming.

My feathers drooped as it swept me that this sure was a fine day not to have brought a single camera with me.  Luckily, Christian has one of those smart phones with a camera in it, so he was able to take a video as we sat there beside the tracks marveling as the bridge slowly swung closed and then the train rumbled past and over the river.

Here’s a still shot he took as the bridge was beginning to close.

NWP drawbridge opening at the mouth of the Petaluma River

And here’s the excellent video he made.  Do click on that link and turn on the audio, as his narrative adds to the experience of watching the bridge and the train.  Yes, you do have to sign up for Dropbox to see it, but they don’t ask for a bunch of personal info on you.

If this post whets your appetite for bridges, you might want to click around in my Bridges menu.  Most particularly in The Bridges of the Petaluma to see more photos of this drawbridge.

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