On the morning of Tuesday, February 13th, 1979, a gale force wind sunk the Hood Canal Bridge.  It was a pontoon bridge that connected those of us on the Olympic Peninsula with the east side of Puget Sound.

Monday night, when I went to bed, a wind was blowing: nothing new in Port Townsend.  During the night it got stronger until there was no hope of sleeping.  It howled.  It raged.  It screamed.  It made the house shake.  I actually thought my house might blow away.  After some fitful sleep in the wee hours, I was relieved when I awoke to find I was still inside my house, and it was in the same place it had been the day before.

I turned on the radio.  It was then I learned that the wind had reached 85mph with gusts to 120, and that the Bridge was gone.  I had a late afternoon appointment in Seattle.  Without the bridge, the only way I could get to the other side of the Sound, except by driving all the way down through Tacoma, was to take the ferry across to Whidbey Island and then the Mukilteo Ferry, at the south end of Whidbey, to the mainland.  The wind had lessened, meaning it was now only 80mph instead of 85.  I thought I should leave early; trees might be blown across the road, and the ferries might be slowed or stopped.

I got on the Whidbey ferry at noon.  The wind was still so intense that the ferry could not go directly east to the island .  It had to go around Point Hudson and north, all the way along the shore to Point Wilson before it made a hairpin turn to labor its way to the Whidbey landing at Keystone.  On the way to Point Wilson, the waves were breaking over the upper deck.  It took an hour and a half to get to Keystone, usually a half hour trip.  It was announced over the loud speaker that there would be no more crossings that day.  I had squeaked onto the last ferry.

The Mukilteo crossing was shorter and easier.  I stayed overnight in Seattle. The next day, the Whidbey ferry was still not running, and since the Hood Canal Bridge had not risen from the dead, I drove the entire distance around the Sound.

What can I say about such an experience?   I say Thank God for large blessings: when I returned, my valiant, stalwart house was still unbowed before the wind.