Washed Out

This post was published more than a few years ago (on 2004-07-28) and may contain inaccurate technical information, outmoded thoughts, or cringe takes. Proceed at your own risk.

So, this evening (or... I suppose now it's "this morning") I was working late getting map animations done for a show we're producing for The History Channel, and feeling a bit peckish, I decided to venture out for some fast food. I got to where I normally turn onto Sligo Creek Parkway, and the gates were closed for some reason. So, I went up and around, and tried to take a few side streets instead to get to the main road, but I found myself back on Sligo again, which is not exactly what I had intended, but since I was there, I went with it.

First sign of trouble was a small bridge I crossed, which had small chunks of concrete torn up and randomly deposited on it, so I crossed with caution. I had the windows down while listening to a replay of the Kojo Nnamdi Show, and soon I could hear the sound of rushing water. I slowed down, and in the periphery of my high beams, I could see a torrent, nearly overflowing the banks of Sligo Creek. I don't think I've ever seen it with such a fierce current.

I continued on, dodging branches and silt and chunks of gravel until I got to the intersection with the main road. I saw flares set up in the oncoming lane, preventing folks from driving onto the Parkway, but as I got closer, I saw a figure waving me back--- perhaps a police officer--- and gesturing to the debris in front of him. From 500 feet away, all I saw was a couple-inch-thick layer of sand and silt, which I would think I could have driven over with care, but he waved me back all the same. I called out to him for a suggestion of how to get off the road I was currently on (and assumedly should not have been able to get to in the first place), but a silent and frustrated wave was all I got in return.

I noticed then the array of wires and broken poles that leaned into the dark intersection, and realized the extent of the damage as the officer proceded to place more flares across the rest of the street. I dutifully turned around, commisserated momentarily with the driver behind me--- "But my house is right there!!" she cried--- and drove on, back across the cratered bridge (which looked worse in this light), and eventually back to work.

Sometimes I feel like the Hawk, just tryin' to get a cappuccino.