Oct 7, 2007

POINT DEFIANCE, Washington –  A wrong turn funnels me over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge en route to Dive for the Cure (DFC). Fab. Now I'm late and out a $3 toll. Stupidity tax...

I ring my buddy Jackie: "go on without me."

"Don't have to. The explosion delayed everything."

Hang on. Explosion?

Later all the details emerge. A foundry tanker-truck blew yesterday afternoon, igniting thousands of gallons of propane. The plume of fire rose 1,000 feet, according to some reports. Four people were hospitalized and traffic snarled for miles with Highway 16 closed. The DFC organizers couldn't reach the shop with the safety equipment.

I slalom down the hill to Owen's Beach. Sure enough, several dozen people are milling by the picnic tables, slightly shell-shocked.

"Ready to hit the water, girl?" Jackie grins. "The current's kicking up. Should be a wild ride."


  1. I made a similar wrong turn onto the Verrazano Bridge once when taking someone to JFK Airport. $4.50 mistake. Ouch! I feel your pain.

  2. And on an airport run, no less. You're doing a good turn and traffic flow hijacks a fiver.

    Cruel fate.