Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

October 22, 2013 at 9:50am

Tacoma Fog City

Chambers Bay Golf Course - or is it? Photo Credit: Kim Thompson

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I like to blame the creepiness of fog on 1980. Why? Because 1980 was the year that horror filmmaker John Carpenter's The Fog hit theaters. Killer ghost/leper/zombies appear out of an eerie fog and terrorize the citizens of a small coastal city. As a very gullible, highly fearful child with a wild imagination, I began to see South Sound fog in a whole new light, especially this time of year when it's thick and lingering, as it has been this past week.

Of course back then, it didn't help that the old, drafty and creaky house I grew up in sat atop 30th Street hill in Old "Fog" Town in Tacoma at the edge of one of the entrances to the gulch. The gulch was awful during my childhood: dark, dank and heavy on the scariness. Throw misty and spooky fog in there, and that's a recipe for horror to this kiddo!

Oh, and did I mention that my bedroom was the site of the previous owner's death? Triple whammy, Tacoma!

OK, so now that I am a reasonable adult (well, a little), fog shouldn't be unnerving, right? Well, you be the judge. Check out these Tacoma foggy locales and see what you think.

Ruston Way/top of 30th Street hill, Old Town, Tacoma

You can't see a damn thing here when it's foggy. So the creaking old docks, the splish-splash of icy bay waters, trains that you can hear but not see until it's evil-eye light bursts through the fog and it's devilish horn screams, well, that's enough for me. From the top of 30th Street hill on a foggy morning or evening, you can't see ANYTHING at the bottom. No downtown Tacoma, no tide flats, no movement, nothing. As a child, I envisioned our 1970 Buick LeSabre's brakes going out, racing us down the hill at breakneck speed, only to plunge into the fog and disappear forever.

Chambers Bay, University Place

Think about this: strange Stonehenge-ian structures poking through foggy tendrils. Shadowy figures are seen from the view above (OK, they are probably joggers or golfers, but still). A Poe-esque raven caws menacingly from an invisible perch.

Foss Waterway, Tacoma

I've been on a small and vulnerable boat in the wee hours in this waterway in the fog. It's especially weird and awful on the water not being able to see anything until you are right on top of it. And worse: it's so damn still and quiet you can only hear the drone of the boat engine and your heart beating. It's the perfect scenario for a ghost pirate ship to come alongside of you and take you prisoner to the ghostly beyond.

The Tacoma Narrows Bridge, Tacoma and Gig Harbor

The "Bridge to Nowhere" is what it should be called. Even when the rest of the fog dissipates around the area, the bridge fog is the LAST to go. When you drive over Highway 16, you see the cars, one by one, disappear into it. Where do they go? Did they survive? Did they just drive into the pit of hell or a zombie land? Perhaps maybe they are being followed by the ghost of Galloping Gertie? Oh, the foggy madness!

Filed under: Holidays, Tacoma,
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