Bald Eagle Traffic Jam

Traffic inched across the Bay Bridge. It moved slower than when the bridge is raised for boats to sail through. That’s slow.

The word is out on this region. In 21 years living on the Oregon Coast, I have never seen the volumes of tourists and traffic as I have seen this summer. It’s certainly time to leave.

I was sandwiched between a log truck and RV and listening to the Bangles harmonize. The tide was out to the extreme and it was glistening mud flats everywhere.

What was the holdup? At the turnaround in Astoria, all was moving well. I could also see traffic moving fine in Warrenton, once across the bridge. There were no flashing lights or sirens.

The Bangles sounded glorious. I glanced down to mudflats on the west side of the bridge and beheld, one, two, five, ten, 15, 20, 25 bald eagles standing in the mud, perched on logs, or flying around. It barely seemed believable. It gave me instant vertigo.

I looked around at people in their vehicles. Everyone was watching the free eagle drive-in movie, and filming it or taking photographs, even the long haul trucker. They had brought summer traffic on the Bay Bridge to a complete standstill but nobody seemed particularly distressed—once they saw the movie, a movie they’ll never see again for the rest of their lives.

There is hope for us yet in that bald eagle traffic jam. I could feel it.

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