The Bridge at Night: Unreasonable expectations

Do you ever dream of doing something and then when it comes to fruition it isn’t quite what you were thinking it would be?

Could be buying a car or moving to a new town or getting a new job.

I’ve experienced all of those – and had varying degrees of happiness with them – and while my most recent experience with this dream wasn’t all that important, it felt like a good life lesson to remember to not build something up to unfair expectations in your head.

Titlow Beach in Tacoma offers dramatic panoramic views of the Narrows Bridge.
Titlow Beach in Tacoma offers dramatic panoramic views of the Narrows Bridge.

I’ve been to Titlow Park plenty of times in Tacoma. It is a favorite of our family – it has a playground, lagoon, miles of trails, a huge beach (with lots of rocks and little sand), train tracks (with lots of trains) and very awesome views of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

Heck, it is where Catarina celebrated her first birthday party, so it will always hold a special place in our hearts.

But I have never been to Titlow Beach at night – mainly because the park is technically closed half an hour after dusk. I really wanted to go, though, mainly because I envisioned really awesome photos of the Narrows Bridge all lit up at night.

Surprisingly my Nexus 6P cell phone took the best photo of the night. I can't imagine what a professional photographer with a good camera could've done.
Surprisingly my Nexus 6P cell phone took the best photo of the night. I can’t imagine what a professional photographer with a good camera could’ve done.

So, recently after work, my co-worker Thomas, and sister-in-law Tori headed out. It was the night of the Snow Moon, so we thought that might add to the scene.

After a rather spooky walk through the woods – including finding a photo collage of a man, woman and child on an empty bench, leading to lots of theories – we went out onto the rocky beach to make our way around the point to Hidden Beach where you get the panoramic views of the bridge.

This is the best that my digital camera could do. I'm sure I could mess with the settings, and I tried, but it's hard to do when standing on a pitch black beach late at night.
This is the best that my digital camera could do. I’m sure I could mess with the settings, and I tried, but it’s hard to do when standing on a pitch black beach late at night.

When we got there we were greeted by a very lit up Tacoma Outboard Association dock and property. It is understandably lit up because they probably deal with lots of unwanted folks walking around that area, especially with the proximity of the train tracks.

I was hoping to get a reflection of the Snow Moon in the lagoon, but failed at that also! This was also taken with my phone.
I was hoping to get a reflection of the Snow Moon in the lagoon, but failed at that also! This was also taken with my phone.

For our purposes, though, the lights on the dock meant our not very great cameras couldn’t pick up the bridge. We thought about hiking further down the beach to get past the dock, but someone had a fire going and I didn’t feel like going onto private property late at night.

Also, the Snow Moon worked against us – not sure what we were thinking – as it lit everything up so much we couldn’t even enjoy the stars.

My camera did grab this so-so picture of some nearby restaurants and apartments giving ghostly reflections on the water.
My camera did grab this so-so picture of some nearby restaurants and apartments giving ghostly reflections on the water.

So, while it was a good adventure, the purpose of the night didn’t work out.

I guess a good lesson in not setting up unreasonable explanations. Or that I need to buy a better camera.

– Craig Craker

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