Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Into the mist

                                                    The fog comes
                                                    on little cat feet.

                                                    It sits looking
                                                    over harbor and city
                                                    on silent haunches
                                                    and then moves on.

                                                                      Carl Sandburg

Fog has been the rule of the last few days in the deep, deep ditch where I work.  The above photo is not mine but taken from a travel site for India, of all places.  But fog is fog, and the trees in the photo look a lot like the oaks that dot the landscape down here.  In California's Great Central Valley, the tule fog, which appears in late fall and lasts well into February, can be brutal, and numerous deadly car accidents are proof enough.  We actually have "fog delays," days when the start of the school day for children is set back two or three hours because of the traffic risks.  Visibility can be virtually nothing, forty or fifty feet at times.  The college where I teach has no delays, and I'm sure many of the delays for the K--12 schools sometimes end when fog is still a problem, so I wonder how much good the late start times do, but they are a quirky feature of life in the San Joaquin Valley.

I made my valiant descent to the college yesterday, but the light was rather flat from high clouds, so I didn't take any photos. (An earlier post has pictures.)  I descended through clear, fairly warm air, but the moisture gods had other plans.  Eventually I ran into the dreaded tule fog late in the ride with only a few miles to go.  The temperature plummeted, moisture clouded my glasses that regularly needed to be wiped by my numb, gloved hands.  There's something especially debilitating about cold, damp fog.  It's better than outright rain, I supposed, but it shrivels the spirit, and I feel like folding back into myself.  It's tough riding, and I was glad to pull into the meager sanctuary of my cave-like office.  I share the cell with another instructor, but he doesn't show up until the afternoon on Mondays and Wednesdays, so I had time to change, warm up, get some more coffee in my system, and get my day on the road.  Unless I get lucky next week, this may be the last ride to the college until the tule fog season is over.  It's hard and dangerous riding.  Prudence is the better part of valor, eh?


  1. I hope you know that people are looking in even when they don't comment :0)

  2. Ps choosing Google Account doesn't seem to allow a comment to be posted

  3. Hey, Dex: Yeah, I figure that's often the case. I've been way busy with end-of-semester work, AND I lost my camera (grrrrr...). I'll be back posting soon.

    Thanks for checking in.