I commute to my darkroom by bus.
I take Portland's public transportation everywhere.
It was last Thursday.
It was LOVELY out - SUNNY - WARM -
It felt like summer outside.
I left early to take my film camera out - at least to capture the last three shots on my Ilford (hp5) film roll on such a nice day..
I was transferring buses on the Hawthorne Bridge and decided to detour and walk along the Eastside Esplanade for a short bit. Then, before heading back to the bus stop, I decided it would be a good idea to use the nearby porta-potty, under the Hawthorne Bridge.
Cool. I'm glad public spaces have bathrooms.
I stepped out and instantly hear some loud thumpy, pops - NOT NORMAL OR SAFE SOUNDS.
I turned around and black, roiling smoke was rolling QUICKLY toward me. Flames, VERY LARGE flames were shooting out of the middle of the black smoke! It was smoke so black you couldn't see through it. I knew I needed to move fast or I would not be able to breathe, so I ran just enough to pull out my camera (loaded - ready) and took the last three shots of the roll. (Nothing previously had inspired me enough to take any shots along the river.)
BAM! I was outta there!
You know that panic that you feel, that you should feel in dangerous situations you are not expecting?! And then you get out fine. You realize everything was fine - and then you get this laughter from the ridiculousness of your panic?!!
THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED TO ME.
And these were the best two of the last three shots. (Hope the "no injuries" report from that evening's news stays true!)
Once in awhile, well, BAM!