I think it was April 2014. I was asleep. Suddenly I was awakened, not by any noise, but by the noiselessness that meant the electricity had gone out. I sleep with a white noise machine and a humidifier. I waited. It would either come right back on or… Then it hit. A loud rush down the country road in front of my house, a road that lined up between the mountains and the ocean some 45 miles away, a passage way for wind and storms. A rush then a bang. Never had I heard wind like that. 30 mph. 40 mph. 50 mph. Sure. What was THIS?
I got up and went back to the tedious and consuming job that was my life right then — packing and then getting ready for school. At 6:30 I headed down the mountain to school. Along both sides of the freeway were semi-trucks. The big illuminated sign let everyone know that the winds over the pass were too high for any high profile vehicles. I’d seen that many times before. Fire danger was probably off the charts, too.
“Gusts up to 70mph were recorded overnight on top of Cuyamaca Peak.” My hood. Roofs were blown off barns, barns were blown over, cattle were killed by flying debris and I knew I’d gotten off lucky with the escape of a few roof shingles.
Where I live now, the San Luis Valley, is famous for wind, too, especially in spring. Wind here has the great feature of being “visible.” Vachel Lindsey’s poem, “Who has seen the wind, neither you nor I, but when the trees bow down their heads, the wind is passing by” could be questioned here. In March 2015 I got to see an incredible thing. The wind was blowing from the east, pushing a wall of dust from the newly ploughed fields across the valley toward my town. Dustless wind blowing from the west hit that wall of dust and held it there in a standoff. And here it is. 🙂