Half Life 2's first real puzzle (Spoilers)

As I begin my first official trek through this classic series, I stumbled upon what seems like HL2's first real puzzle.
The puzzle occurred during the Route Kanal section and consisted of wandering around two large rooms until you found a semi-hidden valve (get it?).  Once the valve was released and the rooms were flooded you had to figure out how to access the final corridor.  The problem was, the water level wasn't quite high enough to reach the corridor by swimming.  Or was it?  After being stumped for maybe five minutes I swam straight down in that final room and saw this: 

Once I destroyed the cross bars with my trusty crowbar a few chunks of round wood (can't think of what they're called) floated to the surface.  I hopped onto the floating wood and jumped onto the ledge leading to the exit.  This was a simple, logical puzzle which showcased the advanced physics engine in Source.  I'm definitely excited by what's to come :) 
This is a short entry in a series of posts covering my experiences while playing through the Half Life series (starting with Half Life 2).

I've never finished Half-Life

As a PC gamer, I'm ashamed to admit it...but I have never finished the Half Life series.  I recently purchased the Orange Box on Steam (during the thanksgiving special for like $7.50) and I've committed myself to finish the entire series.  I intend to mine the game for info not currently included in the respective wiki pages and update them accordingly.  I'm planning for an awesome experience.  I'll periodically update this space with impressions.


Whiskey Media = Awesome

As a web developer and new member of the Giant Bomb community I am thoroughly impressed with the site and the staff.  There is some cutting edge tech powering this "structured wiki" and I want to dive in to the api to hopefully build some kind of useful web app.  The difficult part is coming up with an intelligent and useful idea.  At any rate I think the app will be built with Google's App Engine using the the same framework (Django) used to build Giant Bomb.  Wish me luck :)