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Guess We Should Always Use Nav

December 21, 2018

Round about this time a year ago, I wrote a journal entry about how I hadn’t posted the day before due to a winter storm that knocked out our power and internet. Today, I am writing an entry that will be about how I didn’t post yesterday due to a wind storm. This year’s storm wasn’t on our mountain, though. This storm was in western Washington and kept us from getting home until well after midnight.

Our plan was to get up, get ready, go to the hospital to see how Joan was doing, and as long as she was stable, head home in time to get through the Seattle area before evening rush and over the pass before the snow in the forecast started. The first few parts of that went well. Joan was resting comfortably when we arrived and definitely much improved from the day before when she woke up, so we felt okay about going home.

As we had made our way to the hospital that morning, we saw plenty of debris, mostly small stuff, from the wind that had been roaring and gusting for hours. (In an unfortunate concurrence of events, it was recycling and trash pickup day in Kathy’s neighborhood, so we’d had to pick up glass from a bottle than blew or rolled down from a neighbor’s and broke behind our truck —Kathy had earlier picked up and brought in all her recyclables, though her trash can was nowhere to be found. It was still windy when we left, but we didn’t think anything of it other than how it would probably lower our gas mileage getting home.

We stopped for gas then headed south under cloudy skies, the truck getting buffeted by periodic gusts but nothing too crazy. Then, about 10 miles down the freeway, we rounded a curve and saw brake lights ahead. Traffic slowed to a crawl. Mr. Karen got on his found to find that the freeway was closed ahead due to downed trees and power lines. It never occurred to me to check for that before we set out, and we weren’t using any navigation system since we knew where we were going. And now here we were, stuck in stretch with miles between exits. Traffic was creeping along slowly but very very slowly. At one point, I saw other drivers turning around in the median, and Mr. and I considering doing the same but a) it’s illegal and b) there aren’t any great alternate routes. If I had know what was ahead, I would have done it and risked the ticket. Even a not great alternate route had to be better than creeping forward a few car lengths then stopping dead for minutes at a time over and over again until my frustration was near maddening and my bladder was near bursting.

So close yet so far

Taking photos at intervals and changing lanes every so often did little to distract me. All traffic was forced off at the next exit, then all traffic was forced in one direction down two lane roads with four way stops (no police to direct traffic and smooth the way). We deviated from the consensus detour to find a place to pee in a little town east of the freeway, then had a challenge getting back to the freeway through a maze of some closed streets and several dark traffic lights. By the time we got back on, we’d lost three hours, which meant we both hit Seattle area rush and had to go over the pass in the dark after the temperature had dropped and the snow had started falling. We made it through, but it wasn’t fun.

I’m hoping to have some fun later today on all the snow that fell while we were gone (I think it’s a couple feet judging by the build up on our balconies).


On the 20th of December in 2017: Stormy Weather
2016: Free Lunch
2015: Night Skiing
2014: In Which the Day Gets Away from Me
2013: WDW Day 4: Studios and Magic Kingdom
2012: It’s the Lazy Woman Who Works the Hardest
2011: What’s Inside
2010: Reddit
2009: A Tale of Two Cameras
2008: A Simple Request
2007: Messy Is as Messy Does & Festive
2006: Restaurant Critic Time
2005: Welcome to Where?
2004: Cheater’s Compass
2003: Soon the Sun Will Be Up
2002: One Girl, All Alone

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