Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Rats...Part II

Monday lived up to my expectations. Snow in this region is a rarity, especially this early in the year. And, invariably, the last few have hit in the middle of the work day. The mad rush to get home before it gets worse begins, and soon the streets are jammed with desperate commuters. The snow gets packed into ice, and before long the streets are blocked with vehicles which have lost all traction and spun out. King County Metro's famed articulated buses begin articulate at the wrong times as the bus slides across the ice, soon blocking multiple lanes where it comes to a rest. Throw in a few questionable decisions by WSDOT, and soon the entire Puget Sound Region is gridlocked.

I left work at 3:30, hoping for the best. By 5pm, despite attempting several routes, I was little over a mile away from work, which meant that I had another 32 miles left to cover. I leave you to do the math. Throwing in the towel, I turned around, and went back. Better to be productive there, than idling in the pickup. Shortly after I arrived, a co-worker showed up, having arrived at the same conclusion.

DN1 works in Seattle. She gave up trying to get home, and headed to spend the night at the home of a friend who lives near where she works. She was involved in a minor 5 car fender bender. No one was hurt, no one got mad, and the Police Officer who responded declared that no one was at fault. It was just time, place, and circumstance.

Andy, who lives in Seattle, got into a minor scrape himself. He has an excellent take on the experience.

At 10pm, I decided to give it another go. I find myself stuck in Renton briefly, but after a quick map review, I negotiated some side streets to an arterial road which was only lightly populated.

I arrived home shortly before midnight. Well worth the wait.

It should be noted that the 1999 Ford F150 is quite the snow machine. Put it in 4 High, and did not slip, slide, or slither once. Everyone should have one.

The commute on Tuesday was a breeze, as many folks chose to stay home.

There, are, of course, the folks who are up in arms over the gridlock. "How could this happen?" they wail. "Why didn't somebody do something?" they bemoan.

To me, it's just a day in the life. One long night is not the end of the world. If this is the worst I experience, then it will have been a very good week. Other parts of the world get far worse than this, so we have nothing to complain about in our neck of the woods.

I did find it to be bit nippy last night, though.


Andy said...

Yeah, buddy. We're not really used to this kind of cold, are we? I am about to head out on foot to buy a coat for my poor, short-haired dog (I may post on that soon), and a bottle of something to warm the soul. Oh, and bucket to brine the turkey in.

alison said...


Deb said...

Went through a couple of those when I lived just outside of Vancouver. No sense wankin', turn around, wait it out and then proceed.
Glad to hear that everyone came through relatively unscathed.

Buckskins Rule said...

Andy: No, but I'm sure we'll survive. Picked up Alaskan Amber Winter Brew for the same purpose. I'm curious what "spruce tips" add to the brew.

Alison: Good to hear from you! Being clueless about twitter I wasn't sure how to find you.

Deb: The first day is the bad one. Once the stuff has settled it could keep snowing for all I care. Although it could get a little closer to 30F for my blood.

Andy said...

Crud, BR! Dude, I reckon this will pass...but I'd have just called in "well."

"Hey, I'm no broken bones, or frostbite, or damage to my, I'm just staying here."

I lived in REAL snow country for a while...and there's your difference. REAL snow country is prepped for REAL snow, so this kind of thing doesn't's all handled by traffic time.

Same thing happens down here in NW Louisiana. We get just the occasional ice storm, so the whole place falls apart when we do. But to me it's like for you, "just a day in the life."

Shoot! We've got it so good that we ought to be ashamed...

Hey man...have a great Thanksgiving!

sweetpea said...

Glad you made it safely.
I love my F-150, gets me through anything.
Have Happy Thanksgiving.

Andy said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Dave!

Buck said...

OK... how'd I miss this? I guess I'm just too danged poor to pay attention...

12 degrees is COLD, I don't care where ya are. And like L-Andy, I've lived in serious snow country and places where people get heart attacks if the lawn turns white. I much preferred serious snow country when it came to driving... with the possible exception of the year's first snowfall. People seem to forget how to drive in it over the summer... which ALWAYS made me scratch my head in wonder.

Lisa said...

the same thing happens here, Wash D.C., as soon as the snow hits asphalt...people freak! You could not find a gallon of milk,toilet paper or bread in a 50+ mi. radius!! its crazy, =)

Jessica said...

Since people here forget how to drive in rain every year, I would hate to see what would happen if it snowed.

Catastrophe for sure.

Not having ever had the pleasure myself of driving in the white stuff, I think I would wuss out and stay home. :)

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