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.