Saturday, January 03, 2009

Take the Long Way Home

You may remember that Supertramp hit from their 1979 album Breakfast in America.

This post has nothing to do with that.

Instead, this really is the long way home. We were supposed to travel from Seattle to Wenatchee on New Year's Day to see my in-laws. But the weather said otherwise and we were stuck in Seattle waiting for Snoqualmie Pass to reopen.

I woke up Friday morning to rain and snow in Seattle and a report of the pass being open but chains required and a notice that said "the DOT may close Snoqualmie Pass at any time for avalanche control."

I do not have the best of luck when it comes to making bets. If I bet that the pass would remain open, the DOT was sure to close it just before we got there and we'd have to sit for who-knows-how-long. So, not wanting to camp out in spare bedrooms and couches another day, and really feeling antsy about being away from home, I opted to take the long way home.

This meant a 3-1/2 hour drive down I-5 to Portland (where we counted a dozen or more weather-related accidents), across I-84 through the Gorge to Umatilla (which, as a side note, means passing the town of The Dalles [rhymes with gals] and West The Dalles), up through the Tri-Cities and then into Spokane. We left at 7:10, and arrived at 5:15. We were all beat.

We did stop at Multnomah Falls for some photo ops (which I will post after I get home), and we gave The Kid some serious drive time. She drove from Boardman, OR, all the way to Spokane (about 3-1/2 hours all told). She got to drive on some compact snow & ice, through some slush, through a confusing city, and on snowy and icy roads during rush hour. She was a little frazzled at the end, especially after dealing with spinning tires on an icy, uphill S-curve, but she did great for a first time winter driving experience.

We filled up the gas tank and then spent the night with friends. And now, people are slowly moving, waking up, showering, packing, and getting ready for the next leg of the journey. The weather today is delightful -- 14 and sunny clear blue skies.

After yesterday, the trip home should be cake.


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