Friday, February 01, 2008

Buried in Quicksand? How About Snow?

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Snoqualmie Pass, photo by WSDOT

Probably my biggest fear in life is being in a car traveling over snowy and icy highways. It terrifies me. Even getting out of little old Mukilteo on Monday morning caused my deodorant to fail. On Tuesday of next week, our plan is to travel to Walla Walla to see our daughter's sophomore voice recital. My Mom is flying to Seattle from Montana to join us.

The problem is 70 miles of I-90 has been closed for three days due to snow and avalanches. They have 120 inches up there and even the ski hill is shut down. Snow has been piling up a foot a day. The loss to Seattle's economy is $20 million a day and our governor has declared a state of emergency. My nephew who is a ceramics artist and teacher, made us a sink for our powder room and at this moment it is probably sitting in a truck up on Snoqualmie Pass. At one point yesterday, Stevens Pass was closed, too, making Seattle completely isolated. I-5 to Portland is open with no problems and at this point it is looking like we will be going the long way around to Walla Walla which will take us 8 hours instead of 4 or 5. We will get there somehow--some way.

Even if they do reopen I-90 by Tuesday, the trip will be scary for me. To be honest, there is no way you can slide off the road at Snoqualmie because it will be like driving through a snow tunnel. But, the risk is that a large area of snow will slip off the mountainside burying the car. Last night at 2 AM, another avalanche hit the road and the Washington State DOT people are at a loss as to what to do. Today, I keep watching the news and the weather reports. Lucas is excited because if we do have the opportunity to drive over the pass, it will be the most snow any of us have ever seen, including my nearly 80 year old Mom.

My brain needs to turn my dread and terror into positive anticipation. Yes, I will take my flip and my digital to document the adventure.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Snoqualmie, photo from King5 Where is the highway?

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Snoqualmie, photo from King5 Steep slopes ripe for avalanche.


UPDATE: It is now Tuesday morning and yesterday after viewing the horrendous forecast, I booked us on the one hour Seattle to Walla Walla flight and we leave this afternoon. AND, it just so happens, the passed is now closed due to snow (2 to 4 feet expected in the next two days) so I made the right call.