Last Day

A bit of a synopsis of our last few days

The year of the pig. Print from the Hatch Show Print. In business since 1879. One of the oldest Letterpress printers still in business.

Well, Let’s say Goodbye would be more accurate

The Ryman Auditorium, the mother church

The back end of this establishment was visible from our hotel room. Nudie was a tailor from the Ukraine who made costumes for many performers.

Bill Monroe and Carl

I like to drive on ice! Except not in the Seattle metro area

Rippys, where our friend Lyle played for many years

A Dolly Parton outfit

Interesting art. Can you find the guitar neck? How about the saw.

Outfit by Nudie Cohn

Cumberland River after the rain that had flash flood warnings the day before

The John Siegenthaler pedestrian bridge over the Cumberland River. Saved from destruction as a historical structure. Named for John because he saved a man from jumping off the bridge when he was covering the story as a reporter.

Sunset over Tennessee

Backyard with remains of the early week snow that we missed.

Which brings us to today.

We both got up early. Carl to try to find food for our larder. We had reduced our food on hand for the week away. Only yesterday the hordes largely emptied the grocery stores getting ready for the end of the week storm. And he had to get a blood test.

I was going to go in to work with my carpooler.

The first big challenge was trying to get the car out of the driveway. There was some snow and ice by the wheels. Putting towels under the wheels finally did the trick. The car is now out of the steep driveway and onto the flat street.

I spent some time trying to chip ice off the sidewalk and front steps.

Going to work was not bad.

Work was a bit scattered, trying to go through emails, answering a few questions and putting out some actual work.

And then the snow started.

We were dismissed pretty quickly, and the office closed. We hit the road at 1:20.

Segment 1 on 228th Avenue SE

The trip started slowly. Apparently the schools let out and everyone was trying to get home before it got “bad.” Our trip has 4 segments.

Segment 1. We moved slowly along the main road, and then made the first decision to leave the main road for a secondary road, but still a main road. The main road was crowded, slow, but not too slippery.

The thing with working on top of the Sammamish Plateau is that it is a plateau. One must ascend or descend when coming or going. There are only a few choices, with varying degrees of slope and curvature. Most have at least one section greater than 10 percent slope or more.

Segment 2. Our choice took us to 212th Way SE, also known as Snake Hill Rd. The lighter traffic and leftover snow on the road made the steep curves challenging. We inched downward until a car four in front of ours just stopped in the road, without even really pulling over to the guardrail. I think the driver, a young woman, was just plain scared. This was the first place we slid while stopping. The cars went around by waiting for a break in the uphill traffic and going into their lane. It was difficult to stop and help as that would further block the two lane road.

There was another larger vehicle to pass a few curves later. Then it was our turn to slip toward a ditch, and then a guardrail. It would have been a slow speed collision with whatever eventually stopped the vehicle, but my carpooler managed to cajole the vehicle to miss everything. One more slowdown as a van headed up did a several point turn to head back down, and finally there was another car headed up, but stationary. Then we noticed the car next to the one in the road. Only it was upside down in the ditch. The people from the car were standing by the ditch, and nobody appeared frantic, so we slid on by. We finally made it down the hill and heaved a big sigh of relief.

Segment 3. East Lake Sammamish Pkwy. This is a very flat road. After a mile of light traffic we hit the backlog of cars.

I texted Carl at about 2 PM, noting I could slowly walk faster than we were moving. Then one of the cars in front of us decided to do a u-turn and head back in the direction of less traffic. Either he did not check the oncoming traffic or the oncoming driver was going way too fast, or both. Whichever it was, the oncoming driver had to swerve to avoid and ended up hitting a rockery.

About 3 PM we were still on E Lake Sammamish Pkwy in Issaquah. That was about the time Jim threw a snowball at me, in the car. Finally, about 3:40, we reached the entrance to I-90. 2 hours and 20 minutes to go about 6 miles.

Segment 4: Freeway driving. It felt like freedom, reaching speeds of 40 mph. There was some traffic, but it seemed the biggest traffic glut had already passed while we were stuck in Issaquah.

It was still snowing when I was dropped off. Carl had been busy with several of the young kids from the block.

Carl had shoveled the walk, although it was being covered behind him with fresh snow.

So we are snug and warm tonight. Our TV satellite dish is not working due to a snow and ice cover, so we are watching the Ken Burns Lewis and Clark documentary.

I heard from my carpooler that some co-workers were still trying to reach their homes, six hours after we were dismissed.

One step too far

2 Responses to “Last Day”

  1. margiegf Says:

    That trip down the hill in the ice terrifies me even just reading about it. We have some scary roads down here too since Puyallup sits in a valley with hills all around it. I live on South Hill, while my boyfriend John lives on North Hill. That’s two sets of hills to navigate. Glad you’re home safely and that you had such an interesting trip!

    • raincharm Says:

      I just don’t want to even try to drive when the forecast is for more and more. I heard Obama postponed. Our Seattle Symphony show was canceled.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: