Home > Life, Writing and Poetry > On The Road Again

On The Road Again

Our sojourn began  on Saturday, Dec. 11. We sit in the house of a writer friend and her husband, enjoying a relaxing visit and telling life tales.

Such exercises are wonderful when getting to know people  whom you’ve been talking to over the internet for a couple of years but not met face-to-face. It’s a wonderful consumption of time and energy.

On that first leg of our trip from Kalispell, Montana to Tacoma, Washington was a true test of patience and endurance. We began the morning in sunshine–cold but with sunshine.

On the first mountain test at Lookout Pass on I-90, we encountered rain,  followed by snow, then rain again, and sown. Waves of precip came our way from the west to challenge our right to be on the road during such a tumultuous month of the year. We were moving to out-run an incoming storm that would overrun us during the night if we weren’t quick to get to our destination.

Unbeknownst to us, Nature decided to advance the storm schedule and come in far sooner than anticipated. Rain pelted us across Idaho and into Washington. By the time we reached the I-90 hill at Vantage, Washington, in the dark and glaring night, snow had arrived with a vengeance.

How vengeful was it? We arrived on that worst hill in the state to see 18 inches of wet snow covering the pavement. that pavement was punctuated by cars off on the right in the ditch, cars off into the median on the left, semi drivers trying desperately to get chains on the correct tires while dodging other vehicles out of control and slipping and sliding across the hill  while moving up against the hail of monstrous snowflakes beating down on everything below.

Wind-driven blizzard snow kept the headlights busy enough to distract Sister while she steered to clear possible disaster behind one vehicle after another. Her goal was to get up the hill without anyone causing her to stop. To stop was to be stuck. We had chains, but she didn’t want to have to put them on. We would have been forced to unload part of the car to do so. Not a good idea in that mess.

For those who don’t know, Vantage Hill is ten miles long at a 6% grade. With the much snow and veteran drivers dodging beginners under these conditions wasn’t easy to predict. No snowplows cleared drifting snow or dispersed tire ruts in deep snow. It was every car/truck/vehicle for itself. Hours later we’d made the top of the hill, but the run toward the west wasn’t finished.

Moses Lake wasn’t much better, though that section was mere rain-swept highway. The same was true westward until we hit Snoqualime Pass. We hit tiny-flaked snow followed by heavy rain, while turned snow to deep slush. Driving constituted rolling on wet marbles sitting on ice and waiting to be moved around by wheels that turned.

The trip up that pass was a wonderment. The trip down was tamer. Only rain, light rain at that, met us on the downslope. Tiger Pass was heavy rain that dissipated into drizzle until we arrived at our destination. Our overnight stay was accented by 45-50 mph winds and rain.

We left Tacoma that wet morning and put ourselves on the I-5 for the trip south. Since then we’ve been through more rain, snow, rain, drizzle, light fog, heavy fog, and more rain. By the end of today, we had arrived back at our friend’s house to sunshine and 60 deg. temps.

We’ve run the gauntlet throughout that time. Now we are enjoying the quiet time and relaxing until we move further south in a couple of days.

The trip has taught us so much. The west coast is outrageously expensive for things that we can buy at home for 1/3 to 1/2 the cost. There are great people everywhere as well as those who don’t have a clue about what the smart thing to do is, and that we can laugh at the silliest things and enjoy ourselves simply by observing how people drive.

That’s my report for now. I’ve got to get a couple of other things done before a well-deserved rest in a reclined position.

Take care all, and I’ll update at the earliest time possible. Have fun  while you can and with all that you can.

A bientot,


Categories: Life, Writing and Poetry
  1. December 15, 2010 at 7:01 am

    So good to hear from you, Clauds! Thanking God for Jo and her obvious driving skills! Group hug!!

    • December 15, 2010 at 9:58 am

      Heavens to Betty and Clauds. Thank the Lord for answered prayer.
      Boy, I’ve been there and done that. Those images will never leave your brain. The makings for a good Christmas story, I’m thinking.
      Good to hear from you two. Hi Marie. ::wave::

  2. Colorado Kate
    December 15, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Claudsy! We were watching the weather reports, but we so hoped you had missed that snowstorm. Oh. My. Thank goo’ness Sister is a wonderful driver, and that you made it safely south. No more snow for a while now.

  3. Kayla
    December 15, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    Hello from Kentucky! We’ve stumbled across your blog, and are delighted to hear that you are having exciting and memorable adventure. Sounds like a wonderful excurision!

    With Love,
    Kayla Nally Cocanougher, Kandy Nally, Jewel Hardin, and Terry Dennis

    • claudsy
      December 16, 2010 at 1:05 pm

      I’m doing updates on the other blogs and the website today. Trying to catch up while we have the net. Leaving tomorrow morning for Westlake Village just north of LA to see more friends before heading to Sand Diego.

    • claudsy
      December 16, 2010 at 1:06 pm

      Heading south again tomorrow after taking care of internet business today here. We have more friends to see down by LA. Then we’ll go on to San Diego.

  4. claudsy
    December 16, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Heading south to Westlake Village tomorrow. Finishing up online stuff today and repacking car. Seeing more friends along the way. Hope everyone comes along for the ride. I’m doing updates on other blogs and the website today, too.

    See y’all later.

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