On the morning of November 3rd, the reason seemed obvious. A policeman
knocked on Elizabeth's door to let her know about someone breaking into
her car that morning. While the initial reaction was "We're not going to
Florida," an improvised window made from duct tape and a Simple box
Those who know my rules of roadtripping know
that I would only stop at the most sacred of places. However, I was not
travelling alone. When in crnflkgrl's car, one stops where the
crnflkgrl stops. And one of those places would be
Stuckey's is an amazing place. I haven't been there in a long long
time. I had forgotten just how cool some of the things you can buy there
are. I bought a
cool bumpersticker and for one brief second was able to
It must be said though that the world of I-75 in Southern GA and Northern FL might as well be in an alternate universe. We passed by a strip bar with a huge banner saying
We stopped at the Florida State line, to take the traditional picture
under the Welcome to Florida sign.
I pride myself on being a road warrior. All night drives don't faze me. Bad weather doesn't faze me. Yet for some reason, despite cool New Orleans and Cleveland talk radio stations, I could only make it as far as Macon. I had to wake up slpngflkgrl so she could drive the last 100 miles. Quite embarassing...
Sure the patchy ice over the Pass was to be expected. For the most part they managed to keep one lane clear and life was good. Around Rosyln though I saw the sign that warned me of ice on the road... until Vantage... another 60 miles away. It became time to play the ever popular "The other lane looks slightly clearer, let's try it" game. Finally, finally, when I gave up all hope, I saw the Vantage exit. Free and clear, right?
Ummm wrong. What I saw as soon as I drove on the bridge over the Columbia River was that, while there was no ice on the road, both lanes were snow covered. Mind you, I'm not talking a dusting of snow here; there was at least 4 inches of snow on both lanes. I personally blame the Apple Cup for this abomination. This traditional game between UW and WSU was played at the WSU campus in 1996. The interstate got bad right after the Pullman exit. Coincidence? I don't think so.
By the time I reached Moses Lake, a town renown mainly for an incident where a middle school student opened fire in a classroom, I was wondering about the sanity of pressing on. The once clean rental was now covered with ice, salt, and mud. I was getting tired and cranky. I still had another 100 miles to go. The only thing I was happy about was the brief patch of clear pavement through the town... the brief patch of clear pavement through the town and apparently a few miles outside of town...
The brief patch of clear pavement lasted all the way to Spokane. I was
in shock. However, upon arriving, I encountered another causalty of the
storm- Spokane's power lines. Open motels were non-existant and open gas
stations were almost as rare. Fortunately the downtown area had power so
I could get out of the cold. After whining for a while about how my last
show was in
The advantage to driving out that day is that I was prepared. Before the show even started I made a reservation at the Moses Lake Motel 6. I got there at 1 AM and placed a wake up call for 9. Despite the rough day though, sleep was not really to be forthcoming. Three times I woke up, looked out in the parking lot, and saw it was still dark. The fourth time though, the sun was coming up so I decided to hit the road.
The clerk informed me that the pass would be a mess, so I was expecting the worse. That was quite wise. About a mile out of town, both lanes still were covered with 4 inches... but the 4 inches were ice. To add insult to Hell, there also was a thick fog. Somehow though I made it across to Vantage to discover... clear roads. The entire trip to Seattle acroos the pass was bone dry
After picking up my coworker Toby in Seattle, I swung north to Vancouver. I-5 was fine until we got to the Canadian border. For some reason, there was a blockade on people leaving the country as well as the usual Canadian customs check. Oddly enough I was waved through both of them.
Vancouver, BC has a weird quirk. They decided that they didn't want any expressways in the city. So the Pacific Coliseum, which normally would just seem to be on the outskirts of town, gave the impression of being somewhere in Ontario due to the sheer length of time driving on surface streets. When we finally got there, we were greeted with the pronouncement of 6 inches of snow was expected. Even after the way cool second set that night, I doubt I could have handled it. Fortunately the we stayed above freezing until we hit the States. Besides, after Spokane, the few patches of ice caused the reaction, "Isn't that cute? That little bit of ice thinks it's a hazard. Awwwwwwwwww."
Portland was supposed to be the easy drive. Straight shot down I-5, no prob right? Well the typical Pacific
Northwest day might have some rain; this Sunday gave us a downpour. Once
again, staying on the road was a problem. The trip back up was even
worse of course, with some black ice in addition to pouring freezing
rain. I got to pull an allnighter that night as I was scared that if I
went to sleep I would oversleep 10 AM and have to pay for an additional
day on the rental. As I rode the 71 bus back home, falling asleep the
whole time, I asked myself if it was worth it. Well without adversity
you can't have adventures. And without adventures, can you ever really
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