Terror on the Pass


This last weekend we were going to be traveling east of the mountains so Jon could compete in his third half-marathon, the Tri-Cities half-marathon.  He picked a race in Eastern Washington for a couple of reasons; he wanted a change of pace from all the driving rain we have been experiencing, and he figured that we could combine the race with a nice little weekend getaway in wine country.  But the problem – there was a winter storm warning in effect.  We started hearing about it about a week before the trip; we had already paid Jon’s race entry and booked a hotel.

The storm was to bring major, heavy snowfall in the pass, which would mean a harrowing couple hour journey and the potential to be stranded in a line of cars while they close the road to do avalanche work.  We watched all week, nervous (I considered asking Jon if the race was really all that important).

The way the weather people were talking about it, there was a serious risk of going the way of the Donner Party – stranded for months at the top of a snowy pass with no choice but to wait for your spouse to die so you could eat him.  I say “him” because surely Jon would die first – I have more body fat.  Of course, I mentioned my concerns to my co-workers (I think I phrased it something like, “I’m going to die…”) and my one co-worker (she’s a mom) brought in a bag of all the things I would need for my journey; a little snow shovel to dig out the car, a huge flashlight, and some big gloves for putting on the chains.

So I threw that stuff in the car along with the chains I purchased for the trip (keep in mind that in 37 years, I have never even owned chains, much less put them on) and the stuff my dad told me to pack – blankets, windshield wiper fluid, de-icer, hand warmers, a tarp (to kneel on when you put on the chains) a scraper, and enough food and water to have a picnic for 40 – that way we could survive for a while before I had to eat Jon.

Jon had to work until 3, so we were going to be heading out right when the forecast was saying that the worst would hit.  I was ready and waiting when he pulled in, and we flew out of the driveway to go meet our fate.  I even had some butterflies in my stomach as we heading up to higher elevations…  where we were met with this…

I-90 Snoqualmie Pass

I-90 Snoqualmie Pass

Bare and wet…

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6 thoughts on “Terror on the Pass

  1. Good you left when you did, my husband drove over it later that night and it was very slow, slick going. I had to be on the west side Monday, our afternoon drive was like this, but not our morning. It is still winter up there despite the spring thaw we have at home. Can’t wait to hear what you did in Walla Walla; we were there on Saturday!

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