the donner party got nuthin’ on us

Snowed in.
Well, we made it home… but it was no pleasant journey. Leaving Oregon around 10:30am, I pegged us to pull into the driveway at home sometime around 8pm-9pm that evening. Little did we know (no, really, we knew a little since we checked the website) that we’d be caught in a huge freakin’ snowstorm through the mountains into California. Fearing a bad trip in the snow, we stopped right before the mountains and ate a late lunch. We even stocked up on “provisions” (soda and chips) in case the trip over the passes was long. We hit the first hint of snow a mere 20min later somewhere south of Ashland.

Half an hour later we were at a dead stop on I5, in park on the freeway… nothing but taillights and headlights stretching to eternity in front of and behind us. We remained parked on the freeway for over an hour, watching the snow fall outside and watching Napoleon Dynamite on the laptop inside. When we finally started creeping along, it was a mess. The snow had erased the lanes on the road, so people were just following each other single-file, trying to stay in the established ruts from the cars before them. After an hour so so driving like this and debating whether or not to put on the snow chains… Ben and I broke down and did it. Although I’ve owned chains for several years now, I’ve never actually had to use them. So I was off to the side of the road, snow raining down onto my Bernie Mac raincoat, huddled around my taillight trying to read the instructions. After some head-scratching, we managed to get the chains attached and merge back into the 10mph single-lane traffic. Another mile or so and we hit the source of the delay, the chain-check, no one got through without chains or 4WD and snow tires.

After getting past the chain-check, it was every man for himself on the road. The traffic thinned out considerably and that meant the snow had more time to accumulate on the road with no cars to melt it down. Driving 30mph tops, I made my way through another 40 miles of blizzard-like conditions. Trying to keep the windshield from icing and trying to keep a safe distance from other vehicles, it was a stress-test for sure. We finally rolled out of the mountains (and snow) some five hours after we’d gone in. Exhausted and spent from driving, I handed the duties over to Ben after a midnight cheeseburger (animal style) at In-N-Out. Luckily, Ben ferried us home safely through the rain that the snow had turned into… and we finally collapsed into bed around 3:30am this morning. What a trip.

Now it’s Monday, and a gloomy and wet one at that. Sharaun and I rolled out of bed around 11:30am, readied for the day, and just got back from a nice lunch at the indian buffet. And while she decided to spend the day shopping, I’ve chosen to sit here on this couch and watch the accumulation of TiVo’d Twilight Zone episodes. I’m supposed to be taking the week off, at least that’s what I had planned. However, I feel really strange about this one… I dunno. I mean, I have this feeling like I should be there… like it’s not an “official” vacation or something. Work seems to be pulling me in, making me feel guilty for not being there. I think perhaps it’s because I did a poor job “advertising” that I’d be on vacation, like I usually do. So it makes me feel like I’m somehow shirking my duties or something. I’m hoping the feeling goes away…

Well now… until next time.

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