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Snow 2004

You youngsters don't know how good you have it. Why, when I was 28, I had to walk five miles through the snow, to get home from work...

No, seriously, I did.

Yesterday it started snowing at about 4 a.m. I woke up to a very pretty dusting of snow. It was supposed to accumulate for a few hours, then turn to rain in the afternoon. I didn't want to attempt driving on it, though, so I took Metro, our trusty (*cough* HA!) Seattle bus service, to work. Walking to the bus stop was pretty easy; there was less than an inch of snow on the ground.

It fell all day. I sat at work looking out the window, at first admiring the prettiness of it, then gradually getting alarmed: the forecast was changing; the rain wouldn't come till the evening, and then it was going to be freezing rain, which is even worse for traffic than snow - especially when it falls on top of snow. Why weren't they sending us home? Didn't they see it was only going to get worse?

They let us out at 3:00. I stood in Denny Park, at the bus stop, for an hour, waiting for my bus. During that time, 2 or 3 should have come and gone for my route, but I didn't see one. I could not feel my hands and toes anymore (it was still snowing, light powdery flakes), so I returned to work. I tried calling a taxi. They were all either out of service or all booked up. Four inches of snow covered the Seattle metropolitan area, more in some places, and pretty much none of the roads had been plowed or sanded. It was packed ice on virtually every street - and before you in the Midwest snicker at us for letting this foil us, remember that in Seattle we have hills, every few blocks, the steepness of which is like nothing you've ever seen in the entire state of Iowa. (You know those famous steep streets in San Francisco? Yeah. They're like that.)

I live five miles from work. I had hiking boots on, and waterproof trousers ("rain pants"). Walking was not impossible. And it was looking like my only option. So I walked. Through four inches of snow, alternating with packed ice, for five miles, down Westlake Avenue, across the Fremont Bridge (where I saw, finally, my bus pass me - I threw a snowball at it), to Fremont where I met up with Steve (who was also walking), and on into Ballard, up that gradual slope. It took an hour and a half. It was quite the workout. In Fremont, incidentally, we saw a bus with my route's number on it, jackknifed and helpless at an intersection. It was still there this morning when I drove in through the slush.

Seattle residents, listen to me: do not, ever ever ever, trust Metro on a snow day. They will, likely as not, screw you over. Oh, and their phone lines are no use whatsoever, either.

In fact, next time it snows like that, I'm just not coming in. If more of us stay home, then it's likelier that more offices will close and call it a day. I was just contributing to operating quorum by my stupid hardworking action of coming to work yesterday. I won't make THAT mistake again.

Will be more than happy to see our 50-degree steady rain again. Jeez.



( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 7th, 2004 09:20 am (UTC)
And today wasn't much better...
While I'm usually driving from Tacoma into Kent, today I took the train which is a lovely alternative... Unless you need to take the bus to get to your office from there.

So 1/2 hour and four ankle deep slush puddles later with toes freezing through two pair of socks and my Docs... I'm finally at work.


I envy my daughter who is at home with school cancelled.
Jan. 7th, 2004 02:53 pm (UTC)
Re: And today wasn't much better...
Ugh. Yeah, why doesn't work get cancelled too? Why is it only school?
Jan. 7th, 2004 09:27 am (UTC)
Tri-met, which is an award-winning transit system, is not doing so well either. I called in to work yesterday and today, and actually our office was closed today (surprisingly). But the MAX trains aren't running at all because of ice on the tracks and switches, and the buses are running slow because of chains and ice and they're packed besides, so even if I wanted to try to go in I'd be really late, and then have to just turn around and come back out.

Will be more than happy to see our 50-degree steady rain again. Jeez.

Jan. 7th, 2004 02:54 pm (UTC)
I heard the Portland area got even more snow than we did. They often do, thanks to those Gorge winds. Total madness. You're wise to have stayed home!
Jan. 7th, 2004 05:22 pm (UTC)
Yep, and I live right outside of Troutdale, which is right on the western edge of the Gorge. If you see on the news anyone reporting the weather from Troutdale, most of them are reporting from a place that's just down the hill from my house.
Jan. 7th, 2004 10:49 am (UTC)
One of the perks about being a teacher here in VA is the "weather related" closing of the school. So many snow days, so little time. :P
Jan. 7th, 2004 02:55 pm (UTC)
Indeed. As I just opined to someone else above, I wish they cancelled work as readily as they cancel school. It was just stupid to go in yesterday - or, at least, to stay as long as we did.
Jan. 7th, 2004 03:21 pm (UTC)
PS - missing California yet? ;)
Jan. 7th, 2004 03:51 pm (UTC)
Hah. Knew someone would ask. Answer is still: NO.

Let's weigh them again:
Seattle: snow snarls up the roads for one, maybe two days a year. Some years not at all.
Sacramento area: it is too freaking hot for four, maybe five months in a row.

No. No contest, sorry. :)
Jan. 7th, 2004 02:49 pm (UTC)
Argh! Poor you :/
Jan. 7th, 2004 04:28 pm (UTC)
Oh my gosh! You poor thing! *hugs* I'm so thankful that you made it home safely. {{{{{{{{{{{{Molly}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
Jan. 7th, 2004 07:34 pm (UTC)
That's damn impressive. You may need to change your LJ name.
Jan. 8th, 2004 05:33 pm (UTC)
To what? "whiner_extraordinaire"?
Jan. 9th, 2004 06:16 am (UTC)
No, to "Snowbound Seattle Hiker" or "Snowy Seattle Trudger" or something like that...
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )