Yesterday was a freak snowstorm in Portland. Granted, we only got 4-6 inches of snow (depending on location & elevation), but it sucked.
As yesterday afternoon wore on, I noticed that facebook statuses of other Portland peeps were starting to announce snow (in a west to east crawl). I looked out the window, and it was definitely snowing.
My boss sent us home at about 3:30. I had driven yesterday, but didn’t think too much of it at the time. The freeway was already backed up, so I went home using my secondary route – 30 to the St. John’s bridge. I got to the bridge, and was on the approach up the hill, when a firetruck went by. Pretty soon, all the cars, from the top of the bridge down, started turning around. Accident on the bridge had closed it.
Traffic hadn’t been TOO bad yet, so I turned around with the rest, hoping to go back to the next bridge (Fremont) to make my way across the river.
Traffic up to 405 was not moving, so I hopped off that road & down to another street, determined to take one of the other bridges.
At this point, it is 4:30, or one hour after getting in my car. It was also at this point that I realized I could not text or make phone calls.
About 5 PM, the architect called (I could RECEIVE calls, apparently). I was not really moving at all at that point. I was trying to decide if I should just try to park somewhere & get on MAX, but there was no where to pull off the road where I was.
Eventually, I made it to the Steel Bridge, and as I was on the approach to cross, the pickup in front of me lost all patience & hopped the curb to drive across a grassy lawn place & onto another street nearby (although at that point, we were so close to crossing the bridge, and all the bridges are like that, so if you needed to cross the river, there was no better way). In the process, his back end spun around & hit the Suburu in front of him. Then he drove off. The angry suburu driver got out & glared. Traffic started moving. We did not. Finally, the pick-up driver parked (like 2 blocks away) and came back. He tried to convince her that he’d done no damage. She wasn’t having it. Finally, they exchanged information. And then, we moved. Well, the suburu moved. My Hyundai? Not as much. I spun my tires & moved inches at a time, but at this point, there was no where to go.
I finally made it onto the final approach to the bridge, and my car just gave up. It died a couple of times, and would only move if I was in reverse. Which wasn’t helpful, because a) there were a ton of (really angry) cars behind me, and b) I couldn’t spin around to drive over the bridge in reverse, which would’ve sucked anyways.
I’ll be honest, internets. I cried. And then I called the architect (yay, the phone was working) and cried. Apparently on speaker phone, so the kick-ass neighbors got to hear my breakdown, too.
And then, like magic, three young men appeared out of the storm. There were actually six men on the bridge, working in teams of three, and pushing cars that weren’t making it. They pushed me all the way up to the top of the bridge so that I could make it across. (I don’t think that bridge crossing has sucked so much since the Race for the Roses 5K when running up that approach in the last 1/3 mile of the race almost made me vomit.) I love those nice young men. Without them, I’d still be on the Steel Bridge, crying.
Once I got to the east side of the river, the rest of the drive home wasn’t so bad – only took about 30 more minutes (usually a 15 minute drive). I pulled into my driveway a little after 6:30, and have never been so happy to be home (part of that happiness was the fact that I’d had to pee since about 3:35).
After I got home (and peed), the neighbors, the architect & I went out for much needed beers & food, and then I was home in bed. There is still snow everywhere. I had the architect drive me to work today, and we drove by a LOT of snowmen. And instead of being filled with joy over the beauty of the snow, I was just filled with an almost overwhelming compulsion to get out of the pickup & knock the heads off all the snowmen, because snow is EVIL!