Tuesday, December 29, 2009

oh the weather outside is frightful!

so today . . . technically we are on our way home from visiting our families for christmas. but in reality, we are stranded in southern oregon, as there is apparently a blizzard in northern california and I-5 is closed. yes, closed. to all traffic. that means us.

this is not the first time this has happened to us. in fact, i don't know why we don't just start factoring in a delay for weather when we plan our trip.

last year the weather was so bad in the portland area, that we almost didn't go. but we decided to forge ahead and were lucky enough to stay just ahead of the road closures and accidents. usually that is not where trouble occurs. usually our problems lie just south of ashland, in the siskiyou mountains. and that appears to be the case again this year.

when we left sunny southern california a week ago, i checked the weather. i needed to know whether to pack snow clothes or rain clothes or just cold weather clothes. and at that time there was very little precipitation in the forecast. i was expecting clear skies until the very end of our trip when it looked like there was a chance of a little bit of rain.

ok, in oregon "a chance" of rain means get out the umbrellas and rubber boots. and there is no definition for "a little bit of rain" here. when it rains, it pours. but you see, i have spent the last eight years living in the land of perpetual sunshine where "a chance" of rain means it might rain in burbank. and "a little bit of rain" means wear a hoodie. so i foolishly believed the weather report and left my mittens and snow boots at home.

we enjoyed fairly good weather for most of our trip. the sun shone, but cold east winds blew. and then this morning, while we were packing up the car, i noticed that the sky looked kind of dark. ominously dark. we hit the freeway, and shortly after we left, i got a text from my mom saying that it was snowing. whew, i thought, we just missed it! and then it started snowing where we were . . .

it was snowing pretty hard, but not much was sticking to the ground. and as we continued on our way, the precipitation turned to rain and stayed that way for the next four hours. then, just as we were approaching medford, we saw the sign--blizzard conditions, northern california, I-5 closed to all vehicles.

yep, the kiss of death.

thankfully we were planning on spending the night in ashland anyway. we have friends there who were expecting us for dinner. but we were not the only ones on the road. we were surrounded by oregon duck fans headed for the rose bowl. i am guessing that many of them were coming from eugene, and probably planned to spend the night in redding or sacramento before driving on in to pasadena tomorrow. but sadly for them, they are going to be staying in medford or ashland tonight (if they can find a room,) which is going to make for an unexpectedly long drive tomorrow. and all those motels in redding and sacramento who were expecting duck fans are going to be very disappointed with all their empty rooms . . .

I-5 is not going to be a happy place tomorrow . . .

we drove on to our friends' house, entered their warm home, got hugs all around, ate a delicious dinner, and enjoyed an evening of catching up. we kept checking the road conditions, but when we finally headed for bed, the highway was still closed.

so i am going to sleep now. i don't know when we will be able to leave. i am sure that the california department of transportation is aware that their roads are going to be crammed with frantic duck fans as soon as that road opens, so i am sure they are doing everything they can to make it happen. rollie is still planning on getting up EARLY so we can leave, but if the road is still closed, we won't be going anywhere.

weather! it sure can mess up your plans!!

1 comment:

Mom said...

Snow, one of God's more beautiful creations, beautiful coming down and beautiful resting on the ground. Just glad you are safe traveling and had a nice, warm place to land.