This was the day to make the 5 1/2 hour drive from Seattle to Pullman for my daughter’s Dads Day weekend. I got up early to find that the 6:00 am road / pass reports were of unexpectedly heavy snow that closed the pass completely. And, hopefully, temporarily.
I tossed the snow tires and chains into the van and headed to the garage to get the wheels swapped. On the road, finally, at 9, there was ominous cloud to the east and the signage wasn’t encouraging.
I pulled over a few miles shy of the pass to chain up. The traffic was really sticky, trucks everywhere, but I got everything mounted.
A fellow next to me commented that it was bad weather for this time of year: I agreed and said that I’d come all the way from Holland only to find this. He grinned broadly: “Welcome to America!” It must be my accent. “They do get snow in Holland, don’t they?” Oh, yes, only the mountains are missing.
The snow was pelting down as the temperatures dropped to the mid-20’s F crossing the summit.
Fortunately, the roads never got beyond wet and a bit icy: the advisory for chains was probably unnecessary. I swooped through Ellensburg at noon and was off across the cold scrublands beyond. 250 miles still to cover, but the snow held off until the last 75 as I pulled off onto country road past Ritzville.
Pullman was a mess, the snow was finally starting to stick, and cars were spinning and flipping, snarling traffic. 8 hours total, but I arrived in good shape for the big date.
‘feeling warmer already….