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January 6, 2004

Snowed In

I woke up this morning to a veritable winter wonderland. Seattle was under an inch-thick blanket of powdery snow. I checked the transit website and saw the buses were still running, so I trotted off to the bus stop.

Now keep in mind, Seattleites are not used to the snow. It seldom snows at all here, and when it does, pandemonium breaks out. At the bus stop I saw three buses stuck on the entrance ramp to the highway. Only one of the buses had chains on it, and it appeared to be having the most trouble getting moving. I then weighed my options: get on the bus and wait half and hour just to get onto the highway (and risk getting stranded at work) or staying here and working from home. It wasn't a tough decision.

Since Teresa also got the day off, she and I wandered about a snow-covered Seattle. There was now over two inches (about five cm) on the ground, and the roads were choked with stalled cars. We passed one intersection and counted no less than twenty buses, all stopped. Walking along First Ave, we saw a small crowd of people pointing and laughing. We approached and saw man in a Jeep Cherokee trying desperately to stop sliding down a hill sideways. It blows my mind that people insist on buying their trendy SUVs, but when they actually need four-wheel drive, they don't know how to use it.

A little later, we saw a line of cars stuck on a highway entrance ramp. You could smell the burning rubber as the car in front gunned the engine and spun his back tires. Then he started rolling backwards. Luckily there was no collision then, but I'm sure there have been accidents all over the city today.

I guess lots of people had made the same decision I had, because there were people all over the place. We stopped in at a mall and were shocked to find many of the shops closed. I'm amazed that store managers would pass up such a great business opportunity.

Walking home, we saw another, larger crowd of people gathered at the top of a hill. We thought it was another episode of SUV Follies, but were surprised to find otherwise. A large number of people, adults and children alike, were sliding down the hill on sleds, lunch trays, sheets of metal and plastic and anything they could find that would make a good toboggan. We joined the crowd and watched this familiar winter activity, in a very unfamiliar setting.

I didn't end up getting much work done after all, but today certainly made up for the lack of snow at Christmas.

17:06 | Seattle


We want pictures dammit!

Posted by: Ian at January 6, 2004 6:35 PM

What do you mean by 'sliding down a hill sideways'? I'm having a bit of trouble picturing this situation.

yes, we need pictures!

Posted by: at January 7, 2004 1:55 PM

the car sideways, not the hill :)

Posted by: at January 7, 2004 2:09 PM

The Jeep was sliding sideways down the hill (90 degrees from the direction it should have been facing).

I'll post some pictures when I get home from work tonight. My photo gallery has been neglected too long...

Posted by: Chris at January 7, 2004 2:57 PM

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