I’ve been in Lynnwood (Seattle area) since Friday evening (Feb 8). Not much to write about, but the national news had some interesting things to say:
And this from the governor’s office: https://www.governor.wa.gov/news-media/update-220-inslee-expands-state-emergency-extend-propane-delivery-exemptions
I had e-mailed a number of people on my Photo of the Day list a month before this trip, requesting prayer for several things, including safety on the road. Here is an excerpt from that e-mail: “Most of my trips are in the winter, and this will be no exception. I am often driving in conditions where the local mandate is “Don’t be on the roads unless you absolutely have to,” or “Drive only in case of an emergency.” My truck is properly equipped for such travel, I carry all the gear I could need for the recovery of my own vehicle, and over the years have helped dozens of other drivers back onto the road. This year I expect to drive further off the pavement and deeper into the wilderness than ever.”
Interestingly, I was unaware of the havoc in the Seattle area and state of emergency until weeks later. So, clearly, those prayers were answered!
I had spent the night in Lynnwood, about 30 min north of Seattle, and wanted to go back to the Mt Rainier area, about a 3 hour drive in the current conditions. I would have to drive all the way through Seattle (from north to south), was expecting a very difficult and slow morning rush hour, and wanted to get through Tacoma before it got heavy, so I hit the road just after 5 am.
I was able to drive as fast as I wanted, but kept it 45 and below because it looked like ice on the road, and there was significant traffic.
Ashford was forecast to get 19″ of snow today, so I drove to Copper Creek (approx 5 miles east of Ashford) again to get another round of photos: water flow was slower than ever (lack of snow melt), but the snow was deeper than ever. It was 10 – 12″ deep on the roads, and still snowing – I was loving it! Stopped at the Copper Creek Inn at 11:00 (for lunch) and an employee said it looked like they weren’t going to open. A snow plow driver said that the forecast called for 36″ of snow – not just the 19″ I had heard. I decided to move on for now (visibility was low in the heavy snowfall, and I had other places I wanted to see), which in retrospect (I’m writing this part later, on Feb 14th) was a blessing: the next morning the area had been declared a disaster: I would have been trapped, and I have yet to find out when I might have been able to leave. (I’ve found no updates and there is still no phone service in the area.)
Then drove towards Lower Lewis River Falls, going East on Hwy 12 (the shortest way), but at about 25 miles the Natl Forest road was closed due to “snow blockage.” Went around the west route (I-5), where snow turned into rain. Realized I would be getting there at or after sunset, so I stopped for the night in Longview.
I had planned to see Lower Lewis River Falls and Spirit Falls, both in southern WA, but just learned on their websites that access to both is closed because of the land-owner (access is thru pvt property) and road closure. I would not have driven here had I known. But on the other hand, it was good that I did not get trapped in Ashford.
The photo above was taken in approx 10″ of fresh snow just west of Mt Rainier. The truck performed amazingly and I was loving every minute of it!