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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Detour

So Friday night we headed down to Disneyland. We were making good time, about a half hour ahead of schedule when we noticed traffic coming to a halt. So we made our way to the nearest exit and started rerouting. We found the "Old Highway" and headed down it. It was fine for a while, but as we approached where the next freeway exit let out, it ground to a halt. Spinning the dial hoping to find a radio station with more information, we get 88.7 - the all traffic and weather station (no, really, I don't make this stuff up. It's L.A. When I lived there, there was an all show tunes station.). Anyway it says there are a bunch of accidents on the five. It gives us a glimpse of what we're about to deal with, but we're up in Santa Clarita, so as soon as the cloud cover shifted, we lost the station.

Finally we decided to try to find another alternate route. We made a U-turn while the big rig 100 yards ahead did the same. We drove out to a little neighborhood that cut through to the Sierra Highway. Winding our way around, we came up to a gate that it looked like the neighborhood had installed. It had 7 different chains and padlocks on it. It blocked the road totally. This was the part where I really wanted to have a big loud car instead of my quiet little Prius. While the map said this road went through, these neighbors took it on themselves to do a little traffic calming. I wanted to drive through honking my horn and yelling, "How do you like your quiet neighborhood now!" Jerks. Now I'm just thinking of notifying the fire department, because it didn't look like something that was done with permits.

Anyway, we made it out of that neighborhood and around another way to the Sierra Highway and found it in a bumper to bumper state as well. So, I gave up. It's nearly 3am and I'm tired. So I folded down the seats, grabbed a blanket, and went to sleep. A couple of hours later, traffic was no longer parked in front of the car, so we decided to try again. Maybe the freeway was open by now, right?

No luck. The traffic was stopped just a few hundred yards up the road. So we tried the 14. Cones blocked the entrance. We drove back toward the five. A sea of brake lights narrowed down to one lane near the next exit. We headed back down the Old Highway and decided to slog through. At least it was creeping along this time. So, at 2-3 miles per hour, we crept through the pass. Then I thought of tuning to AM radio to hear about what was going on. It was nearly five a.m. now and I quickly found an AM station with a traffic report. There was an accident in the truck bypass tunnel with at least 15 big rigs, five of which were on fire. The on-the-scene reporter had just arrived after getting stuck in the northbound traffic for the past five hours.

We passed under the freeway where this was all happening. Fire foam lined the side of the road like snow banks. Every few minutes we passed someone who'd stalled or run out of gas. Rick hopped out to help push one guy out of the road. We crept along and finally made it through. We got back on the five at Roxford and headed down the rest of the way to Anaheim with no traffic, checked into the motel, and fell into bed at 6:30am. Oof.

We'd been trying to decide whether or not to stay at Disneyland through Sunday night. Now it seemed like a really good idea. Later we heard that I-5 was expected to remain closed through at least Tuesday and possibly much longer if the heat had too badly damaged the tunnel.

But with a very rough start, we managed to have a lovely time at Disneyland with Paul and Karen and Crystal with cameo appearances by Justin and Monica. We rode the new Finding Nemo ride (which has very nifty lava) and did the Haunted Mansion Holiday and it was good. The drive home on I-5 on Monday went just fine. CalTrans managed to reopen the freeway that morning so we sailed on through. I even made it to Alameda for the ceili.

3 Comments:

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger IckleRick, at 8:53 AM  

  • now what I meant to say with spelling corrections...

    you totally forgot the part where I exited the drivers seat as we slogg'd our way down the old road and pushed a car outta the way so all the surrounding asshats could zip in and get a whole extra 200 hundred feet ahead of us...

    By Blogger IckleRick, at 8:59 AM  

  • Seems like Disneyland is so big that people you know could easily be there, but you'd never meet. I was at Disneyland on Sunday, too!

    By Blogger Kim, at 5:01 PM  

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