Sunday, January 21, 2007

9 miles in 3 hours

It's another Dadless weekend, so the 3 youngest kids and I were going to head to the movies late this afternoon; our usual theatre is a little under 9 miles away and we can get there in less than 15 minutes... usually. But today, the highway was in a mess, with the west-bound side being totally closed down because of a huge accident, and the east-bound side (the one I'd need for 6.5 miles of the trip) seeing bumper-to-bumper traffic. The first part of our trip actually passed by where the accident had occurred almost 5 hours before (yes, 5 hours later and the highway was still closed. I read online later that they opened 2 of the 4 lanes about an hour later, and the last 2 lanes an hour-and-a-half after that.) We could see a small sedan that was totaled... the roof torn off, and a large RV. It wasn't until later that we learned this was a 6-car accident in which 3 people were killed (2 from the small car, a Corolla, and 1 from a Ford Expedition. The Corolla was the cause of the accident, going airborn over the guard rail into oncoming traffic and hitting the Expedition.) You can read one TV station's report here.

Anyhow, I saw that the highway would not get us to the theatre in time, so I reprogrammed the navigation system in the van to show me the back way into town and to the theatre. According to its calculations, we could still get there in time. Ahhh, but what it couldn't take into account was that there were friendly police officers directing traffic once the backroad reached town... helping all the people who wanted to leave town and couldn't take the highway to get the heck outta Dodge. We wound up sitting at one 4-way stop that was manned by one officer who forgot there were actually people trying to get *into* town. We did not make it to the theatre in time. So now I was left figuring out how to get back home without going my usual highway route. Instead of taking the route we just took, the nav system gave me a new route, one I was very familiar with. It took me past my favorite Starbucks, less than a mile from Emily's school. We drove through for hot chocolate and then found ourselves in the longest line of cars I have ever seen. Almost 2 hours later, we were finally about a mile-and-a-half down the road and when I saw the line of cars making the turn I needed to make, I immediately high-tailed it into the left lane and made a U-turn at the signal. I was able to cover that 1 1/2 miles in 2 minutes. By that time, the highway was back open, but it looked like the road I'd come from, only with 4 lanes instead of 2. I decided to look for the way we came into town and found it without too much trouble. So our 15-minute drive to the movies turned into a 3-hour trip to nowhere.

The kids were very good sports about the whole thing, but to make it up to them, I went to Blockbuster and picked them up a movie. The 2 littlest ones fell asleep in my room tonight watching tv with me.

Somehow, the 40-minute drive to church in the morning has me feeling a bit apprehensive....

5 comments:

jettybetty said...

Sounds like a frustrating day--however, the kids may remember it more than the movie! And, hopefully things will be much clearer for church today! (Unless, of course, Californians all go to church today--and then you could have trouble!) (and it would be worth it!)

Jenni said...

oh the joys of city life! :-)

Thumper said...

That was such a heartbreaking accident...

Traffic by us was gridlocked; I headed for the grocery store, got out to Peabody Road and it was bumper to bumper as far as I could see; looking towards the base and up towards Elmira Road...2 mph it seemed. I turned the radio on and the traffic reports said most of the major roads were the same, with people having to navigate off the Interstate. The Boy got a call from one of his friends who was locked in that traffic...he'd managed to go half a mile in 50 minutes.

I had to take the long way home to avoid the traffic, but after hearing what had happened, I didn't mind. At least I got to go home...

Rick J said...

And think there was a bad accdent on the 101 somewhere as well. Difficult times for some families.

mommy to four j's said...

I hate traffic and to think of those families that were involved. My husband drives a lot for his job and he had to deal with miles of sheets of ice in Denver. He said their were car accidents everywhere you looked.

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