Monday, January 21, 2008

Giant Killer Tumbleweed

I left for home yesterday morning. My dad and I left my brother's house around ten in the morning, expecting (or hoping) to get home around midnight. The stretch between Salt Lake City and Ontario, OR went smoothly, and we made excellent time with few mishaps or problems.

Unless you count the twenty or so deer carcasses we saw within a five mile stretch of road. Which really only makes you wonder if there are any deer left to hit, so not really a big worry.

As we got near LaGrande, OR we ran into a few icy patches on the road, which I dealt with calmly (due to the fact that I've only experienced driving on icy roads a few times and don't really know what I'm up against). The mountain passes went slower and we began loosing the time we had gained changing time zones. On the final downhill stretch before Pendleton and dry roads we got stuck in traffic that was backed up for 6 miles due to a couple of semis getting into a wreck at the bottom of the mountain. Shortly after we had stopped we were nearly rear ended by one of the crazies that didn't stop to consider how snow packed roads would affect his stopping time. Luckily we were able to pull up quite a bit and they were able to turn quite a bit otherwise the two hour delay would have been a little more exciting.

Yes that's right, two hours we were stuck on that mountain, and it took about an hour and a half to get off the mountains and to dry roads. At this point it was 10 o'clock and four hours from home.

I drove for a couple of hours and was attacked by giant tumbleweed. There was one as big as me! Or maybe it was two tumbleweeds that were hooked together. It was weird how it disintegrated as soon as I hit it.

We also had the adventure of stopping at a rest area to sleep for a few hours before making a break for home. We were easily the only passenger vehicle stopped there for more than a bathroom break.

All in all, we didn't get home until 5 am Pacific Time. I'm sleepy just thinking about it.

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