January 2022

Saturday 1: These vehicles are parked on the street. I wondered how they get out of there to get to work.

Monday 3: OK then, let’s take Julie to work.

Pull the car out. Took 3 tries but did manage to get it out.
Get loaded and move out. Got as far as the driveway portion.
There’s a car stuck in the exit path. That’s OK, we can go around him,
Let’s try anyway. Got halfway there and stopped.
Backed it up into a half empty space and went back inside.
The funniest part was getting Julie back to safety without her walking chair.

Tuesday 4: Back in its designated spot.

Wednesday 5: Oh joy: my surgery has been cancelled because (we think) the hospital is overwhelmed with Covid cases. It’s back to “hurry up and wait”.

We drove past this Christmas display by one of the churches. Julie had never seen this, so we took a closer look.

Inside the display.

The “forest” at the other end.

Thursday 6: This advice came out today. It makes for an interesting perspective on the snowfalls.

UPDATE 1/6 6:32 p.m. Thursday: Snoqualmie, Stevens, White & Blewett passes remain closed. Because of the conditions and amount of work needed to safely re-open, they will likely remain closed until Sunday. Conditions are too dangerous for crews to be in the pass areas. Snow & debris continue to slide onto the highways. Crews are working in areas where it is safe to plow, clear catch basins & do other work to have those areas ready when we can reopen.
More snow and possibly rain is in the forecast for the passes tonight. This will only increase the avalanche danger. If it is safe to do so, we will spend all day Friday addressing avalanche issues to create a safe work zone. Once avalanche work is done, we will spend Saturday clearing the areas, including plowing and treating roads, removing snow/ice from signs, clearing trees & debris from the road and clearing catch basins for drainage.
In lowlands, heavy rain in several areas of the state will increase flood & washout danger. Several rivers are under advisories with risks to increase as snow melt continues. There is high danger of downed trees due to saturated soil, heavy snow & rain. In Eastern WA, rain/flooding is a concern as is snow and strong winds, including in the Palouse. Blowing and drifting snow produce low visibility and challenging conditions leading to road closures and possibly power outages.
We recognize the importance of these corridors but nothing is more important than the safety of our crews and the public. We are prepared to move in once it is safe, and we appreciate your patience during this challenging situation.
ORIGINAL POST: As expected, extreme weather has created havoc across much of the state, leading to a number of closures including Snoqualmie, Stevens, White and Blewett passes. Conditions are so hazardous – including snow slides, trees falling and high avalanche concern – that it is too dangerous for our snowplow and avalanche control crews to be in the areas. Because of that, passes will not reopen until at least Friday and potentially not until Saturday.
Additionally, the two other east-west routes – SR 14 and Oregon’s I-84, which run through the Columbia River Gorge – are closed to freight traffic, with I-84 being closed to all vehicles.
The current conditions on the passes include very heavy snowfall, near-zero visibility and falling debris like trees onto the highway. Once the snowfall lets up, the forecast calls for heavy rain, including freezing rain, which will increase avalanche danger.
Once we determine it is safe enough for our crews, there will still be significant work to do before we can reopen. This includes:
• Assessing avalanche risk and doing avalanche control work
• Plowing the roads to make them passable, including clearing trees and other debris which may have come down
• Clearing overhead signs of snow and ice
• Accessing and clearing catch basins for drainage
As you can see, all of this work is going to take quite awhile. We recognize the importance of these corridors but nothing is more important than the safety of our crews and you, the travelling public. We are actively monitoring each closure area and are prepared to move in once it is safe, but until then we encourage anyone who has plans for cross-state travel to adjust those plans for at least the next couple days.

Saturday 8: We are now left with this big pile of what is now solid ice. Hmm, wonder how long it takes to melt. Quite a while, given that it doesn’t see any sun there. Guess we’ll find out.

Answer: It took about 5 days.

Sunday 23: What I came home to today. Not one but BOTH chairs occupied, including the one Julie bought me (at a fraction of the price) to provide some support. Holly blends in rather well.

Saturday 29: Julie has been gearing up for her “fix the right eye by getting it to look straight ahead again” surgery for a while now. This week, it all came together. Today we drove to Bellingham for a Covid test. If we had kept going north, we would have been at the Canadian border within half an hour. Because we were there REALLY early, we went to the Birch Door Cafe for breakfast. Exceptionally nice but expensive.

Monday 31: We went back there for the surgery today. By the time we got back home, she was tired and hurting, so photography was not permitted. At least one of us got it done on time. I’m STILL waiting.