Usually when I arrive back in my room near my job, 300 miles from home, I send Barb a short email since it’s frequently past her bedtime. “Trip was uneventful.” This time was different. When I arrived in Ellensburg, about two thirds of the way here, I found out Snoqualmie Pass was closed indefinitely. Blewitt Pass and Stevens Pass to the north were open with some restrictions so I topped off the gas tank and headed north. The traffic advisory radio said traction tires were recommended on Blewitt and required on Stevens. I saw three cars off the road. I stopped at the first one which was way off the road down a steep bank because there were no emergency vehicles present. There was another car with a couple there and I asked if everything was under control. The woman said 911 had been called and everyone was okay and I continued on my way. In the other cases it was clear they didn’t need my help. It was snowing constantly from the time I left Ellensburg and the normally 50 and 60 MPH road now had variable speed limits in place from 35 and 40 MPH. At times the long line of cars that caravaned over the mountains was only going 25 MPH. The roads weren’t really that slick. When I would test things I could get a little bit of slippage but it wasn’t that big of a deal. Blewitt pass was first and was no big deal. Very pretty actually with all the snow covered trees. Leavenworth was beautiful will all the Christmas lights still up and the snow coming down. Then as I was climbing to the top of Stevens the radio said chains were required on Blewitt. I hate putting on and driving in chains. Glad I made it through there before that restriction went into effect. As I was coming into town the radio said Stevens pass was closed. I made it through just in time.
The alternate route was 50 miles and 2.5 hours longer than normal.