US 97

(Looks like the roads have gotten any better since we were through there on 11/26.)

We were up near the Washington/Canadian border the week of Thanksgiving.  There is a timeshare place up there that we really like, and we enjoyed a very relaxing week up there.  Well worth the 2 day trip to get there.

We even had a little bit of snow!

How fun.

Northern Oregon also got snow.  Quite a bit more than we got up in Washington.  Not a butt load, about 4-6 inches, I believe.  That was three days before we were heading home – on US 97 – the main highway through central Oregon.

I grew up in Michigan.

No problem, right?


Fucking Oregon DOT.

In Oregon, apparently, they don’t believe in using salt on their roads.  They use sand.

Not my preference, but fair enough.

But the thing with sand is while it gives you some traction, then it melts into the snow, and unless you plow away the wet mess, the resultant melt creates a layer of ice – slippery, slippery, bumpy, bumpy ice.

Of course in Michigan, we know that once you put down the salt, you still have to plow.

The Oregon DOT seems to believe that putting sand down is pretty much sufficient; and the Oregon snowplow is a rare and vanishing breed.  We only saw one during our adventure on the snowy, icy, slippery, bumpy roads of Oregon.

So three days after the snow fell, the roads were pretty much well-sanded and pretty much not plowed.

Leaving the road not just coated in ice, but with ice that was inches thick.

Slippery, slippery, bumpy, bumpy.

It was a nightmare.

It was a nightmare the evening of the first day of our travels.

It was a nightmare the next morning.

Slippery, slippery, bumpy, bumpy.

And, of course, we were driving a rental car, because my car crapped out just before the trip and we had no chains (not that I have chains for my own car, but at least with my own car it might have been worth investing in chains).  But, amazingly (and luckily) enough, no chains were required – and we saw some vehicles with chains having as much trouble as we were.

At least, in the morning I had figured out that the snow there was very dry and actually provided some traction.  But in a lot of places, the winds had scoured the snow off, leaving just that lovely, thick, slippery, slippery, bumpy, bumpy ice.

The good news is I know the secret of winter driving:

Slow down and keep your foot off the fucking brake!

That’s it.  It’s not rocket science folks.

So I got my Michigan Mojo on the next morning and after driving Michigan style for about 120 miles, we got back to clear dry roads.

I was so happy to get back to California, where, I might add, they must have had some snow because when we stopped for lunch, what do you suppose was on the sidewalk outside of the Taco Bell?  Salt.  Mother-loving salt.

You see, we have a plethora of lawyers in California which is a great incentive to keep your flipping roads, driveways, parking lots and sidewalks clear!

How do you like that?  Lawyers are good for something!

Oh, and fuck you Oregon DOT.


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