I recall my first ski trip after moving to Seattle (Sammamish, actually). It was a great day, with the boys getting
their first lessons and me having a great time snowboarding….until I cracked a rib. But I digress.
On leaving, the snow had started to pick up and was sticking pretty well. Just having purchased an Expedition a few months prior, I was confident that this wouldn’t be an issue.
But as soon as we turned onto I-90 I realized something was wrong. Cars were going maybe 10mph, which seemed odd, figuring most were familiar with the area and proclivity of snow. More troubling was the fact that many were sliding into guardrails like inebriated cougars at a Pampered Chef convention. It was then that I realized that the roads weren’t plowed nor salted! What? In this day and age, how does that not happen?
We made it home safely, but my hands were stuck in a 9 and 5 position for most of that evening, as I feared tumbling down a ravine, getting injured and my boys resorting to the script from Alive to survive until help arrived.
Even in the more placid environs, Seattle still surprises me with the seemingly odd behavior drivers would exhibit during (real or imagined) inclement weather. Just the other day, schools were cancelled just from the threat of (wait for it) 2 inches of snow. Funny thing is, no snow arrived. Yeah, it’s funny. Unless you were looking forward to those 8hrs without the lil blessings. Chicago? I’ve seen preschoolers pushing their school bus out of a ditch, then getting a tardy for being late to class.
My first winter, I happened to be flying back from somewhere, and upon leaving SeaTac airport wondering if the Rapture had occurred. There were several cars oddly stopped on the sides of the road, making like a parking lot on I-5. This, I would come to learn, is the way many Seattleites dealt with snow on the roads: park your car where it’s at and walk. And one storm I recall seeing cars perpendicular parked on main thoroughfares for days. No kidding. In most major cities, you’d come back to find it stripped and a parking ticket to boot. Not here.
So, that’s one thing Chicago has to be commended for. They know how to wrestle the weather into submission.