Friday, February 24, 2012

Back under blue skies

……….. well ………. not so much tonight.  There’s a Saskatchewan Screamer blowing through from Calgary tonight and it looks like we’ll be stranded in Regina tomorrow.  Last time we were here we bugged out ahead of the storm and got back to Buchanan before it got really bad but this time we elected to stay put. 

We left the boat in the wee hours of Wed. morning, caught the 6:30 ferry out of Nanaimo and were doing fine until we got over the Port Mann bridge.  We were watching to see if we could spot the collapsed crane but I think they had most of it cleaned up.  We didn’t really know what we were looking for though so it may have been right in front of us.  We hadn’t much more than got off the bridge though when traffic ground almost completely to a halt.  And it stayed that way for miles.  I never did see anything that could have accounted for the delay in our (eastbound) lanes but there was a semi lying on its side in the median on the westbound side.  Then just past the overturned semi there was an on-ramp.  I think what happened was that our lanes slowed down as all the rubbernecking jackasses took a look at the flipped semi and then ground to a halt as the incoming traffic from the on-ramp merged.  When we got about a mile past the on-ramp everything just took off again.  I hate that and I couldn’t live anywhere that it happened regularly.

We were monitoring the status of #1 highway and there were 2 closures between Revelstoke and Golden, both from avalanches.  When we got to Chilliwack we stopped for fuel and checked the Drive BC website.  They still weren’t showing much confidence that one of the closures would open that day so we headed east on #3 and wound our way over the south route.   A couple of the passes were a little hairy but most of the road was bare and dry.  We made good time and got to Cranbrook that night.  The next day (Thursday) we got an early start, stopped late in the day in Saskatoon so I could have a meeting and then spent last night in Moose Jaw.  This morning we bought a car, got plates on it, drove into Regina, had a visit with father and got checked into a hotel. 

Father has really deteriorated since we saw him at New Year’s.  I wasn’t sure he even knew who we were today although Marilyn was convinced he did.  Whether or not he did, he was completely unable to communicate and barely able to stay awake.  Getting old isn’t for the faint of heart and contrary to all early indications, his heart is hanging on to the end.

Tomorrow we’ll assess the weather and decide whether or not we’re staying another night.  Often the storms that they spend the most time warning about turn out to be a fizzle.  That wasn’t the case with the one at New Year’s but over the years most of the storms that I remember the media making a big deal about turned out to be nothing and the really bad ones came up unexpectedly.  We need to get out to Buchanan for a few nights but I don’t want to drive through a blizzard to get there and I don’t want to arrive there in a blizzard either so we’ll bide our time here and see what happens.

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