Missions / Travel

Stranded in Seattle

So Monday, December 5th was the day that K and I were to finally board a train and go to Seattle.  I was getting to visit G-ma for the first time in a while, and for K. it was her first time to 1) ride a train and 2) go to Seattle. 

But Monday, December 5th was also the day of the worst flooding in the Pacific NorthWest since 1996.  Maybe even worse than that.

We, being the night-working people that we are, got home from work at 12:15 and 12:50.  Then we packed.  So when 5:30 a.m. rolled around we hadn’t had mch sleep  but we managed to get out the door and to the bus stop.  Maybe our first clue should have been at the first bus stop, where we were almost drowned in a tsunami-wave when the bus pulled up.  Sure, we said miserably to ourselves, it’s raining.  But then, it’s always raining in Portland.  No big deal, right?  We got to the train station and somwhere I think K. has a hilarious picture of the clock tower at the train station that says in big neon letters “GO BY _RAIN.” 

As we stood in line to get our tickets we found out that there had been a mudslide, and so Amtrak bussed us to Seattle.  Well, at least we go there, right?  About four hours after we got there we heard that the flooding was getting so bad, they were going to have to close 1-5.  By that night, there was 10 feet of water covering 1-5.  The other alternate route from Seattle to Portland was also completely flooded out.  By the next morning, we knew we were in trouble.  We had train tickets to go back t o Portlland Tuesday night, since we both had work the next morning.  But when we called Amtrak, the trains were still out, and they said they wouldn’t offer any alternate transportation.  So then we called Greyhound.  The only way to get to Portland was a 7am bus through Yakima that would have taken 11 hours.  Much too late to get to work. 

Grandma came through and ended up buying us both tickets on Horizon to fly to Seattle on the 6am flight.  So then we had to wake up at 4 to get to the airport.  But we got to work!

Anyway we actually had a fabulous time and got to do lots of fun Seattle things.  And of course the damage done to people’s homes is no laughing matter.  Last week President Bush signed the document certifying several counties in Oregon and most of western Washington a federal emergency.    Tons of people have been volunteering with Red Cross and the Oregon Food Bank to help out all the people who lost their homes and are stuck in this miserable cold weather.  There’s a lot of people who need warm blankets in times like this, so if you have some you can give, I think Red Cross is still a good resource for that.  Your local Safeway is probably involved with the Oregon Food Bank if you want to donate food.

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