We're back from our holiday journey to the frozen north. It was fun to see family, but I am so glad to be off the roads.
Day 1 of our adventure: part of I-84 was closed. We decided to backtrack when the FedEx trucks were turning around. Lost a couple hours, but made it around the blocked area. Tried to help a guy get back on the road (too stuck - trooper called a tow truck). At least we got some snow-driving karma points. Drove on nasty, icy crap roads but made it to Boise.
Day 2: driving through Eastern Oregon. Hit a shady slippery patch on a downhill slope and spun/slid off the road. Used those karma points. Some nice guys stopped and helped us dig a path back to the road, one using a cooler lid as a shovel. Made it back on the road, and the rest of the drive to SE WA was relatively uneventful.
Time with my paternal grandparents: they loved seeing Doodle. She played, jumped, danced, and made great-grandma's antique glass reindeer nurse ("have mama milk" she said) on the mama reindeer. So cute.
Drive to my mom's: horrid. We left Xmas Eve, around 8:45pm. Slid off the road once, similar scenario to previous time. Got back on road easily. Now out of karma points. Kept driving in slick conditions. Nearly got runover by a speeding minivan, narrowly missing being rear ended by moving into the left lane. Pulled over at rest stop, chained up. Did you know that you can only go ~25 MPH with chains? And that, in doing so, it takes AN HOUR to go frickin' 25 miles?!?! Egad, that took forever. Rolled into Spo-town very late, where there was lots and lots AND LOTS of snow. Drove slowly through town, made it to mom's house by 3:45 am. Merry Christma...zzzzzz.
Christmas day: my sis flew in, only a few hours delayed. Hung out, played, had fun. Got a kick ass knitted purse from my sissy complete with snazzy quarter buttons. I *heart* it. That and my new tiger box (oh, don't worry...I'll post pics) made for a quirky, eclectic MamaBee Christmas. Doodle loved her photo book, J got his very first climbing nut... it was good. Ate lots of turkey, gravy and rice dressing. Yum.
Day after Xmas: Obligatory visit to maternal Grandma, where she gave Doodle a window-clingy stuffed animal with a tag identifying it's production date as 1990. Do other peoples' grandparents keep stuff like this around for 18 years? Followed this visit with a trip to the climbing gym. Doodle played on crashpads with Uncle T while J belayed my mom and sissy. Fun times had by all... though I do miss being able to climb with everyone. Maybe next year.
Following day: dug out the house. Massive roofalanches (snow falling off steep metal roof in large sheets) resulted in some damage to deck railing. J and my bro T dug out the deck while my mom got the snowplow stuck and unstuck plowing the driveway. Yes, my mom has to plow her driveway. Ugh. The snow was ridiculous. I dug out the mailbox area while Doodle was napping. At least we got to enjoy the hot tub.
The next day we were back on the road, this time via MT and ID. One good mountain pass and one nasty pass, plus a bunch further into Montana. Managed to psych myself out with dark and blowing snow while driving, so we stopped short of Butte for the night. Kept driving the next morning and it was pretty good. A stretch of road to Butte was slick, and just past the MT-ID border it turned to nasty blowing ugly snow. Gross. Made it past that, and the rest of the way home was great. We got home at a reasonable hour. No more snow driving karma points acquired nor required. Now completely sick of winter driving. Is it spring yet?
We were glad to spend time with family, introducing Doodle to my Uncles and hanging out with my loved ones. Hopefully, though, that'll be our last major winter trek driving all the way up north. Next time we have the holidays up there, we're flying.
Happy New Year, everyone!