Friday, February 19, 2010

Speaking of the Winter Blahs

Yesterday, the sun came out here. Clear, crisp, sixty degrees F., an east wind from the Gorge, altogether a beautiful day. (The old joke in Portland when the clouds part: Mysterious Shining Orb Appears in Sky! Panicked Residents Cower in Awe!)

The sun is out! The sun is out! So naturally, everybody and her kid sister hopped in their cars and went for a ride. Come rush hour, all the major roads were clogged like arteries at the Heart Attack Cafe, and the super-slab, between downtown and the bridge on I-5 was a parking lot. Even on a good day, that stretch is one of the worst commutes in the country, ranking in the top, I think, sixteen or eighteen of Roads You Don't Want to Take During Rush Hour. Seriously.

Took an hour and and half to get from my house across the I-5 bridge, which is just under eighteen miles. Which means I averaged somewhere around thirteen miles an hour for that stretch. It picks up once you are across the bridge, but even so, any kid on a bike with an open road can manage that all day.

You'd think the trip would be slower in a cold and nasty rain, but it isn't. People who don't have to go out stay home. On a good (rainy) day I can make that run in forty-five minutes. (During the summer, when I toodle over to Longview/Kelso, WA, which is twice as far and ten miles more, via the back route on Hwy. 30, I can still manage it an hour and a half or a bit less.

Civilization has its discontents.


Dojo Rat said...

You might try getting off hwy 30 and go over the St. Johns bridge, take Columbia blvd or similar route, depending on where you are headed.
I used to live on Sauvie Island and took the back roads around town a lot.

Steve Perry said...

I've tried every way to get from Beaverton to Vancouver there is -- and there aren't that many. My daughter lives in St. Johns, by the U, and I know the territory. All roads eventually lead to one of two bridges crossing the river, and during rush hour, there ain't any good way to go ...

Tiel Aisha Ansari said...

I'm usually making that trip with a couple of other people, so we take the carpool lane on I-5. It's not too bad.

Yesterday, with the Portland hordes mostly down with the plague, I ran out east to I-205. It was faster than 5 would have been, but still took me a good 45 min.