The trip to Seattle
I left Madison, Wisconsin on Monday early morning and arrived in Seattle on Wednesday afternoon. I don’t know if it seems like a long time to you or not, but I can tell you, I did that whole drive in much less time than I was expecting, even though the biggest part of it was as tough as I thought it would be.
The whole drive was 1928 miles (3103 kilometers). Although initially I thought I’d arrive in Seattle on Christmas eve (i.e. 3 days later), when I set off I set it as a goal to drive 650 miles a day and be at my final destination a day early. I drove through Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho and Washington and the diversity of scenery, traffic, driving conditions and weather was truly remarkable.
The first day was just exhausting. Lots of snow and ice everywhere and the winds and snow would not stop attacking Charlie. Not only was half the highway covered in snow, making two of threes lanes very dangerous, but also the wind was maintaining a constant layer of snow floating over the remaining lane, like a big group of road ghosts, scaring all the drivers and laughing at their worried faces. And if you survived this, there was always the icy patch under every single overpass, attempting to send you skidding towards a deadly christmas road twist. Still well on your way? The bridges should finish the job, which, for some reason, many times had ice on their surface.
Try driving through this…
On a couple of occasions Charlie’s wheels tried giving up on me and decided to go one way, while I wanted to go the other way. Luckily I had my hands tight around the wheel during the whole drive, and being the top class driver that I am (You better be nodding at this point!!), I kept it in line. That, however, does not mean that those split second were not accompanied by the perfectly understandable “oh, shiiiiiit!”.
A stopped at a rest area as soon as daylight was fully gone. Funny enough, it was also the very same moment I had exceeded 650 miles and a snow storm had begun. Sleeping in Charlie was my only choice, but it was not going to be as pleasant as usual.It was 8pm and it was already -15 degrees Celcius. I am guessing realisation has not come, until I opened a can of corn that I had to eat, only to find its contents frozen solid. I knew that it was gonna be a chilly night. And chilly it was. (I ate the can of corn anyway. Hunger before comfort.)
The second day was much easier than the first. The second half of the whole distance to Seattle proved to be much quicker than I thought. I was expecting crazy mountain turns and endless mountains of snow, but instead, I found zero traffic and perfectly clean roads. I was still very careful for ice, but it was all fine. There were some random snowy moments and scary parts up in the mountains, but I felt confident enough to continue. I even decided to drive during the night, which got me to drive 950 miles before I parked Charlie outside a hotel at the state line of Idaho and Washington, to spend the night. Even the temperatures were much milder over there. Heck, I could even sleep naked (but still with 5 covers on top)!
The third and last day was a doddle. I was well ahead of schedule and it looked like I would be in Seattle for lunchtime. Even the skies were smiling at me and the weather was beautiful. Sunny day, blue skies and beautiful, varying scenery throughout the whole drive. There wasn’t much snow around, but everything was crystalised and looked bleached!
I was in Seattle indeed by 1pm, where I met up with my friend E., whom I’ll be staying with for a few days. I’m already getting a good vibe by this city. 🙂