NFR Wild Ride Last Night

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Greg Price, Apr 14, 2013.

  1. Snoqualmie Pass was an adrenaline ride last night

    I left Ellensburg about 9 PM last night on my way home from Nunnaly.

    I received reports on the travel radio of heavy snow and closures. No problem, I thought. I have my chains, rain gear, head lamp.

    About 10 miles west of Elensburg it started snowing - hard. Very difficult to see.

    By the first few hills near bullfrog my traction control started kicking in, so I puled off the highway and into the WSDOT lot at bullfrog. Put my chains on.

    After getting back onto the highway I found i was fighting ruts and 4-6 inches of snow on the freeway. At one point, my rear tires caught in one rut while the front tires stayed in another. I slide down the highway approx 10 car lengths like this, power still on )(fwd pulls the car) and rear hanging out at a 45 degree angle. It was all I could do to not panic. The car finally came out the the skid, but it sure was exciting - even though I was only going 25 to 30 mph.

    The highway closed just past the Lake Easton State Park exit, so I pulled into downtown Easton and drove around the stoppage. Just as I arrived, the state patrol opened up the road - score!

    I still had my chains on, so I took it slow and kept a great distance between me an the people in front of me. At one point, the car in front of me was caught up in a rut and spun 3/4 of the way around. Exciting ride for him. I stopped in plenty of time and gave him the thumbs up because he did not hit the guard rail. If he had more momentum he would have hit it.

    I arrived home safe at 2:45 this morning.

    All for one fish on but not landed. Well worth the adventure.
  2. Glad that you got home in one piece, and without serious incident.
    Look at it this way, a good story for the campfire and to tell you grand kids someday.
  3. Check the weather report next time. I know the reports over here called for a big wind. In the cooler months that wind may also have accompanying snow in the passes. I learned the "check the weather reports" after getting held up one time myself.
  4. I would have turned around and headed back to the Tav in Ellensburg and a room at the Best Western :eek:
    dryflylarry likes this.
  5. We drove up to Roslyn for some pizza yesterday evening. It was a big surprise to see snow falling halfway through our meal.

    These early/late season snowfalls are the worst. If I was slipping around with the chains on I think I would have done what FA suggested and turned around. It can get surprisingly bad up there. Early this past winter I did a 360 on heading westbound at about 10mph on the denny creek viaduct in my Subaru.
  6. wow, 10 mph 360. I like it. did you do it on purpose? I am assuming you did not hit anything. You get extra syle points in my book, just like the guy in front of me who did a 3/4 rotation without hitting the guard rail or anyone else.

    To all those who thought I should turn around, I agree, that is would have been the best practice. But, I lost my job on Wednesday and am not sure what my immediate financial future looks like, so spending $$ for a motel stay is harder to justify.

    Driving a car on dicey roads reminds me of my younger years riding dirt bikes in mud and snow. I enjoy it in a twisted kind of way. It forces every other thought out of my mind. No distractions, radio turned off, window down just a crack so I can better detect wheel spin.
    Jeff Dodd and Patrick Gould like this.
  7. Glad you made it back safely, Greg. I made a Yakima River trip a few springs ago and hit a total whiteout right at the pass on my way home (very tired, and kinda whipped......). The wipers could barely keep up with the snow and you couldn't see anything like lane markers. Kind of a "Helen Keller" trip down the west side of I-90. It had cleared up by North Bend, but then I was back into it over Tiger Mountain. Major pucker factor for a half hour at the pass and about 15 minutes over Tiger.
  8. I read this and i was right back to 1988 in Tacoma.

    I was 18 and my brother 17. We went to a large church parking lot and played chase for over 2 hours. We would do figure 8's until we spun out, stop, take breaks, change cars.... timed each other doing laps.... it was one of my best snow days as a youth.
    bigdood likes this.
  9. Adventures in motoring. I love it!

    I used to live in eastern Idaho when I was young; a great place for such adventures.


  10. I didn't hit anything, but I did learn two things:
    -A bright, sunny day in Ellensburg doesn't mean it not whiteout conditions in Cle Elum. Check the pass report.
    -AWD means nothing with performance tires - put the studs on as soon as it's legal.
  11. Patrick,

    Glad to hear you did not hit anything. FWD or AWD helps, but is not fool proof.

    How do you like your Subaru? I have been kicking around the idea of purchasing a used Forrester. I wonder if it would pull my drift boat.

    My first car was a full size chevy pickup truck. I learned a lot of lessons driving that truck on rain /snow/ or ice days. I do miss rear wheel drive for the most excellent power slides, but I have to say the FWD makes safe passage much easier.

    I will drive the pass tomorrow and fish Lenore or Lenice depending upon wind. Freezing level is up above the pass during the day, so it should not be a problem.
  12. I did the same last Saturday night. Drive from Coulee City to Bellevue was diverted through Blewitt and Stevens passes. Took 6.0 hours instead of 3.5. At my age and with my bitchy disposition, I wasn't happy. I did catch my largest ever trout earlier that day though, so I had that going for me.
  13. Most newer subarus have a towing capacity around 2400-3200. Should be plenty for a DB. I use my forester to tow my 16 toon and it goes over the pass without any problems
  14. They're Great reliable cars with a big following. The '03-'08 manual trans models have a 2400lbs capacity in the Foresters and Outbacks. The XT(turbo) or the H6 are more fun, but the little 170hp H4 is still nice. I have some friends that towed their little travel trailer all over the country with their '07 so you shouldn't have any trouble with a drift boat.
  15. Lugan,

    Glad to hear you got into to the biggest fish of your life. Also glad you made it home safe.

    Payton and Patrick, that is encouraging news on the Subies. Sounds like I need a non-turbo, 5 spd model. It would be nice to find a 5 spd with leather interior so I can haul my mutts around and have easier clean up. My current car is a 5 spd, but my wife is campaigning for an auto.

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