How much snow did it take to make me change? I don't honestly know, it was half an inch to a couple of inches. It really was not the snow but the commute that took away my joy.
I am so very thankful for many things, no damage to me or my car, and not having to spend the night in my car. Also few more things, the kindness and helpfulness of Portlanders, living somewhere with public transportation that ran through the night, and the lovely restaurant called Basta Trattoria.
I started working again on Monday. I was pretty darn excited to be working in a new town and job. I was a bit worried about driving around Portland but I knew I could handle it. Until the snow hit us on Wednesday. It does not take much to affect a town full of bridges and hills. A town that has a healthy respect for precipitation and below freezing temperatures. It does not matter if you and your vehicle are experienced with snow, different towns have different challenges, compacted snow and ice takes no prisoners.
I left work going my new normal route, for only my third time. There is a whole long saga of calls, decisions and going nowhere. I even hopped a guard rail and walked into a bar to use the restroom. Suffice it to say that it took me four and a half hours to get less than three miles and I was ever so happy to get there. I was trying to figure out how to get off the road when I looked over and saw Basta's parking lot. I pulled in with the intent to beg them to let me stay in their parking lot for a few hours while roads were hopefully cleared of ice, wrecks and abandoned cars. As I walked into this lovely place the thought hit me that I could have dinner. I can not tell you what a revelation the thought of nice hot food was. I asked the server for a recommendation, since my brain was still busy telling me how nice it was to not have a foot on the brakes. She recommended Gnocchi e Maiale: wild mushrooms, marsala, grilled peppercorn encrusted pork tenderloin. I can not tell you the magnificence of that meal. Such an oasis of calm and flavor.
After dinner I was feeling them out about leaving my car there if need be. They assured me that they would call to place it on the do not tow list and gave me a card to put on my dash just in case. I did try to find a way home before looping back around and parking again. I figured safe in my car in a parking lot was better than burning gas parked on the road.
After about half an hour I started looking at alternate news of the traffic. Google had assured me the whole time that I was only on a delayed 50 minute commute, all six to seven hours of my ordeal by that time.
I noticed that the MAX light rail would continue to run through the night to help commuters and to keep the tracks clear. Lucky for me during my loop of the area I knew a MAX stop was near to me. After assuring Hubby I am a tough girl...OK fine he assured me I am indeed a tough girl, I started walking. It was surreal to be out on the streets of a city, alone at 11pm and feel perfectly safe. I even passed a cross country skier taking advantage of the conditions.
Hubby came to pick me up from the station and I walked in the door around midnight. A nice long eight hour commute. I did drift off to sleep seeing tail lights lining the road in front of me. I also woke up a few hours later ever so thankful to be safe and warm in my bed.
Yesterday my 40 minute commute seemed like nothing.
Everyone I spoke with was kind and helpful. Portland you are indeed weird but you're nice too.