For those of you familiar with Washington State, there’s only a couple of major highways that go East-West through the Cascades. I-90 and WA-2 are the main ones. We generally take I-90 since it’s the easiest drive. Not quite as fast as WA-2, but close enough. And there’s more rest stops. Lots more. Very important with kids.
Anyhow, it’s anywhere from six to seven hours drive from point A to point B. About half an hour out of the pass, we see a temporary sign on I-90 Eastbound saying that the highway is closed.
Fantastic. This will eat up a bit of time. But hey, I know exactly where to go, because I’m fairly familiar with the route in general. No problem.
So we pull off at the exit as the signs direct, and I make the turn to get on the smaller highway that will take up about 15 miles farther West. I figure that by then whatever has I-90 closed will be out of the picture.
Oh, and there are no detour signs or anything. Just road closed signs. Nice. But hey, like I said, I know how to get where we need to go.
All is well, until a couple miles farther down the road the highway we’re on is closed too. Aww crud.
Yet again, no more signs that tell us where to go other than “This road is closed. Take that one over there.”
But I’ve never been down this road. I know that it takes us way up north to Wenatchee. I suspect that there’s a way to get back to I-90, but I don’t know for sure.
An hour or so later, and we finally make it back to I-90 on the other side of the closure. Which was caused by a semi truck rolling due to high winds and catching fire. Fantastic.
The main problem here, and lesson learned?
We had no detailed maps. I can drive that route in my sleep. And I know most of the alternate routes. But I wasn’t ready to have to do two detours in quick successions. I knew that I could get to WA-2 from there and switch to that other main route, but that would add another hour and a half to the trip. Winging it worked, but it was a gamble.
We had a GPS that helped, but having a paper map would have been much better.
Bottom line … having one backup plan just won’t cut it.
I’ll be examining our life a bit more to see where I need to add some more redundancy to our plans. You should consider doing the same!