Saturday, April 02, 2011

Some Optimism

Add this to the list of things I've forgotten before I went all Humboldt: slides and washouts on Hwy 101, the main artery into and out of Humboldt County. Drive up and down it long enough and all the winter-time road signs warning of Rough Roads, Lane Closure Ahead, One-Way Traffic Control, and Caution: Men At Work blend into the background greenery.

[The other thing I forget: there's an ad on the radio right now advertising "free beef with the tires you buy!" Really.]

But every four or five years, a bigger storm comes through and closes something major. In this case, part of a hillside just north of Garberville threw up its hands in despair at March's incessant rains and slid onto the highway, completely closing it. Yeah, that's right: Hwy 101 is completely closed north of Garberville. So throw your chains in the trunk and drive over Hwy 299 to Redding, then down to Sacramento, then over to San Francisco if you're heading south. The North Coast Journal has a nice blog entry about it here. And the Times-Substandard has this to say. And the excellent Redheaded Blackbelt has this photo-laden blog post.

I feel pretty lucky—I drove north from the Bay Area the afternoon before the slide. If I'd waited til Wednesday afternoon to drive home...ugh. I don't have snow chains, so it would have been a long drive north to Grants Pass in Oregon before I could catch an open highway west and get back onto The 101.

Best quote regarding the slide?
”There is some optimism that we could have a lane carved through there by Monday,” said California Highway Patrol Sgt. Martin Abshire. “We are not planning on that, but it is a possibility. That's not a probability, it's only a possibility, and it's very optimistic.” 

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