We drove right into a dust storm of sorts. Not quite a haboob, but enough dust and wind to merit a thorough lens cleaning this week.
We stopped at a rest area along I-90 to walk around and get some extra steps into our FitBit. I geared up in a hat and big jacket to block the wind.
To get the shot I wanted of an irrigation structure disappearing into the dust, I had to jump one unfortunate obstacle and cross a random road next to a field.
Mike shot the above photo from behind. He captioned it perfectly: “…And @blushresponse was never heard from again.”
Unfortunately for him, I returned with the above photo.
While driving over the Snoqualmie Pass, we passed a convoy of what we think was Army personnel transporting their vehicles and even some explosives. We only think that because one vehicle was labeled with a caution sign: explosives. I fumbled my phone and couldn’t take a photo of it.
Some of the men were seated in the elements of the vehicle where you can bet it was cold, windy and bumpy. One guy managed to fall asleep by Exit 62 along I-90. How? We may never know.
At least another guy saw me trying to take photos through the windshield and he waved. It’s hard to tell, but just look at his right hand. He’s totally waving.
At least I think he’s a he. Who knows these days.
Some are taking their life in their own hands skating with these icy streets and sidewalks. A normal trot from one’s vehicle to the office door takes twice as long when you’re trying to keep your tight-rope balance so you’re not that guy that slips on the ice in the company parking lot.
While reporter Ian Cull and his photographer were shooting video for Wednesday’s story on icy Spokane roads, they witnessed this unfortunate incident at Monroe and 8th where a bicyclist took a gamble.
The bicyclist was not injured during the fall.
Even though North Idaho is experiencing low snow levels, back country drivers are stumbling upon an unexpected hazard as they joyride through forest service roads. Trail heads remain clear and open, but the farther they trek into the forest, they find snow and it’s deep.
It’s becoming a hassle for the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office and their search and rescue crews to help stuck drivers who didn’t expect their vehicles to break the crest of deep snow. Sgt. Ryan Higgins says they’ve had to rescue about ten people already this year.
“Last weekend we had a couple of gals, late teens, get stuck driving around in a Subaru Wagon, getting into snow too deep for them,” Higgins explained.
During the calm winter weather, Higgins says average citizens are driving their vehicles along these forest service roads. At some point they’re unable to turn around or get out once they’ve broken through the snow crest.
“We get these calls late at night and then we have to call search and rescue,” Higgins said.
“Last night we had a call of a stranded motorist off of Forest Service Road 406 between Fernan Saddle, coming up Hayden Creek. They made it to Burnt Cabin Summit, fairly close to town, but they go on the other side of it. Members of my team rescued the two people, but while going there they found another rig that was stuck. And then a third rig that was also stuck. That vehicle had help on the way.”
This is unusual for this time of year. Typically the forest service roads are closed and barricaded due to snowmobile grooming. An ordinance says once grooming begins, motor vehicles have to stay off the roads so ATV and snowmobiles can go through.
Higgins says this year they’re not allowing the groomers to groom without snow at the trail head. That means the roads can’t close and drivers wander into these potentially dangerous situations.
Stuck drivers run the risk of hypothermic conditions if they attempt to walk out. On Wednesday, one driver walked out and found help after his vehicle became stuck at Hayden Creek.
With no restrictions in place to deny drivers, the Sheriff’s Department suggests a couple safety measures to protect people. Before trekking out there, tell a friend or relative where you’re going and when to expect you. They also recommend being dressed for the cold weather and bringing along enough food and water.
If a driver does become stuck in the snow, they should stay with their vehicle until help arrives.
Have you ever wondered what regional Spokane County roads result in the most traffic fatalities? Maybe you’ve wanted to find more specific information about the traffic fatalities like what mode of transportation they were using and if that’s a frequent occurrence on that stretch of road.
Using data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation, ITO World Ltd. has compiled a data map of fatalities into a visual tale of deaths on the road.
The data only covers information from 2001 to 2009. Many recent fatalities you recall on the news will not be visible, especially those that sparked the city-wide ‘ghost bikes’.
Online: View the entire map and zoom in where you want to see the most detail. Fatalities are color coded and feature gender and age.
Cougar fans driving to Seattle for this weekend’s football match up should be prepared to meet their“viadoom”.
Washington State Department of Transportation says the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure could create long delays as fans travel in and around Seattle for the October 22nd game at CenturyLink Field.
“Remember those Seven2 crime fighters? Car prowlers beware. I just got a peak of their batmobile-esque entry into the Spokane Interstate Fair demolition derby. The green machine is the brain child of their creative director, Jesse Pierpoint. If you recall from their car prowler pursuit, Pierpoint was the man who was originally wearing flip-flops during the pursuit but eventually threw them off, running barefoot through downtown Spokane.”