Melody's sister Celeste was in town for several days, so we went over to Spokane for the weekend to visit family over there. Celeste lives in Austin, TX and had originally planned to come over the Christmas holiday. However, the weather was bad enough that she postponed the trip until this month when the weather would be better. We always enjoy having her visit and spending time with her.
Melody's mom Jean picked Celeste up from the airport and they went directly to Keith's place to spend time with him and Bev, Kenny, and Carmen. Sounds like they had a great visit. The next day they headed down to Tacoma to see the Museum of Glass and the Washington State History Museum. Before Jean went back to Yakima Friday morning, we saw that Spokane had gotten quite a bit of snow the previous day (reports ranged from 3.5 to 7 inches) and also that the pass had been closed Thursday night. This was after all the planning to avoid the snow!
A quick check of the the traffic cameras showed things looked fine, so we proceeded to head out. There was an accident which delayed us about 45 minutes through the pass, but that wasn't too bad. We went past another accident further east. While you can't see it in the picture, most of the front of the car (on the right side of the truck's trailer) was sheared off.
We were glad to finally make it and see Irene, Neal, and Barbara. The weather was a bit chilly when we went on an after-dinner walk, but it felt good to stretch our legs.
We went to Dishman Hills on Saturday to do some hiking. As you can see in the left picture there were still small patches of snow left on the ground. The trails were mostly dry, but we did run across a few muddy areas. Fortunately we didn't have any problem walking around them. We also ran across a tree that was uprooted, but it had a very unusual bend at the very bottom.
That night we had dinner with Irene, Neal, Barbara and her sister Joanne, and Neal's friends Jerry and Susan. The next thing we knew, it was time for people to head home, but we were glad for the good company.
We left back for Seattle after breakfast on Sunday. The weather looked great, but as we got closer to the pass there were signs saying there were 11 miles of congestion. We had planned on meeting Keith and family at our place when we returned, so we called to let them know it looked like we were going to be late. Bev looked things up and said there appeared to be four hour delays as a precaution to be sure there wouldn't be avalanches. We crept forward for a while, but before too long we were completely stopped. Melody grabbed her laptop and made some progress on a proposal for work, and Celeste and I did some reading. We ended up being delayed for about 2.5 hours, so it was unfortunately too late to get together with the Winkles.
Celeste made it safely to Sea-Tac Airport yesterday morning after stopping by the Web Collective to see where Melody worked and to meet some of her colleagues.