Last day in Reno… but still not home.

This morning I sauntered down to the coffee shop downstairs. Because the hotel’s deconstruction was concentrated right in front of the cafe, the shop’s front entrance was cordoned off by opaque plastic and yellow barrier tape. There were detour signs channeling consumers through the gift shop (whose “No food or drinks” sign connoted irony). There was pounding. There was sawing. It was OMG loud.

I yelled my order to the person working behind the counter. She asked me if I wanted whipped cream on my mocha. Or maybe it was “are you enjoying the sensation of needles jabbing into your eardrums?” While the Caffeine Goodness was being made, I tried making (loud) smalltalk. Her answer to the obvious question: pain medication. Lots.

We gave away an 80Gb video ipod during the random drawing held after presentation on Monday. The recipient, who works for a large defense contractor, came by this morning saying that his ethics department said there would be a conflict of interest if he accepted this, please give it to someone else. Yes, it was tempting to make this a truly “win/win” situation (and save the $300 off a future purchase).

Then the trip home started… Among the reason my flight out of Reno was late was … my arm rest was missing its cover. I swear I didn’t say anything. In fact, I had stuffed a pillow on top of it.) The flight attendant asked us to clear the row so the mechanic could examine the damage. From his toolbox came a fancy roll of tape with teeny little writing citing the specific F.A.R. (Federal Aviation Regulation) allowing them to waive the brokenness of the part and continue the flight. The flight attendant berated me when I had the gall to move back into the seat and resume my knitting. Then, when everyone was sealed in, they announced there was no potable water on the plane. Sweet!

Fast forward to the post-landing festivities. It took almost two hours to “drive” from SeaTac to the first exit off the ramp. During that time, I heard various people call into the News Radio stations offering accounts of traffic mayhem. Friends on the east side confirmed it was even worse along the I-90 corridor. A neighbor who had left at 4:30 pm, hadn’t made it home by 8:00 pm. There were numerous reports of people abandoning cars along the road. People here don’t know how to drive in snow.

I canvassed the roads near South Center for a motel. A lot of people apparently shared the same idea, because the Marriott and Embassy Suites were both sold out. I struck pay dirt at the Best Western across the street, getting the third-to-the-last available room. It also has free wireless.It’s still snowing at home, with almost a foot of accumulation. Tomorrow’s outlook is for sub-freezing temperatures. Given how long it took my neighborhood to clear out last time with a few inches, it’s unlikely I’ll make it home until Saturday.

The upside was I’ve had a lot of quality knitting time. My scarf-in-progress is about 15″ long. Unfortunately, I’m almost out of yarn.

Check out the picture from the traffic camera for the exit near home. Those cars were parked.

6 thoughts on “Last day in Reno… but still not home.”

  1. Yike! Timing, dude…

    I’m pretty sure running out of yarn is a valid 911 call – just make sure you have the correct lot number or they will bring you the wrong color.

    Hope you get home someday.

  2. We got 3.5″ of snow at my house. I decided that was the perfect opportunity to be an idiot and get on my motorbike (enduro with knobby tires).

    Anyways, there were two cars that couldn’t make it up the hill leading to our house. They were parked at a 45 deg angle in the middle of the road- I had to ride off onto the shoulder to get around them. Brilliant.

    Rode about 7 miles, never above 17mph or out of first gear. It was actually fun, except for sliding the front end of the bike, especially on packed snow.

  3. Hi Susan, I got home yesterday evening. Snow up on the plateau is much thicker than I would have imagined, easily a foot-plus in parts.

    Ted: I saw several abandoned cars up my hill, too. It would be interesting to watch a time lapse of how they all end up in their predicament.

  4. re: iPods and ethics violations: when one of our employees got an ipod as a freebie, he auctioned it off among the employees for charity. This was our win-win.

    re: cars parked cattywumpus on a hill: when I was x-c skiing night before last, after dinner, an impressive array of vehicles were abandoned on NE 24th Street, including a few that were smashed up, and a Metro bus and Access van.

  5. It reached 40.5C (105F) in Canberra yesterday – would you like to arrange a weather swap? We could do with the water, even if it is frozen 🙂

  6. Steve: I’d like to borrow your weather for about a day – enough to melt all the snow. You can keep the water. (We’re currently well-ahead of our rainfall.)

    Claire: We’re going to use it in another giveaway. I suspect his employer is overreacting from some previous shenanigans.

    I heard there had been at least two buses spun out on the freeway, with the passengers walking along the pedestrian way.

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