On the road again

MITCHELL'S MUSINGS: It’s supposed to rain this weekend...

It’s supposed to rain this weekend. Although they’ve been teasing us with such predictions for awhile now and all it usually amounts to is a spit in the wind, this time it looks like it’s for real.

As I’m writing this on Friday it’s difficult to know but I have some faith this time it will really rain, even though regular readers know that I’ve bashed meteorologists in the past (who else gets to give professional advice qualified by percentages, well, except pollsters of course, but that’s another story).

And I don’t remember rain being so welcomed by so many around here, but even more at the Coast.

I just took a quick mid-week trip to the Lower Mainland and I couldn’t believe how brown everything was…..yes, brown.

The land of umbrellas and intermittent showers (that means if it’s not raining, it’s either just stopped, or just about to start) is no more. At least not this summer and they have the water restrictions and dirty cars to prove it.

Hey, for once it’s not raining on the PNE, well, until this weekend apparently that is…..

…..and speaking of getting hot under the collar at the Coast I had the distinct pleasure of joining the morning rush-hour commute from Abbotsford to Richmond on Thursday morning.

I set out to pick the holiday-returning kids up at the airport hotel from my cousin’s place at 7:10 a.m., hopefully leaving a little extra time for the scheduled 8:30 a.m. pickup.

Well, not enough time as it turned out.

As soon as I left the fancy roundabout and found my way to the Highway 1 exit going the right way, and I had travelled, oh, about 1,500 metres or so along the highway, it suddenly became more like a parking lot.

We weren’t moving at all.

I quickly tuned in the news channel on the radio to find out there was a flipped truck closing off one lane but it looked like it was going to be cleared soon, so rather than taking the exit to the Abbotsford airport and hopefully the Fraser Highway if I could find it, I stuck it out, along with the rest of my newfound friends that seemed to stretch on forever.

I’m a pretty patient guy most of the time but when you’re virtually trapped in a maze of cars and you’re more than slightly out of your comfort zone and wondering if you’ll ever get to Richmond, let alone back to Vernon, you can slowly feel yourself start to lose it.

I didn’t of course, ahem, but I suddenly understood how dehumanizing it is to be stuck in a sea of metal with no way out and how you get so focused on your own plight you don’t bother to consider that someone in that truck ahead might be in real trouble.

After what seemed like eons, but was more like 20 minutes or so, I approached the accident scene to see the truck in question being towed away and once again we were all on our way and I only missed the pickup time by a mere 15 minutes.

I felt a twinge of guilt about my behaviour but then when I missed the exit to the bridge coming out of Richmond and got stuck in a traffic jam heading to the Deas Tunnel on Highway 99 for another 20 minutes or so, my internal road rage surfaced again, especially seeing how it was my fault and if I hadn’t missed that exit I’d be on my way by now and…..

……I like the Coast, visiting anyway, but I like the traffic in these parts much, much better, even though it can be a bit much at times, relatively speaking of course.

But what I do like down there is filling up with gas in Hope at $1.11, which is at least 13 cents cheaper than here, and excuse the pun but drives me crazy.

Luckily, ahem, I’m driving the other kid to Victoria this weekend so I can fill up again in Hope, twice, and at least drive around as long as possible on cheaper gas until I have to fill (half-fill, that’s my way of handling it) up again on the local variety, which must be some kind of champagne gas.

Or, maybe, just maybe, it will be cheaper by then?