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My Commute Sucks

My job is fine. It pays the bills, I work with nice people, make decent money, it's secure, etc... but the one thing I hate about my job more than anything is actually getting to the office on a daily basis. Especially on days like this.

Complaining about my commute is nothing new on this site. I drive from the north east side of Bend to Sunriver every day. Usually takes me about 40 minutes to do it, 30 on a clear sunny day (hit the parkway and go). It's been raining in Bend for the last 24 hours or so, and then it dropped below freezing last night so all that rain turned to ice. However, it kept snowing south of Bend (high elevation) so there was basically two or three inches of snow on top of the skating rink that Highway 97 has become south of Lava Butte. And the highway is already horribly dangerous in that area, narrowing down into one narrow southbound lane from two and being further narrowed by the amount of snow on the road.

This is a stretch of highway that people generally drive way too fast, especially in the Winter. There are a lot of tourists and others who have never driven in the snow, and SUV owners who think they can easily drive 65+MPH on a 55MPH road that's covered with ice. As I was approaching where the road narrows up to one lane, I was going maybe 30MPH (at the most) as were all the cars in front of me. I look up in my rear-view window and see a small SUV (little Isuzu or something) with skis on top rapidly approaching me (going at least 60). I could see him getting closer and closer, and meanwhile I'm trying to find a place to bail out in case he can't stop. At the last minute, he finally looks up from his cell phone and slams on his brakes, nearly flying off the road. Then he proceeds to tailgate me all the way to the Sunriver turnoff (about three miles down the road). I couldn't pull off to let him by without endangering myself further.

And then the real fun started. They're building a new cloverleaf interchange at the intersection of South Century Drive (the main Sunriver turn off) and the highway. It's a mess down there right now, and turning off into Sunriver is even more dangerous than before until the construction is completed. I proceed to make the right-hand turn as slow as my car will go, get it turned at the 90° angle, and my car continues to slide. It slid about eight feet before coming to a stop literally three inches from a large pickup truck. So I thankfully didn't hit him, but I was rattled quite a bit. But as I spent a few seconds gaining my senses there are getting shaken up, jackass SUV boy that was tailgating me for the last few miles whips by me, and proceeds to drive 70+ towards the mountain.

That stretch of road is so nasty, and if I could have this same job in Bend, I'd be a lot less stressed out. That interchange that will (in theory) make that area a bit safer can not come soon enough.

And as I was writing this entry, we just got a phone call from a Realtor at our office here, who said there's a truck Jack-knifed at the intersection where I nearly hit the pickup. I don't see anything on TripCheck yet, but apparently the highway's been closed.

Morals of this story? If you have an SUV, that doesn't give you any right to haul butt down the road. Two, drive carefully out there, as it's a mess.

Posted by Jake on 01/04/07 @ 10:47 AM
Posted in Jake, Local | Permalink

3 Trackbacks

What a Day... from UtterlyBoring.com on 01/05/07 @ 08:38 AM:
I was going to post something about all this last night, but I was too dang tired, but yesterday was just a rotten day. After my near death experience in... (Read More)

Did KBND Kill Their Afternoon News? from UtterlyBoring.com on 01/23/07 @ 09:35 AM:
Did I miss something here? Every day on my commute home, I had been listening to the local news on KBND before switching over to NPR. The last few days,... (Read More)

Is Winter Over Yet? from UtterlyBoring.com on 02/22/07 @ 12:26 PM:
All of us Bend woke up to a bit of snow -- which meant there was a ton at my office in Sunriver (we've got about six to eight inches... (Read More)

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