Last Thursday morning my alarm was set for 4:05am. I hopped out of bed tired, but excited for the weekend that was ahead. Las Vegas was the beginning of the season, and this year, it was the beginning of the final ride of my softball career. Not to mention, we were leaving the subzero temperatures of Ellensburg for 70-degree weather!
Now, Vegas went well and it was a dream come true to wear a t-shirt outside without a parka and beanie on. However, the trip back to Ellensburg was an ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARE. Anything that could go wrong, did go wrong.
We left the ball field at 4:30pm and headed straight to the airport (no, we did not get to shower). As we parked the rental car we found out our flight was two hours delayed. We then found out that we weren’t able to check our much larger than carry-on sized duffel bags. Here we go…dragging huge duffel bags through the airport. This in itself is never a good way to start the trip home, but looking back at the trip, the two-hour delay was the least of our worries.
Okay, now pretend you’re boarding the plane in Las Vegas with us and for the next few minutes imagine yourself in this situation (and don’t forget, we still have not showered after the game).
After spending hours (four to be exact) in the airport, at 9:30pm we are finally in the air and headed back to Seattle. Around 11pm we are told we were descending into Seattle and will be arriving shortly and the bus is already waiting for us at the airport. As we began to get closer to the runway it became apparent that it was snowing extremely hard in Seattle, the turbulence was terrifying and we became uneasy about the events that we transpiring. As we were about to touch the ground, we sped back up and began going upwards again. After a long ten minutes the pilot notified us of what was going on. We were headed to Portland for an emergency landing. Needless to say, a slight panic attack was taking place for everyone on the flight. Our bus was waiting at SeaTac, not PDX and we were supposed to be back in Ellensburg for class on Monday, it’s already Monday.
After waiting for two hours in Portland, we were in the air on the way back to Seattle. After another bumpy trip, we landed in Seattle at 2am. We headed to baggage claim and after waiting for over an hour, we finally had our bags and were headed to the bus. By the time we were loaded on the bus and driving away with chains on, it was 3:15am. Ellensburg bound, we thought.
As we continued to drive and the snow continued to fall, we checked the pass, CLOSED. It’s 3:30am and the pass is closed, we aren’t going home after all. To Bellevue we go, where we find a hotel and crawl into bed at 4:30am…the sun was beginning to rise. I think I speak for everyone when I say, the frustration was so immense that I could have cried. Exhausted, stressed and frustrated.
After a whopping three hours of sleep we wake up for breakfast and begin to plan our trek back home. It’s Monday morning (still) and pass is still closed and the snow is STILL coming down. We are missing class, we are missing practice and we are missing weights. And… all other routes to Ellensburg also include compact snow and ice, chains required and hours of added travel time.
We loaded up the bus (again) at noon and headed toward the pass to wait out the closure. As we waited for the pass to open we shopped, talk about retail therapy. At this point in the trip, we were looking for all the positives possible. A new pair of Nike’s was a temporary mood booster.
FINALLY, around 2pm the pass opened, we chained up again and headed for the summit through the blizzard. In the hundreds of trips I’ve had across the pass I don’t think I have ever seen so much snow. It was as if we were driving through a tunnel of snow because the massive amount of snow piled on the sides of the road.
After three long, stressful hours of driving and stopping and driving and stopping we took exit 106, Ellensburg. We were home and we were safe. After 25 hours, we were home.
And guess what? In less than 24 hours, we will be on our way back to SeaTac, headed back to Las Vegas airport and getting on ANOTHER bus to Utah. Talk about a crazy week.