For some reason, my drive up to PAX and a friend’s ordination was the worst drive I’ve ever taken on I-5 from Portland to Seattle. Granted, they are tearing up the Tacoma ramps (an area which always backs up) but then there was a crash on I-5 southbound that shut down the interstate for 5 hours. A guy jumped the median and created an eight car pile-up when he went head-on into southbound traffic. Amazingly nobody died, but they pulled down the median barrier and turned all 4 lanes of southbound traffic into the 4 northbound lanes. Then, some fool rear-ended a guy 2 miles past the accident and shut down 2 more lanes of the northbound traffic. 8 lanes -> 4 lanes -> 2 lanes. I got there just after both accidents happened and still managed to get through only an hour late. Still, they shut the interstate down for 4+ hours and some people were stuck there most of that time by the looks of it. Seattle to Everett was also closed down for construction and I got to take a 20-mile detour through town at 1am. More fun.
On the way back, traffic was heavy from Seattle almost all the way to Portland. The northbound lanes were even worse – random pockets of just slow/stopped traffic in the middle of nowhere. I made it back in 4 hours – which wasn’t bad considering. But at one point I was sitting completely idle for over 40 minutes on a hot interstate miles from the nearest town. Man was that exhausting driving. I’m just glad I filled up before hitting the road.
This whole trip has just solidified my desire not to drive to Seattle anymore but to take the train, or even the Greyhound. It’s just too tiring and frustrating when the traffic gets like that. At least with the train/bus you can sleep and arrive relaxed (or take a nap!) When you lose about half a day just because you need to recover, it’s just not worth it anymore.