Driving south for the holiday? Not to worry

A Wednesday report from the road to Oregon: Pleasant surprises down a smooth flowing I-5.

A Wednesday report from the road to Oregon: Pleasant surprises down a smooth flowing I-5.

After a few days of worrying about our plans to drive to Oregon for Thanksgiving, we made the decision to go for it this morning, taking advantage of what appeared to be a relatively safe window, judging by weather and traffic reports.

We left West Seattle around 10:30 a.m., driving over the West Seattle Bridge and south on I-5. So far, so good. We saw one wreck between Southcenter and Kent, involving four or five cars off to the right. But none looked seriously damaged. In the slowdown, we saw one careless pickup driver fishtail for just a moment.

But most of the trip so far has been smooth, dry, and pretty much full-speed. In a few stretches of four-lane highway in each direction, the extreme inside and outside lanes have been a little icy, and smart drivers are keeping a good distance between cars. Tacoma, Nisqually, and Olympia were surprisingly easy.

The best news of all: Because of the weather, I'm guessing, traffic is surprisingly light. We're having the easiest Thanksgiving drive we've ever had. I don't know how long that will last— for anyone leaving Seattle later in the day the conditions could change.

But for now, it's clear sailing.

Updates: There's a little snow on the outside lanes south of Olympia, and about 11:45 a.m. we were seeing a little flurry of small flakes in Centralia.

At 1 p.m., we were just 28 miles north of Portland. The freeway is clear and dry, with barely any snow in sight. And traffic is still a breeze. We're hoping not to get bogged down in the city traffic when we reach Portland.

We're arriving at our destination, Eugene, at the six-hour mark, which included quick stops for coffee, a burger, and some brief shopping in downtown Portland. This goes down as our record-fast holiday drive and one of the smoothest ever, for any time of year. 


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