Is it any wonder that I don't like being in the mountains?
(Although I have to admit that the dozen or so mountain goats we saw chilling in a group, in a narrow outcrop of the most treacherous strip of road ever to be chiseled out of the rock, were pretty cool.)
We survived the 15 or so uprooted trees that were strewn across the highway between the Roger's Pass and Revelstoke, hereafter to be referred to as the most terrifying half hour of my life, and made it as far as Abbotsford, a mere sixty kms away from our destination, before our travels came screeching to an abrupt halt.
What an errant wind and rainstorm could not do, a single vehicle rollover could.
But here's the amazing part. If this had happened in Calgary, this closing of a major highway during rush hour, trapping hundreds of cars immobile on their commute home, people would have been seriously pissed off. There would have been major horn honking, dozens of vehicles making u-turns in the ditch in an effort to find a faster route, and lots of really pissed-off commuters, none of whom would have ventured out of the confines of their urban assault vehicles. Except perhaps to brandish a handgun.
In Abbotsford, on the outskirts of Vancouver, the mindset was somewhat different. Within minutes of the highway being closed, the first of the commuters tumbled out of their cars, stretching and strolling about the nearby ditch. Soon other commuters exited their vehicles and began to congregate in loose groups, exchanging pleasantries and information about what they had heard for the reason that no wheels were turning on this major highway.
The barefooted smoking guy ran back and forth between cars, transporting cigarettes and quite possibly dope, the young kids in the Honda stretched out on the hood to await further movement, and the woman who has lost her voice stopped by our truck to say hi and to point out the spectacle of the white truck who had gotten hung up trying to pull a u-turn in the uneven ditch.
Nobody got impatient, nobody threatened to shoot anybody. Everybody just chilled.
I got out to retrieve some stuff from the back of the truck and wandered over to ask the Honda loungers if they had any idea how far back we were from the collision which had ground everything to a halt. If bicycle guy hadn't pulled up at that particular moment to report that he had just been up to the scene and that Medivac had transported the collision victim to hospital and that the road was about to open, I am pretty sure that they would have offered to share their joint with me.
Welcome to British Columbia.