It was going to be an ordinary drive to my ordinary appointment at Olds Station. I left home, as usual, around 5:15 p.m., thinking I had a very ordinary 15-minute trip ahead of me. Little did I know I was driving into the future.
By the time I reached Fifth and Miller I could see the traffic, the congestion, the gridlock. Northbound cars were backed up Miller nearly to Ninth, something I had never seen before, unless there was some traffic-blocking calamity. I assumed I would soon find out what was holding things up, an accident perhaps. But no. In another 15 minutes I was near the always-chaotic intersection of Miller and North Wenatchee Avenue and I could see clearly I was doomed. Cars were bumper-to-bumper and at a standstill as far ahead as I could see. If you had to cross the Wenatchee River Bridge you were in deep trouble, and that seemed very far away. It was a trap.