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Monday evening quarterbacking….

Heard it through The Grapevine…” YouTube (I’ll cite the “California cover”) Creedence Clearwater Revival

Sure, I wrote about the California Highway Patrol (CHP) closing The Grapevine “indefinitely.” “Indefinitely” turned out to be almost 24 hours.

It would not be California if folks did not second-guess authority! 😉 Probably, because Mother Nature dropped inches of snow instead of feet…. But this time, I think the CHP was/were (for you Brits) correct….

Here’s why:

1) CHP was trying to protect public safety. Sure, you think that you’re a good driver, but there are enough “California maroons” on the road (you CAN’T deny THIS!) to really gum up the road, and they might just get YOU killed. Your safety on the California highways (whether you are on 2 wheels, 4 wheels, or 18 [I haven’t TRIED 18, yet! :-) ] ) is not dependent SOLELY on your OWN driving skills.

2) I once saw a front page photo of I-65, which runs north and south through Indiana, closed by snow only hours after we had passed through. The snow drifts buried a long line of cars and trucks, up to the cabs of semi trucks. Think “Iraq’s withdrawal on the ‘Highway of Death‘ from Kuwait,” only with snow instead of sand.

3) Indiana is FLAT compared to the Tejon Pass (sorry, Hoosiers, but it is). Add a little gravitation, inexperience, lack of chains, driving too fast for conditions, and a general lack of understanding of a person’s own limitations (“A man’s got to know his limitations.“), and you have a recipe for death on the highway. If you don’t believe me, look at the mess people get themselves into in the Sierra while merely going skiing/snowboarding.

4) CHP said that the road was ICY. Ice doesn’t care WHO you are. :-) I once “did a 360” driving 20 miles per hour (in a VW) down an exposed entrance ramp in Columbus, Ohio, after waiting for the person in front of me to get a safe distance ahead. What I SHOULD have done, had I seen the ice, would have been to plant my left two tires OFF the road in the snow for traction. That was how I managed to navigate the rest of the entrance ramp, once I got the VW under control.

5) When I lived in Wisconsin, there were news articles about people freezing to death 50 yards from their own front doors, which they could not SEE in a blizzard. Blizzards don’t care who you are, either.

The article goes on to describe other actions taken by the state of California on The Grapevine and describes the consequences in 2008 when CHP was too SLOW to close the road.

Thanks, CHP, for saving some lives and keeping other folks from injuries (even if they haven’t figured it out yet)!

Tuesday evening quarterbacking was much better. I want to congratulate one of my Alma Maters for salvaging SOME honor for the Big Ten in the victory tonight by the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Go Bucks.

-Bill at

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