The Real Forks

By Christy Rasmussen-Ford

Evacuation route
I have a 40-minute drive to work. Oddly enough, I also have a 40-minute drive back home after work.

It’s weird how that all works out.


I hate the driving time for the simple fact that it’s not necessary.


If there were a road from Point A to Point B, the drive would take ten minutes. Instead I drive a route that takes me through just about every town in Washington, finally ending up at my work near the coast.


Consequently, I’m constantly looking for a way to shorten my commute. Until the other day, there wasn’t one.


Then, I heard that a tsunami route connects the two roads that I drive on, potentially saving me hours of driving time.


Of course I didn’t research the road or the route before driving on it. I heard the word shortcut and that was the end. I was going to check it out after work. I assumed the road would be fine considering people are supposed to drive on them in the event of a rather large wave.


My assumptions were correct, the road was perfectly fine … for a local … in a monster truck … with a map.


Note to the Department of Planning Tsunami Evacuation Routes in Washington State (DPTERWS): the road sucks.


There are a million forks in the road with no signs. Directions say to just follow the road … which road? I felt like I was a mouse in a maze trying to find the cheese; “Nope, dead end again. Turn around and take the road to the right to get to the cheddar! Wrong again … dead end. Start from beginning.”


People are going to attempt the evacuation route only to find themselves in Japan facing another tsunami and sent back to our coasts!


Being stubborn and refusing to accept that there was no shortcut home, I drove around on crappy roads with potholes the size of Alaska, getting more and more lost by the minute. Finally, I admitted failure and turned around.


Soon enough, I would realize how much further this failure would extend.


Within a few miles of getting back on the highway, I went around a corner to discover a large alder tree had fallen across the road while I was searching for the cheese.


I need to throw out a couple of details to explain how horrible this situation was; it was midnight, storming, miles from the highway, with no cell service, and I’m really scared of the dark. To make matters worse, Bigfoot and I are not on good terms and I foolishly left my chainsaw in my other pants. Not that I know how to work one anyway.


I sat in my car momentarily while logically evaluating the situation at hand (by crying my eyes out).

I got out of the car to see if I could lift the tree. Of course I couldn’t lift the tree. I’m 5 feet tall and haven’t been eating my spinach for years.


I then tried to push the tree down with my weight. Again, 5 feet tall.


Back to the drawing board (crying my eyes out in the car).


I decided to try to drive and see what happened. Hopefully I could break the tree.


Something broke, but it wasn’t the tree. However, I did get the tree to go up and over my car, freeing me from this disaster.


I was never so happy to be in my driveway … until I saw the damage done to my car.


Even better than that was the discovery that I am not the proud owner of comprehensive insurance. Thankfully though, I made it home safe and sound.


I think the moral of the story here is pretty obvious; in the event of a tsunami, the tsunami itself may actually be safer than the evacuation route.
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