The Weather Beat
The long, long bus ride home to West Seattle
Posted by Danny O'Neil
This blog post has been updated:
SOMEWHERE ON 1st AVENUE SOUTH - Three hours into the commute to West Seattle, the bus driver called for a bathroom break.
It was at the Jack in the Box at the foot of the First Avenue Bridge that we'd creeped toward for hours. Yes, hours.
"The Twilight Zone," said Phu Bui, 25.
She boarded the bus at First and Seneca at about 3:15 p.m. At 7:30, she was eating a Sourdough Chicken Club from that Jack in the Box and hoping that we might be in West Seattle by 9.
You remember that movie "Speed" where Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock were trapped on that bus that had to keep going 55 mph? This was just like that only the exact opposite.
Jackie Gomes, 28, turned down a ride home.
"I thought this would be faster," she said.
She ended up on a ride that would have tested the patience of everyone on Gilligan's Island.
The Metro buses to West Seattle were diverted beginning around 4 p.m. because the low bridge on Spokane was blocked. The buses were diverted south to the First Avenue Bridge to travel across West Marginal and toward West Seattle.
"You look up, you've moved half a block and it has been 45 minutes," said Eleanor Glass.
Occasionally passengers on the No. 22 would get off and walk, but that's a long way up a lot of hills. The bus had a benefit, too.
"I guess we're happy we're in a warm place," said Mark Weber, who lives down by Lincoln Park.
He walked across the low bridge two years ago during that December snow storm, reached the Luna Park Cafe before getting picked up by a bus that had been heading back to a terminal.
Four hours after he boarded the No. 22 downtown, he was reading through a circular and wondering if the Mariners were in fact seriously interested in trading for the Diamondbacks' outfielder Justin Upton. We all just hoped we'd reach West Seattle by the time any deal might be consummated.
UPDATE: 8:33 p.m. Good news: We have reached West Seattle, made our first scheduled stop in four hours, 15 minutes. Bad news: Bus is slipping.
And the final installment:
Just got home five hours after boarding my first Metro bus. The 10 blocks I walked home were freeezing.
1st Ave. S & Spokane to my home in West Seattle near High Point -- 5 hours, 5 minutes.