Monday, July 19, 2010

Best Traffic Jam Ever

This weekend, we drove to southwest Washington for Highway 103. Yay! The three month hiatus is over.

We had a bit of a late start, since we didn't tell Christina she was going with us till Saturday morning. So when we hit traffic in Fife and Tacoma, I figured it was just normal Tacoma I-5 traffic.

But the slowdown slowed down south of Tacoma. Near the Highway 512 interchange, it got even worse, so we exited and stopped at Dairy Queen for lunch. Good but pricy food, but we knew that. I only chose Dairy Queen because it was to the right and everyone else was trying to turn left.

When we finished lunch and tried to get back on I-5 south, traffic was inching along. I think it took a full half hour to make our way down the on-ramp.

In that time, however, I spotted numerous people sitting in the McDonald's parking lot. Were they just watching the traffic jam, waiting for it to clear out before getting back in their cars? Nope.

Blackhawk helicopters roar overhead, troops dangling their feet out the side doors. An Apache helicopter circles the area. Some fighter jets do maneuvers in the distance, above McChord Air Force Base.

It was the annual air show.

While we still sat on the on-ramp, two giant airplanes appear on the horizon: C-5 Galaxys. Huge airplanes, seemingly moving very slowly through the air. A third one follows, lumbering toward us.

Low over the air field, a dozen paratroopers leap out. "Look! The plane is pooping people!" Their parachutes open instantly and gently they float down.

The trio of Galaxys circle the area, performing a couple more flybys. They bank hard, wings tilted at a 45-degree angle, and it's more impressive than anything the fighters can do.

Eventually we get on I-5 and merge into traffic. Once we pass the McChord exit, we resume speed and continue our trip. But that was certainly the best traffic jam ever. Great seats for the air show!

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