On Wednesday, January 29th at 7:45 AM, I was driving through most of Los Angeles to get to a tennis match. Our tennis team tries to arrive at the home courts by 8:45 AM to warm up before the match. Usually, my trips are uneventful except for the usual road rage drivers and traffic jams. However, the morning of the 29th was chaos.
There is a major freeway interchange that I
and about 3 million of my closest friends in Los Angeles use to get to everywhere ELSE within the Los Angeles area - the 405 N/S and 10 E/W Interchange. As I was driving along, I tried to keep my eyes on the road and on the cars ahead of me - but that morning I noticed that there was some kind of temporary sign that was flashing information. I did NOT notice it in time to read any of the message, however, but I tried to be idiotically optimistic that the information wasn't too important.
Traffic was slow, as to be expected during commuter hours, so I moved over a lane. As I transitioned into the new lane, I realized I had just missed yet another temporary sign warning the world at large of something up ahead. In my defense, these signs were about as high up as my minivan cab, so I know that the cars in the lanes to my left had no idea there was even a sign erected must less able to read the information on it. So, I convinced myself that the information wasn't that important or they would have made the signs bigger, right?
WRONG! As I approached the off-ramp to the 10 East, I finally realized what all of the signs were saying - the 10 East was closed. Okay... that's a problem. I was forced to take the 10 West, which was in the opposite direction I wanted to go in, but I figured I could just turn around at some point and head East.
NOPE! As I traveled on the 10 West, I saw that the CHP had diverted all East bound traffic on the 10 to the 405! Yikes, this was worse than I realized. I took the first exit off of the 10 West as I decided to take side streets to get where I needed to go. Unfortunately, everyone and their mother had this great idea and were doing the exact same thing. Thank goodness I left so early. I arrived at the tennis courts at 8:50 AM - a little over an hour on the road to go 18 miles to my destination. Whew!
Listening to the news report made me realize how lucky I was that the worst thing that happened to me that morning was being delayed to my tennis match 5 whole minutes. Oh, woe is me.