Saturday, January 8, 2011

I refuse to complain...

...about the traffic on Highway 38.  Normally my commute is pretty quiet; the most traffic we see is on Friday afternoons and Sunday afternoons as people are coming up and down from a weekend in the mountains. But during the massive winter storms we had around Christmas, an enormous section of Highway 330 collapsed.  The engineers predict the road will be closed at least one year, possibly two.

This means there are now only two routes up to and down (well, three if you count the "back" way from Lucerne Valley) from Big Bear. You either have to take the 18 at Running Springs across to Crestline and down Waterman Canyon, or the 38 over Onyx Summit, through Barton Flats and Angelus Oaks, and down past Forest Falls (where I live) and Mountain Home Village.

I still have my same 20-minute drive. So I won't complain about the traffic.

On Wednesday, I heard on the radio as I was driving home that a head-on collision had closed the 38 just past the turnoff for Forest Falls. Whew!  I was going to be able to make it home, but hundreds and hundreds of people were forced to park on the side of the road and wait until everything was cleared so they could continue.  When I got up to my turnoff, I saw all the people waiting - and yes, there were hundreds of them.

Judy and John, who write RV Life on Wheels, had spent their day visiting Big Bear, and were attempting to go back to Desert Hot Springs via the 38. They got all the way to within 2 miles of Forest Falls - and were forced to turn around, go all the way back to Big Bear, and then back to Running Springs and the route down the 18.  A HUGE detour.

But people are driving too fast on the 38.  At the bottom of the canyon there's a turn in the road that isn't (in my opinion) banked very well - so it's easy to get caught off guard and have to stand on the brakes. Yesterday Don and I witnessed a pickup truck take that turn too quickly, and he rolled his truck several times - coming to rest upside down against the National Forest sign. (I'll try to take  a picture of that sign today and add it to this post). He destroyed that sign - but apparently he's okay - we didn't see anything in the paper about it and I can't find anything on the 'net.


Travels with Emma said...

Wow! That sure is a big chunk missing out of the road. I wonder how they'll repair that? :)

Sondra said...

Woah....thats a huge problem, 2 yrs? We went through a mess when they redid the sewer system in our town they ripped US-1 to pieces and it took about 2 yrs for that project--it was such a relief when it was finally back to normal-

Merikay said...

Be very careful of the other drivers! Sounds like dangerous times.

ThE MidLiFe CrUiSeR said...

HOLY COW! What a mess! I bet it's going to take forever to fix!