Dan and Hannah are Stopped Dead on I-5 south of Tacoma, Washington (Part 1 of 2)

It’s the first week of June.  Hannah and I have just hiked in a Washington Wonderland of Trails (Mount Rainier National Park, Washington State Parks of waterfalls and coastline).  This morning we leave Everett (north of Seattle) for Astoria, Oregon, some 200 miles to our south to meet up with friends.

Ducks I 5 map

I-5 (in red) in Washington from British Columbia to the Oregon border

Not surprisingly this Saturday morning at 10A, I-5 traffic is busy, but not “commuter crazy stop and go” busy.  Cruising along at 70 mph on the six lane Interstate that goes from northern Washington to southern California, I am mindlessly driving when…

… when from a side ramp a police car, with its blue lights flashing, roars on to the Interstate.  Not stupid, and like sheep, we drivers all slow 5 to 10 miles below the speed limit of 65.  Letting him pass; I am thankful it is not me who is on his radar.

Then the officer ahead does something surprising; he slows to 55 mph.  In unison, we all slow to 55.  Hmmmm.  His actions remind me of time on the Beltway around Washington, D.C., when three police cars, each in their own lane spanned across the highway, drove the speed limit to keep the mass of cars from speeding.  But this guy is well below the speed limit?  What gives?

Ducks highway itself

I-5 at a quieter time

We are just south of Tacoma, Washington, entering a more rural part of the state.  And then it gets weirder.  The officer begins weaving from the travel lane, across the middle lane, to the passing lane and then back again.  In a never-ending S pattern, he back and forths it across the highway for a mile or so.   Being forced to slow to 40 mph in our rented Kia Sportage in the second row of three cars trailing the officer, Hannah and I have no idea what’s up.

The officer continues to weave and goes slower and slower.  No one dares to pass him.  Clearly he is on a mission.

And then he stops.  We all stop.  He gets out of his car and starts running forward down the empty Interstate.

Tuesday’s Part 2 gives you an explanation for the officer’s behavior.  In the comments section below this blog, please put your guess as to why the officer might be doing this.


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