The Seattle to Portland ‘Slog’

Those that drive the stretch of I-5 between Seattle and Portland know it fondly as ‘The Slog.’ Since my wife and I live near Seattle and our daughter and son-in-law live in Portland it is our privilege to drive ‘The Slog’ often. Some find it to be the longest 2 1/2 hour drive in N. America – even longer depending on what time of day or night you drive it. What makes ‘The Slog’ so ‘sloggy?’ Good question. Here is my shot at my top factors of slogginess:

8. Rain. Chances are if you’re driving between Seattle and Portland it is raining.

7. Construction. You will always drive through a minimum of two construction zones. Always.

6. JBLM. (Stands for Joint Base Lewis McChord) If you time this wrong be prepared for a major traffic slowdown in either direction when you pass the JBLM.

5. The Gospodor Monuments. This now-deceased Seattle millionaire spent some of his fortune creating an odd assortment of ‘art’ for our (ahem) enjoyment.

4. Gospel Signs. Because everyone knows that the most effective means of evangelism is calligraphied KJV road signs!

3. Uncle Sam Sign. Not to be outdone by the previous item, this ultra-conservative billboard carries current rants in the spirit of First Amendment rights and is right at home in ultra-liberal Washington State!

2. The Interstate Bridge. This lift bridge has the ability to trap you in Portland for hour!s Last week it took me an hour to travel from Portland’s Fremont Bridge to the Interstate Bridge. A distance of just 7 miles!

1. Sloggers. Way too many people drive at or below the speed limit while staying in the left lane THE ENTIRE TIME!

Those of you who drive THE SLOG, what would you add to this list?

4 thoughts on “The Seattle to Portland ‘Slog’

  1. Steve Welling

    This is very funny. In a sad way, because it is so true.
    As a regular slogger, I always get irritated around Centralia, where we are told to slow down to 55. Because…?
    My favorite stop on the journey is “Country Cousin” in Centralia. You have to deal with a rooster crowing every time someone goes through the front door.

  2. Joe

    From @waynemoor “What’s the speed limit? 55? 65?” Yes, the speed limit must change 4-5 times! Very sloggy indeed!

  3. Joe

    Sorry for your bad experience on our Slog. I think that the Mass Pike is one of the most beautiful stretches of highway in the US. Much better than the stretch of I-35 from the Cities to Hinckley that you will soon be driving!

  4. Mark

    I’m not a regular (currently living in Massachusetts) but I have made that drive a couple of times. Yes, it was raining. Unfortunately, I hit a chunk of metal while driving a rental car. I’m afraid I added to the slog by sitting at the side of the road changing a ripped up tire. Sorry about that.

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