Stranded!

Snowdrift 2Nicola here, talking about the unexpected delights of being stranded in a remote community. It’s a familiar and popular trope in books, whether it’s being marooned in the snow with a handsome hero or, in crime novels, stuck in an eerie house with a bunch of suspects, but I’ve always wondered what it would really be like to be stranded somewhere. When I was a small child, we went on a family trip to the Lake District at Christmas time and did get stuck in the snow. We all ended up rattling around in an empty hotel – they opened it up specially for us – and it felt like a great adventure to me but then I didn’t have to work out the logistics of how we were going to get home! I suspect that Wench readers in countries with more extreme weather than the UK are used to that sort of thing!

Last month, on our holiday in Alaska, we got stranded again. Our trip was heavily dependent on 0033 IMG_5089
the Alaska Marine Highway, the ferry system that takes you all the way along the coast. We started out in Juneau on the MV Columbia and travelled up to Skagway, Sitka and various other intriguing ports along the coast. It was fabulous – along with admiring the stunning scenery we met and chatted to some very interesting people; locals who used the ferry system for their work, holiday-makers like us, a big family on their way to a wedding, lots of other very interesting people doing very interesting things. We disembarked on Wrangell Island to stay for 5 days with the plan of hopping back on another ferry after that to take us down to Prince Rupert in BC.

0028 IMG_5080However, we’d been only a day in Wrangell when we heard that the ferries were on strike. There was no way we were going to be able to get the ferry out of Wrangell, which, of course, had implications for all of the rest of our trip. We weren’t the only ones by any means. There were stories of towns along the coast where they were putting stranded travellers up in school and church halls because there wasn’t enough accommodation for everyone. Alaska Airways put on a special flight to help a stranded school party get home. We hoped that the wedding guests we’d met along the way had all made it in time for the ceremony even if they couldn’t get home afterwards! For all these villages and towns along the coast, especially those with no road access, the ferry is literally a lifeline, and necessary for food supplies to be delivered and businesses to run and all sorts of other communications.

We were very lucky. We were staying in a lovely float house on the harbour and the owner very kindly told us we could stay as long 0218 IMG_5927as we needed. Our neighbours, living on the other boats, generously shared their freshly-caught prawns with us so there was no danger of us starving! The shops and museum in Wrangell provided plenty of things to do and we got to know people far better than we would have done if we’d just been passing through. Meanwhile we tried to find some options that would enable us to stick to our itinerary as best we could. The scheduled flights were all fully booked as there was only one a day and they went in the wrong direction; we realised it would take us four more flights to get back to where we were supposed to be! We couldn’t drive since we were on an island… There weren’t any other boats going south to Prince Rupert. Then one of our new friends came up with a suggestion: The local air charter company could squeeze us in to their schedule as a favour if we were prepared to be flexible in terms of when we could go.

0227 IMG_5958As the ferry company had very kindly refunded us our costs, chartering a light aircraft was possible but then we hit the next problem. The weather was awful and a small plane couldn’t fly in it. We’d have to wait, which didn’t help my “nervous flyer” stress! Finally a clear day arrived. We chartered our very own aeroplane complete with standard-issue hero-style pilot to take us to Prince Rupert. Once I’d got over my nerves I almost enjoyed it. The views were amazing and there was a lot less queuing than on a scheduled flight but for lots of reasons I can’t see it becoming a regular thing!

I guess the lessons we learned from a real-life stranded situation was how friendly, helpful and kind people were and also how interesting it was to have time to get to know a place better than we might have done on a shorter visit. These days, with improved communication links it’s a lot more unlikely people are going to be castaway on an island for years, or stranded in a remote wilderness for months at a time although it is still possible.

Coach in fogIn the past it was often poor weather that would maroon our ancestors somewhere isolated. Fog as well as snow was a particular hazard. As early as the 13th century, the government records show concerns over air pollution in London from the burning of sea coal and by the mid 17th century the combination of natural mist and fog in the Thames Valley plus the industrial smoke had given rise to the term “London Particular.” In the Regency the term “pea soup” was coined to describe “a fog as thick and as yellow as the pea-soup of the eating house.” In December 1813 the Prince Regent set out from Hatfield House to visit the Marquis of Salisbury but the fog was too thick for him to proceed. One of his outriders fell in a ditch and he was obliged to turn back. Meanwhile, the Maidenhead coach overturned in the fog and various other carriages drove off the road, ending up down alleyways and in gardens. Coachmen ended up leading their horses.

0170 IMG_5352I used the pea soup fog idea to inspire a short story set in Bath, and the idea of being stranded by snow in another Regency short story. It’s definitely a trope that I enjoy reading and writing!

Have you ever been stranded anywhere, and if so how did you cope? Is it a theme you enjoy reading about in a book?

115 thoughts on “Stranded!”

  1. Back when I was young, we had what was to me, a mighty snowfall here in SE Michigan. While we weren’t stranded per se, we had no way of getting anywhere. There was well over a foot of snow dropped in a few hours and was not predicted to be that deep. We were out of milk, out of bread…all the staples one normally takes for granted. My father had been the day at his mother’s taking care of a plumbing issue and was stuck there so my mother bundled me and the dog up, got out the sled and we walked two miles to the grocery which was just a little corner store. It was hard going, but I thought it was a grand adventure at the time. Took three days for my dad to get back home, but eventually, the roads were cleared and life resumed.

    Reply
  2. Back when I was young, we had what was to me, a mighty snowfall here in SE Michigan. While we weren’t stranded per se, we had no way of getting anywhere. There was well over a foot of snow dropped in a few hours and was not predicted to be that deep. We were out of milk, out of bread…all the staples one normally takes for granted. My father had been the day at his mother’s taking care of a plumbing issue and was stuck there so my mother bundled me and the dog up, got out the sled and we walked two miles to the grocery which was just a little corner store. It was hard going, but I thought it was a grand adventure at the time. Took three days for my dad to get back home, but eventually, the roads were cleared and life resumed.

    Reply
  3. Back when I was young, we had what was to me, a mighty snowfall here in SE Michigan. While we weren’t stranded per se, we had no way of getting anywhere. There was well over a foot of snow dropped in a few hours and was not predicted to be that deep. We were out of milk, out of bread…all the staples one normally takes for granted. My father had been the day at his mother’s taking care of a plumbing issue and was stuck there so my mother bundled me and the dog up, got out the sled and we walked two miles to the grocery which was just a little corner store. It was hard going, but I thought it was a grand adventure at the time. Took three days for my dad to get back home, but eventually, the roads were cleared and life resumed.

    Reply
  4. Back when I was young, we had what was to me, a mighty snowfall here in SE Michigan. While we weren’t stranded per se, we had no way of getting anywhere. There was well over a foot of snow dropped in a few hours and was not predicted to be that deep. We were out of milk, out of bread…all the staples one normally takes for granted. My father had been the day at his mother’s taking care of a plumbing issue and was stuck there so my mother bundled me and the dog up, got out the sled and we walked two miles to the grocery which was just a little corner store. It was hard going, but I thought it was a grand adventure at the time. Took three days for my dad to get back home, but eventually, the roads were cleared and life resumed.

    Reply
  5. Back when I was young, we had what was to me, a mighty snowfall here in SE Michigan. While we weren’t stranded per se, we had no way of getting anywhere. There was well over a foot of snow dropped in a few hours and was not predicted to be that deep. We were out of milk, out of bread…all the staples one normally takes for granted. My father had been the day at his mother’s taking care of a plumbing issue and was stuck there so my mother bundled me and the dog up, got out the sled and we walked two miles to the grocery which was just a little corner store. It was hard going, but I thought it was a grand adventure at the time. Took three days for my dad to get back home, but eventually, the roads were cleared and life resumed.

    Reply
  6. I haven’t ever been stranded myself, except at home by a blizzard or hurricane, though I love stories about people stranded. One of my favorite childhood books was The Swiss Family Robinson.
    I did once share an airplane ride with a college student who had been stranded a few months earlier at an airport. Her flight was cancelled and the next one wasn’t until the following morning. The airline put the passengers up in a hotel overnight except for her. She was under twenty-one, so their regulations said she couldn’t be put in a hotel room by herself. She had to spend the night in the airport waiting room under the watchful eyes of the airline personnel.
    I couldn’t help wondering if the same rule applied to military personnel. Can you imagine telling a soldier back from a tour of duty in Afghanistan that he wasn’t old enough to stay in a hotel room by himself?

    Reply
  7. I haven’t ever been stranded myself, except at home by a blizzard or hurricane, though I love stories about people stranded. One of my favorite childhood books was The Swiss Family Robinson.
    I did once share an airplane ride with a college student who had been stranded a few months earlier at an airport. Her flight was cancelled and the next one wasn’t until the following morning. The airline put the passengers up in a hotel overnight except for her. She was under twenty-one, so their regulations said she couldn’t be put in a hotel room by herself. She had to spend the night in the airport waiting room under the watchful eyes of the airline personnel.
    I couldn’t help wondering if the same rule applied to military personnel. Can you imagine telling a soldier back from a tour of duty in Afghanistan that he wasn’t old enough to stay in a hotel room by himself?

    Reply
  8. I haven’t ever been stranded myself, except at home by a blizzard or hurricane, though I love stories about people stranded. One of my favorite childhood books was The Swiss Family Robinson.
    I did once share an airplane ride with a college student who had been stranded a few months earlier at an airport. Her flight was cancelled and the next one wasn’t until the following morning. The airline put the passengers up in a hotel overnight except for her. She was under twenty-one, so their regulations said she couldn’t be put in a hotel room by herself. She had to spend the night in the airport waiting room under the watchful eyes of the airline personnel.
    I couldn’t help wondering if the same rule applied to military personnel. Can you imagine telling a soldier back from a tour of duty in Afghanistan that he wasn’t old enough to stay in a hotel room by himself?

    Reply
  9. I haven’t ever been stranded myself, except at home by a blizzard or hurricane, though I love stories about people stranded. One of my favorite childhood books was The Swiss Family Robinson.
    I did once share an airplane ride with a college student who had been stranded a few months earlier at an airport. Her flight was cancelled and the next one wasn’t until the following morning. The airline put the passengers up in a hotel overnight except for her. She was under twenty-one, so their regulations said she couldn’t be put in a hotel room by herself. She had to spend the night in the airport waiting room under the watchful eyes of the airline personnel.
    I couldn’t help wondering if the same rule applied to military personnel. Can you imagine telling a soldier back from a tour of duty in Afghanistan that he wasn’t old enough to stay in a hotel room by himself?

    Reply
  10. I haven’t ever been stranded myself, except at home by a blizzard or hurricane, though I love stories about people stranded. One of my favorite childhood books was The Swiss Family Robinson.
    I did once share an airplane ride with a college student who had been stranded a few months earlier at an airport. Her flight was cancelled and the next one wasn’t until the following morning. The airline put the passengers up in a hotel overnight except for her. She was under twenty-one, so their regulations said she couldn’t be put in a hotel room by herself. She had to spend the night in the airport waiting room under the watchful eyes of the airline personnel.
    I couldn’t help wondering if the same rule applied to military personnel. Can you imagine telling a soldier back from a tour of duty in Afghanistan that he wasn’t old enough to stay in a hotel room by himself?

    Reply
  11. My memorable experience was being stranded twice on the same trip. While living in London, England, we took a tour in Israel. Our flight was delayed for several hours, and we finally arrived at 3 am in Tel Avi The tour went as planned, but our flight home was overbooked and several of us got bumped off. The airline put us in a hotel. We ordered anything and everything on the menu at no cost. We had a great time.
    Your wonderful article reminded me of a hilarious story about a jilted bride who went on her honeymoon, ended up snowbound at the hotel, and found a body. Her adventure involved partnering up with a burned-out cop in search for clues and to question the kookiest staff this side of the Addams Family.

    Reply
  12. My memorable experience was being stranded twice on the same trip. While living in London, England, we took a tour in Israel. Our flight was delayed for several hours, and we finally arrived at 3 am in Tel Avi The tour went as planned, but our flight home was overbooked and several of us got bumped off. The airline put us in a hotel. We ordered anything and everything on the menu at no cost. We had a great time.
    Your wonderful article reminded me of a hilarious story about a jilted bride who went on her honeymoon, ended up snowbound at the hotel, and found a body. Her adventure involved partnering up with a burned-out cop in search for clues and to question the kookiest staff this side of the Addams Family.

    Reply
  13. My memorable experience was being stranded twice on the same trip. While living in London, England, we took a tour in Israel. Our flight was delayed for several hours, and we finally arrived at 3 am in Tel Avi The tour went as planned, but our flight home was overbooked and several of us got bumped off. The airline put us in a hotel. We ordered anything and everything on the menu at no cost. We had a great time.
    Your wonderful article reminded me of a hilarious story about a jilted bride who went on her honeymoon, ended up snowbound at the hotel, and found a body. Her adventure involved partnering up with a burned-out cop in search for clues and to question the kookiest staff this side of the Addams Family.

    Reply
  14. My memorable experience was being stranded twice on the same trip. While living in London, England, we took a tour in Israel. Our flight was delayed for several hours, and we finally arrived at 3 am in Tel Avi The tour went as planned, but our flight home was overbooked and several of us got bumped off. The airline put us in a hotel. We ordered anything and everything on the menu at no cost. We had a great time.
    Your wonderful article reminded me of a hilarious story about a jilted bride who went on her honeymoon, ended up snowbound at the hotel, and found a body. Her adventure involved partnering up with a burned-out cop in search for clues and to question the kookiest staff this side of the Addams Family.

    Reply
  15. My memorable experience was being stranded twice on the same trip. While living in London, England, we took a tour in Israel. Our flight was delayed for several hours, and we finally arrived at 3 am in Tel Avi The tour went as planned, but our flight home was overbooked and several of us got bumped off. The airline put us in a hotel. We ordered anything and everything on the menu at no cost. We had a great time.
    Your wonderful article reminded me of a hilarious story about a jilted bride who went on her honeymoon, ended up snowbound at the hotel, and found a body. Her adventure involved partnering up with a burned-out cop in search for clues and to question the kookiest staff this side of the Addams Family.

    Reply
  16. I do enjoy the stranded theme in stories. Personally, there were times over the years when I was snowed in for a couple of days – but never really stranded. Came close right before 9/11 though. I’d been visiting my sister up in Washington state and had just flown home several days before. All flights were cancelled. I might have had to drive several thousand miles to get home in time for work.

    Reply
  17. I do enjoy the stranded theme in stories. Personally, there were times over the years when I was snowed in for a couple of days – but never really stranded. Came close right before 9/11 though. I’d been visiting my sister up in Washington state and had just flown home several days before. All flights were cancelled. I might have had to drive several thousand miles to get home in time for work.

    Reply
  18. I do enjoy the stranded theme in stories. Personally, there were times over the years when I was snowed in for a couple of days – but never really stranded. Came close right before 9/11 though. I’d been visiting my sister up in Washington state and had just flown home several days before. All flights were cancelled. I might have had to drive several thousand miles to get home in time for work.

    Reply
  19. I do enjoy the stranded theme in stories. Personally, there were times over the years when I was snowed in for a couple of days – but never really stranded. Came close right before 9/11 though. I’d been visiting my sister up in Washington state and had just flown home several days before. All flights were cancelled. I might have had to drive several thousand miles to get home in time for work.

    Reply
  20. I do enjoy the stranded theme in stories. Personally, there were times over the years when I was snowed in for a couple of days – but never really stranded. Came close right before 9/11 though. I’d been visiting my sister up in Washington state and had just flown home several days before. All flights were cancelled. I might have had to drive several thousand miles to get home in time for work.

    Reply
  21. As has already been stated, I have been snowed in, but not truly stranded. We always had lots of warning, so we had supplies; and we were at home with all entertainments at hand. (Once or twice it was long enough for a touch of cabin fever.)
    I too, enjoy the trope while reading.

    Reply
  22. As has already been stated, I have been snowed in, but not truly stranded. We always had lots of warning, so we had supplies; and we were at home with all entertainments at hand. (Once or twice it was long enough for a touch of cabin fever.)
    I too, enjoy the trope while reading.

    Reply
  23. As has already been stated, I have been snowed in, but not truly stranded. We always had lots of warning, so we had supplies; and we were at home with all entertainments at hand. (Once or twice it was long enough for a touch of cabin fever.)
    I too, enjoy the trope while reading.

    Reply
  24. As has already been stated, I have been snowed in, but not truly stranded. We always had lots of warning, so we had supplies; and we were at home with all entertainments at hand. (Once or twice it was long enough for a touch of cabin fever.)
    I too, enjoy the trope while reading.

    Reply
  25. As has already been stated, I have been snowed in, but not truly stranded. We always had lots of warning, so we had supplies; and we were at home with all entertainments at hand. (Once or twice it was long enough for a touch of cabin fever.)
    I too, enjoy the trope while reading.

    Reply
  26. My only strandings have been from missing ferries. I live on Vancouver Island and I’ve been stuck on the mainland a couple of times. The first time on my own. I was moving back from Northern BC and I missed the last boat. I called my cousin’s house only to find out that she’d given birth that day – she went into labour as they were moving into their new apartment. Her husband tried to describe how to get there but I was so tired I was afraid I’d get lost. So he drove out to the Ferry and I followed him home. I slept in the baby’s room and got to see my cousin and her beautiful daughter the next day so it was a blessing to have missed the boat.
    The next time, we’d gone to the mainland to help pack up my late MIL’s condo and stayed later for a family dinner. It was so rare for all my hubby’s siblings to be together at once we couldn’t resist.
    But because it was the weekend the ferries’ last boat was much earlier than we had thought. We drove between both ferry docks – Hoseshoe Bay and Tswwassen Ferry Terminals are a long way away from each other. Got lost in Vancouver in the back streets trying to re route around a closed bridge, drove through downtown Vancouver on a Saturday night – not recommended if you’re in a hurry! And finally made it to the ferry terminal that had the latest, last boat and earliest first boat. We not only missed the boat but missed the terminal being open with all the bathrooms. And it’s now raining heavily. I struggled with trying to find somewhere I could pee in the pouring rain and no bushes and finally found a work trailer that was secluded enough. It’s raining heavily and I can’t lean against the trailer as the rain is pouring down the sides. A frustrating, wet time later after struggling to get my pants back up, not fall over and my butt is wet from the rain, I trudge back to our very full rented van only to see my boys sauntering back from the rock face they’ve all just peed against with nary a problem. I slammed into my seat and announced I hated all men! They wisely didn’t argue! We spent a cold night waiting for the first boat in the morning. At least we were the first to load the next morning.
    But my revenge on our boys was the back of the van was so full of stuff from Grandma’s, they couldn’t recline their seats.
    Ah the joys of Island living!

    Reply
  27. My only strandings have been from missing ferries. I live on Vancouver Island and I’ve been stuck on the mainland a couple of times. The first time on my own. I was moving back from Northern BC and I missed the last boat. I called my cousin’s house only to find out that she’d given birth that day – she went into labour as they were moving into their new apartment. Her husband tried to describe how to get there but I was so tired I was afraid I’d get lost. So he drove out to the Ferry and I followed him home. I slept in the baby’s room and got to see my cousin and her beautiful daughter the next day so it was a blessing to have missed the boat.
    The next time, we’d gone to the mainland to help pack up my late MIL’s condo and stayed later for a family dinner. It was so rare for all my hubby’s siblings to be together at once we couldn’t resist.
    But because it was the weekend the ferries’ last boat was much earlier than we had thought. We drove between both ferry docks – Hoseshoe Bay and Tswwassen Ferry Terminals are a long way away from each other. Got lost in Vancouver in the back streets trying to re route around a closed bridge, drove through downtown Vancouver on a Saturday night – not recommended if you’re in a hurry! And finally made it to the ferry terminal that had the latest, last boat and earliest first boat. We not only missed the boat but missed the terminal being open with all the bathrooms. And it’s now raining heavily. I struggled with trying to find somewhere I could pee in the pouring rain and no bushes and finally found a work trailer that was secluded enough. It’s raining heavily and I can’t lean against the trailer as the rain is pouring down the sides. A frustrating, wet time later after struggling to get my pants back up, not fall over and my butt is wet from the rain, I trudge back to our very full rented van only to see my boys sauntering back from the rock face they’ve all just peed against with nary a problem. I slammed into my seat and announced I hated all men! They wisely didn’t argue! We spent a cold night waiting for the first boat in the morning. At least we were the first to load the next morning.
    But my revenge on our boys was the back of the van was so full of stuff from Grandma’s, they couldn’t recline their seats.
    Ah the joys of Island living!

    Reply
  28. My only strandings have been from missing ferries. I live on Vancouver Island and I’ve been stuck on the mainland a couple of times. The first time on my own. I was moving back from Northern BC and I missed the last boat. I called my cousin’s house only to find out that she’d given birth that day – she went into labour as they were moving into their new apartment. Her husband tried to describe how to get there but I was so tired I was afraid I’d get lost. So he drove out to the Ferry and I followed him home. I slept in the baby’s room and got to see my cousin and her beautiful daughter the next day so it was a blessing to have missed the boat.
    The next time, we’d gone to the mainland to help pack up my late MIL’s condo and stayed later for a family dinner. It was so rare for all my hubby’s siblings to be together at once we couldn’t resist.
    But because it was the weekend the ferries’ last boat was much earlier than we had thought. We drove between both ferry docks – Hoseshoe Bay and Tswwassen Ferry Terminals are a long way away from each other. Got lost in Vancouver in the back streets trying to re route around a closed bridge, drove through downtown Vancouver on a Saturday night – not recommended if you’re in a hurry! And finally made it to the ferry terminal that had the latest, last boat and earliest first boat. We not only missed the boat but missed the terminal being open with all the bathrooms. And it’s now raining heavily. I struggled with trying to find somewhere I could pee in the pouring rain and no bushes and finally found a work trailer that was secluded enough. It’s raining heavily and I can’t lean against the trailer as the rain is pouring down the sides. A frustrating, wet time later after struggling to get my pants back up, not fall over and my butt is wet from the rain, I trudge back to our very full rented van only to see my boys sauntering back from the rock face they’ve all just peed against with nary a problem. I slammed into my seat and announced I hated all men! They wisely didn’t argue! We spent a cold night waiting for the first boat in the morning. At least we were the first to load the next morning.
    But my revenge on our boys was the back of the van was so full of stuff from Grandma’s, they couldn’t recline their seats.
    Ah the joys of Island living!

    Reply
  29. My only strandings have been from missing ferries. I live on Vancouver Island and I’ve been stuck on the mainland a couple of times. The first time on my own. I was moving back from Northern BC and I missed the last boat. I called my cousin’s house only to find out that she’d given birth that day – she went into labour as they were moving into their new apartment. Her husband tried to describe how to get there but I was so tired I was afraid I’d get lost. So he drove out to the Ferry and I followed him home. I slept in the baby’s room and got to see my cousin and her beautiful daughter the next day so it was a blessing to have missed the boat.
    The next time, we’d gone to the mainland to help pack up my late MIL’s condo and stayed later for a family dinner. It was so rare for all my hubby’s siblings to be together at once we couldn’t resist.
    But because it was the weekend the ferries’ last boat was much earlier than we had thought. We drove between both ferry docks – Hoseshoe Bay and Tswwassen Ferry Terminals are a long way away from each other. Got lost in Vancouver in the back streets trying to re route around a closed bridge, drove through downtown Vancouver on a Saturday night – not recommended if you’re in a hurry! And finally made it to the ferry terminal that had the latest, last boat and earliest first boat. We not only missed the boat but missed the terminal being open with all the bathrooms. And it’s now raining heavily. I struggled with trying to find somewhere I could pee in the pouring rain and no bushes and finally found a work trailer that was secluded enough. It’s raining heavily and I can’t lean against the trailer as the rain is pouring down the sides. A frustrating, wet time later after struggling to get my pants back up, not fall over and my butt is wet from the rain, I trudge back to our very full rented van only to see my boys sauntering back from the rock face they’ve all just peed against with nary a problem. I slammed into my seat and announced I hated all men! They wisely didn’t argue! We spent a cold night waiting for the first boat in the morning. At least we were the first to load the next morning.
    But my revenge on our boys was the back of the van was so full of stuff from Grandma’s, they couldn’t recline their seats.
    Ah the joys of Island living!

    Reply
  30. My only strandings have been from missing ferries. I live on Vancouver Island and I’ve been stuck on the mainland a couple of times. The first time on my own. I was moving back from Northern BC and I missed the last boat. I called my cousin’s house only to find out that she’d given birth that day – she went into labour as they were moving into their new apartment. Her husband tried to describe how to get there but I was so tired I was afraid I’d get lost. So he drove out to the Ferry and I followed him home. I slept in the baby’s room and got to see my cousin and her beautiful daughter the next day so it was a blessing to have missed the boat.
    The next time, we’d gone to the mainland to help pack up my late MIL’s condo and stayed later for a family dinner. It was so rare for all my hubby’s siblings to be together at once we couldn’t resist.
    But because it was the weekend the ferries’ last boat was much earlier than we had thought. We drove between both ferry docks – Hoseshoe Bay and Tswwassen Ferry Terminals are a long way away from each other. Got lost in Vancouver in the back streets trying to re route around a closed bridge, drove through downtown Vancouver on a Saturday night – not recommended if you’re in a hurry! And finally made it to the ferry terminal that had the latest, last boat and earliest first boat. We not only missed the boat but missed the terminal being open with all the bathrooms. And it’s now raining heavily. I struggled with trying to find somewhere I could pee in the pouring rain and no bushes and finally found a work trailer that was secluded enough. It’s raining heavily and I can’t lean against the trailer as the rain is pouring down the sides. A frustrating, wet time later after struggling to get my pants back up, not fall over and my butt is wet from the rain, I trudge back to our very full rented van only to see my boys sauntering back from the rock face they’ve all just peed against with nary a problem. I slammed into my seat and announced I hated all men! They wisely didn’t argue! We spent a cold night waiting for the first boat in the morning. At least we were the first to load the next morning.
    But my revenge on our boys was the back of the van was so full of stuff from Grandma’s, they couldn’t recline their seats.
    Ah the joys of Island living!

    Reply
  31. I’ve spent two nights that I can recall in airports after cancelled or missed flights. Those were both years ago and didn’t seem too onerous at the time. Now though…I shudder at the thought! As others have mentioned, I’d happily read a romance that featured a stranding.

    Reply
  32. I’ve spent two nights that I can recall in airports after cancelled or missed flights. Those were both years ago and didn’t seem too onerous at the time. Now though…I shudder at the thought! As others have mentioned, I’d happily read a romance that featured a stranding.

    Reply
  33. I’ve spent two nights that I can recall in airports after cancelled or missed flights. Those were both years ago and didn’t seem too onerous at the time. Now though…I shudder at the thought! As others have mentioned, I’d happily read a romance that featured a stranding.

    Reply
  34. I’ve spent two nights that I can recall in airports after cancelled or missed flights. Those were both years ago and didn’t seem too onerous at the time. Now though…I shudder at the thought! As others have mentioned, I’d happily read a romance that featured a stranding.

    Reply
  35. I’ve spent two nights that I can recall in airports after cancelled or missed flights. Those were both years ago and didn’t seem too onerous at the time. Now though…I shudder at the thought! As others have mentioned, I’d happily read a romance that featured a stranding.

    Reply
  36. Back in the day, I was a university librarian and enjoyed going to the American Library Association conferences, which are held twice yearly, one in summer and one in winter. One year, ALA mid-winter was set in Chicago. I enjoyed the conference, went to sessions as well as through the exhibits, which were inhabited by a cadre of sales reps in crisp navy blue suits. In my spare time, I left my base at the Palmer House and walked the neighborhood, among other things, finding a lovely little grocery store. The conference was over by Wednesday and we were all supposed to leave from O’Hare airport on Thursday morning. On Wednesday night, a few flakes started falling. (Snow in Chicago in winter – what a concept!) By morning, the few flakes were a blizzard. I had a feeling I wasn’t schlepping to O’Hare. Instead, I put on my knee high winter boots, went to the little grocery store and stocked up on fruit, nuts, etc. When I went back to the hotel, I saw a long line of all the blue suited exhibitors They had been absolutely sure that THEIR flights would certainly take off from O’Hare. They’d all checked out of their rooms. Now they were trying to get back in. That night, we had a blizzard party and pooled all of our resources, including my snacks. I didn’t get to O’Hare until Saturday. It was a very fun blizzard, for me at least. Not so much for the mayor of Chicago. He was not re-elected because he hadn’t been able to get the streets passable during the blizzard. BTW – I love reading romances that are “stranded” stories. Somehow, I always prefer snowstorms and blizzards to desert islands…

    Reply
  37. Back in the day, I was a university librarian and enjoyed going to the American Library Association conferences, which are held twice yearly, one in summer and one in winter. One year, ALA mid-winter was set in Chicago. I enjoyed the conference, went to sessions as well as through the exhibits, which were inhabited by a cadre of sales reps in crisp navy blue suits. In my spare time, I left my base at the Palmer House and walked the neighborhood, among other things, finding a lovely little grocery store. The conference was over by Wednesday and we were all supposed to leave from O’Hare airport on Thursday morning. On Wednesday night, a few flakes started falling. (Snow in Chicago in winter – what a concept!) By morning, the few flakes were a blizzard. I had a feeling I wasn’t schlepping to O’Hare. Instead, I put on my knee high winter boots, went to the little grocery store and stocked up on fruit, nuts, etc. When I went back to the hotel, I saw a long line of all the blue suited exhibitors They had been absolutely sure that THEIR flights would certainly take off from O’Hare. They’d all checked out of their rooms. Now they were trying to get back in. That night, we had a blizzard party and pooled all of our resources, including my snacks. I didn’t get to O’Hare until Saturday. It was a very fun blizzard, for me at least. Not so much for the mayor of Chicago. He was not re-elected because he hadn’t been able to get the streets passable during the blizzard. BTW – I love reading romances that are “stranded” stories. Somehow, I always prefer snowstorms and blizzards to desert islands…

    Reply
  38. Back in the day, I was a university librarian and enjoyed going to the American Library Association conferences, which are held twice yearly, one in summer and one in winter. One year, ALA mid-winter was set in Chicago. I enjoyed the conference, went to sessions as well as through the exhibits, which were inhabited by a cadre of sales reps in crisp navy blue suits. In my spare time, I left my base at the Palmer House and walked the neighborhood, among other things, finding a lovely little grocery store. The conference was over by Wednesday and we were all supposed to leave from O’Hare airport on Thursday morning. On Wednesday night, a few flakes started falling. (Snow in Chicago in winter – what a concept!) By morning, the few flakes were a blizzard. I had a feeling I wasn’t schlepping to O’Hare. Instead, I put on my knee high winter boots, went to the little grocery store and stocked up on fruit, nuts, etc. When I went back to the hotel, I saw a long line of all the blue suited exhibitors They had been absolutely sure that THEIR flights would certainly take off from O’Hare. They’d all checked out of their rooms. Now they were trying to get back in. That night, we had a blizzard party and pooled all of our resources, including my snacks. I didn’t get to O’Hare until Saturday. It was a very fun blizzard, for me at least. Not so much for the mayor of Chicago. He was not re-elected because he hadn’t been able to get the streets passable during the blizzard. BTW – I love reading romances that are “stranded” stories. Somehow, I always prefer snowstorms and blizzards to desert islands…

    Reply
  39. Back in the day, I was a university librarian and enjoyed going to the American Library Association conferences, which are held twice yearly, one in summer and one in winter. One year, ALA mid-winter was set in Chicago. I enjoyed the conference, went to sessions as well as through the exhibits, which were inhabited by a cadre of sales reps in crisp navy blue suits. In my spare time, I left my base at the Palmer House and walked the neighborhood, among other things, finding a lovely little grocery store. The conference was over by Wednesday and we were all supposed to leave from O’Hare airport on Thursday morning. On Wednesday night, a few flakes started falling. (Snow in Chicago in winter – what a concept!) By morning, the few flakes were a blizzard. I had a feeling I wasn’t schlepping to O’Hare. Instead, I put on my knee high winter boots, went to the little grocery store and stocked up on fruit, nuts, etc. When I went back to the hotel, I saw a long line of all the blue suited exhibitors They had been absolutely sure that THEIR flights would certainly take off from O’Hare. They’d all checked out of their rooms. Now they were trying to get back in. That night, we had a blizzard party and pooled all of our resources, including my snacks. I didn’t get to O’Hare until Saturday. It was a very fun blizzard, for me at least. Not so much for the mayor of Chicago. He was not re-elected because he hadn’t been able to get the streets passable during the blizzard. BTW – I love reading romances that are “stranded” stories. Somehow, I always prefer snowstorms and blizzards to desert islands…

    Reply
  40. Back in the day, I was a university librarian and enjoyed going to the American Library Association conferences, which are held twice yearly, one in summer and one in winter. One year, ALA mid-winter was set in Chicago. I enjoyed the conference, went to sessions as well as through the exhibits, which were inhabited by a cadre of sales reps in crisp navy blue suits. In my spare time, I left my base at the Palmer House and walked the neighborhood, among other things, finding a lovely little grocery store. The conference was over by Wednesday and we were all supposed to leave from O’Hare airport on Thursday morning. On Wednesday night, a few flakes started falling. (Snow in Chicago in winter – what a concept!) By morning, the few flakes were a blizzard. I had a feeling I wasn’t schlepping to O’Hare. Instead, I put on my knee high winter boots, went to the little grocery store and stocked up on fruit, nuts, etc. When I went back to the hotel, I saw a long line of all the blue suited exhibitors They had been absolutely sure that THEIR flights would certainly take off from O’Hare. They’d all checked out of their rooms. Now they were trying to get back in. That night, we had a blizzard party and pooled all of our resources, including my snacks. I didn’t get to O’Hare until Saturday. It was a very fun blizzard, for me at least. Not so much for the mayor of Chicago. He was not re-elected because he hadn’t been able to get the streets passable during the blizzard. BTW – I love reading romances that are “stranded” stories. Somehow, I always prefer snowstorms and blizzards to desert islands…

    Reply
  41. Goodness, Lillian, I’ve never heard of that happening before! That seems really unfair on that poor student. I hope they made it up to her!

    Reply
  42. Goodness, Lillian, I’ve never heard of that happening before! That seems really unfair on that poor student. I hope they made it up to her!

    Reply
  43. Goodness, Lillian, I’ve never heard of that happening before! That seems really unfair on that poor student. I hope they made it up to her!

    Reply
  44. Goodness, Lillian, I’ve never heard of that happening before! That seems really unfair on that poor student. I hope they made it up to her!

    Reply
  45. Goodness, Lillian, I’ve never heard of that happening before! That seems really unfair on that poor student. I hope they made it up to her!

    Reply
  46. Hi Karen! It’s really bad luck to be stranded twice on one trip! I love the story of the jilted bride. I must try and find that one!

    Reply
  47. Hi Karen! It’s really bad luck to be stranded twice on one trip! I love the story of the jilted bride. I must try and find that one!

    Reply
  48. Hi Karen! It’s really bad luck to be stranded twice on one trip! I love the story of the jilted bride. I must try and find that one!

    Reply
  49. Hi Karen! It’s really bad luck to be stranded twice on one trip! I love the story of the jilted bride. I must try and find that one!

    Reply
  50. Hi Karen! It’s really bad luck to be stranded twice on one trip! I love the story of the jilted bride. I must try and find that one!

    Reply
  51. It’s so seldom we get snowed in here these days that it feels quite an event when it happens. But that was a whole different order of things after 9/11. How fortunate you’d traveled earlier, Mary!

    Reply
  52. It’s so seldom we get snowed in here these days that it feels quite an event when it happens. But that was a whole different order of things after 9/11. How fortunate you’d traveled earlier, Mary!

    Reply
  53. It’s so seldom we get snowed in here these days that it feels quite an event when it happens. But that was a whole different order of things after 9/11. How fortunate you’d traveled earlier, Mary!

    Reply
  54. It’s so seldom we get snowed in here these days that it feels quite an event when it happens. But that was a whole different order of things after 9/11. How fortunate you’d traveled earlier, Mary!

    Reply
  55. It’s so seldom we get snowed in here these days that it feels quite an event when it happens. But that was a whole different order of things after 9/11. How fortunate you’d traveled earlier, Mary!

    Reply
  56. It’s funny how the the stranding idea in a story is so appealing but in life it can actually be such a pain. I guess it makes a good story!

    Reply
  57. It’s funny how the the stranding idea in a story is so appealing but in life it can actually be such a pain. I guess it makes a good story!

    Reply
  58. It’s funny how the the stranding idea in a story is so appealing but in life it can actually be such a pain. I guess it makes a good story!

    Reply
  59. It’s funny how the the stranding idea in a story is so appealing but in life it can actually be such a pain. I guess it makes a good story!

    Reply
  60. It’s funny how the the stranding idea in a story is so appealing but in life it can actually be such a pain. I guess it makes a good story!

    Reply
  61. The blizzard party sounds a LOT of fun! It was lucky for the rest of them that you were so well prepared. I love a desert island but I do think there’s something more romantic about snow though I’m not sure why!

    Reply
  62. The blizzard party sounds a LOT of fun! It was lucky for the rest of them that you were so well prepared. I love a desert island but I do think there’s something more romantic about snow though I’m not sure why!

    Reply
  63. The blizzard party sounds a LOT of fun! It was lucky for the rest of them that you were so well prepared. I love a desert island but I do think there’s something more romantic about snow though I’m not sure why!

    Reply
  64. The blizzard party sounds a LOT of fun! It was lucky for the rest of them that you were so well prepared. I love a desert island but I do think there’s something more romantic about snow though I’m not sure why!

    Reply
  65. The blizzard party sounds a LOT of fun! It was lucky for the rest of them that you were so well prepared. I love a desert island but I do think there’s something more romantic about snow though I’m not sure why!

    Reply
  66. Hi Nicola
    I loved reading this post and being stranded is something that has never happened to me but it does sound like you got things sorted out well, I do love reading stories where people are stranded especially in snow 🙂
    have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  67. Hi Nicola
    I loved reading this post and being stranded is something that has never happened to me but it does sound like you got things sorted out well, I do love reading stories where people are stranded especially in snow 🙂
    have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  68. Hi Nicola
    I loved reading this post and being stranded is something that has never happened to me but it does sound like you got things sorted out well, I do love reading stories where people are stranded especially in snow 🙂
    have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  69. Hi Nicola
    I loved reading this post and being stranded is something that has never happened to me but it does sound like you got things sorted out well, I do love reading stories where people are stranded especially in snow 🙂
    have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  70. Hi Nicola
    I loved reading this post and being stranded is something that has never happened to me but it does sound like you got things sorted out well, I do love reading stories where people are stranded especially in snow 🙂
    have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  71. Nicola, your Alaska adventure sounds wonderful! I wouldn’t mind being stranded on an island with lots of fresh seafood.
    I have only been stranded at home for a few days during blizzards, and I find that pretty relaxing and enjoyable. No errands to run and plenty of reading time!

    Reply
  72. Nicola, your Alaska adventure sounds wonderful! I wouldn’t mind being stranded on an island with lots of fresh seafood.
    I have only been stranded at home for a few days during blizzards, and I find that pretty relaxing and enjoyable. No errands to run and plenty of reading time!

    Reply
  73. Nicola, your Alaska adventure sounds wonderful! I wouldn’t mind being stranded on an island with lots of fresh seafood.
    I have only been stranded at home for a few days during blizzards, and I find that pretty relaxing and enjoyable. No errands to run and plenty of reading time!

    Reply
  74. Nicola, your Alaska adventure sounds wonderful! I wouldn’t mind being stranded on an island with lots of fresh seafood.
    I have only been stranded at home for a few days during blizzards, and I find that pretty relaxing and enjoyable. No errands to run and plenty of reading time!

    Reply
  75. Nicola, your Alaska adventure sounds wonderful! I wouldn’t mind being stranded on an island with lots of fresh seafood.
    I have only been stranded at home for a few days during blizzards, and I find that pretty relaxing and enjoyable. No errands to run and plenty of reading time!

    Reply
  76. I loved the story of your Alaska Island stranding. I agree, it seems that when things get difficult, people become who the truly are….nice.
    I have worked for FEMA and at times had a difficult time getting from one place to another when the damage was big (and it usually is big). The closest I came, here in Texas we normally do not get snow and blizzards, but we do get ice. When ice happens power goes out and driving, especially in hilly Austin, is not a good idea.
    No power in my all electric house, lots of ice and I needed coffee….I bundled up as best I could….and walked a relatively short distance but a very slick distance to the grocery store. They had power which meant they had coffee.
    I believe it may have been one of the best cups of coffee I have ever had.
    I enjoy stories about people being stranded and finding true love. I found the best cup of coffee and I really loved it at the time.

    Reply
  77. I loved the story of your Alaska Island stranding. I agree, it seems that when things get difficult, people become who the truly are….nice.
    I have worked for FEMA and at times had a difficult time getting from one place to another when the damage was big (and it usually is big). The closest I came, here in Texas we normally do not get snow and blizzards, but we do get ice. When ice happens power goes out and driving, especially in hilly Austin, is not a good idea.
    No power in my all electric house, lots of ice and I needed coffee….I bundled up as best I could….and walked a relatively short distance but a very slick distance to the grocery store. They had power which meant they had coffee.
    I believe it may have been one of the best cups of coffee I have ever had.
    I enjoy stories about people being stranded and finding true love. I found the best cup of coffee and I really loved it at the time.

    Reply
  78. I loved the story of your Alaska Island stranding. I agree, it seems that when things get difficult, people become who the truly are….nice.
    I have worked for FEMA and at times had a difficult time getting from one place to another when the damage was big (and it usually is big). The closest I came, here in Texas we normally do not get snow and blizzards, but we do get ice. When ice happens power goes out and driving, especially in hilly Austin, is not a good idea.
    No power in my all electric house, lots of ice and I needed coffee….I bundled up as best I could….and walked a relatively short distance but a very slick distance to the grocery store. They had power which meant they had coffee.
    I believe it may have been one of the best cups of coffee I have ever had.
    I enjoy stories about people being stranded and finding true love. I found the best cup of coffee and I really loved it at the time.

    Reply
  79. I loved the story of your Alaska Island stranding. I agree, it seems that when things get difficult, people become who the truly are….nice.
    I have worked for FEMA and at times had a difficult time getting from one place to another when the damage was big (and it usually is big). The closest I came, here in Texas we normally do not get snow and blizzards, but we do get ice. When ice happens power goes out and driving, especially in hilly Austin, is not a good idea.
    No power in my all electric house, lots of ice and I needed coffee….I bundled up as best I could….and walked a relatively short distance but a very slick distance to the grocery store. They had power which meant they had coffee.
    I believe it may have been one of the best cups of coffee I have ever had.
    I enjoy stories about people being stranded and finding true love. I found the best cup of coffee and I really loved it at the time.

    Reply
  80. I loved the story of your Alaska Island stranding. I agree, it seems that when things get difficult, people become who the truly are….nice.
    I have worked for FEMA and at times had a difficult time getting from one place to another when the damage was big (and it usually is big). The closest I came, here in Texas we normally do not get snow and blizzards, but we do get ice. When ice happens power goes out and driving, especially in hilly Austin, is not a good idea.
    No power in my all electric house, lots of ice and I needed coffee….I bundled up as best I could….and walked a relatively short distance but a very slick distance to the grocery store. They had power which meant they had coffee.
    I believe it may have been one of the best cups of coffee I have ever had.
    I enjoy stories about people being stranded and finding true love. I found the best cup of coffee and I really loved it at the time.

    Reply
  81. I have only been stranded a few times – and both times it was due to train problems (once in the snow in a place I wasn’t supposed to be in the former Soviet Union, but that’s a long story)! But your column, Nicola, ties in so well with Mary Jo’s from last week talking about the broadway show Come From Away. I think about the people who were stranded in Gander, Newfoundland, often, and hope that if I were ever stranded like that, I would receive such kindness. I hope, as well, that I would be quick to offer such help to others.

    Reply
  82. I have only been stranded a few times – and both times it was due to train problems (once in the snow in a place I wasn’t supposed to be in the former Soviet Union, but that’s a long story)! But your column, Nicola, ties in so well with Mary Jo’s from last week talking about the broadway show Come From Away. I think about the people who were stranded in Gander, Newfoundland, often, and hope that if I were ever stranded like that, I would receive such kindness. I hope, as well, that I would be quick to offer such help to others.

    Reply
  83. I have only been stranded a few times – and both times it was due to train problems (once in the snow in a place I wasn’t supposed to be in the former Soviet Union, but that’s a long story)! But your column, Nicola, ties in so well with Mary Jo’s from last week talking about the broadway show Come From Away. I think about the people who were stranded in Gander, Newfoundland, often, and hope that if I were ever stranded like that, I would receive such kindness. I hope, as well, that I would be quick to offer such help to others.

    Reply
  84. I have only been stranded a few times – and both times it was due to train problems (once in the snow in a place I wasn’t supposed to be in the former Soviet Union, but that’s a long story)! But your column, Nicola, ties in so well with Mary Jo’s from last week talking about the broadway show Come From Away. I think about the people who were stranded in Gander, Newfoundland, often, and hope that if I were ever stranded like that, I would receive such kindness. I hope, as well, that I would be quick to offer such help to others.

    Reply
  85. I have only been stranded a few times – and both times it was due to train problems (once in the snow in a place I wasn’t supposed to be in the former Soviet Union, but that’s a long story)! But your column, Nicola, ties in so well with Mary Jo’s from last week talking about the broadway show Come From Away. I think about the people who were stranded in Gander, Newfoundland, often, and hope that if I were ever stranded like that, I would receive such kindness. I hope, as well, that I would be quick to offer such help to others.

    Reply
  86. Thank you, Karin. Yes, it was a wonderful trip. The prawns were the best we’d ever tasted! We did half of them with garlic butter and half in a tempura batter and were so grateful to our generous neighbours!

    Reply
  87. Thank you, Karin. Yes, it was a wonderful trip. The prawns were the best we’d ever tasted! We did half of them with garlic butter and half in a tempura batter and were so grateful to our generous neighbours!

    Reply
  88. Thank you, Karin. Yes, it was a wonderful trip. The prawns were the best we’d ever tasted! We did half of them with garlic butter and half in a tempura batter and were so grateful to our generous neighbours!

    Reply
  89. Thank you, Karin. Yes, it was a wonderful trip. The prawns were the best we’d ever tasted! We did half of them with garlic butter and half in a tempura batter and were so grateful to our generous neighbours!

    Reply
  90. Thank you, Karin. Yes, it was a wonderful trip. The prawns were the best we’d ever tasted! We did half of them with garlic butter and half in a tempura batter and were so grateful to our generous neighbours!

    Reply
  91. Annette, it’s so true that when you have worked hard for a cup of coffee (or tea in my case) and you’re really looking forward to it, it can taste so good!

    Reply
  92. Annette, it’s so true that when you have worked hard for a cup of coffee (or tea in my case) and you’re really looking forward to it, it can taste so good!

    Reply
  93. Annette, it’s so true that when you have worked hard for a cup of coffee (or tea in my case) and you’re really looking forward to it, it can taste so good!

    Reply
  94. Annette, it’s so true that when you have worked hard for a cup of coffee (or tea in my case) and you’re really looking forward to it, it can taste so good!

    Reply
  95. Annette, it’s so true that when you have worked hard for a cup of coffee (or tea in my case) and you’re really looking forward to it, it can taste so good!

    Reply
  96. The two posts do go really well together, don’t they, Margaret. it is very encouraging when people show how lovely they can be in times of hardship. I’m now very curious about your long story of being in a place you weren’t supposed to be…

    Reply
  97. The two posts do go really well together, don’t they, Margaret. it is very encouraging when people show how lovely they can be in times of hardship. I’m now very curious about your long story of being in a place you weren’t supposed to be…

    Reply
  98. The two posts do go really well together, don’t they, Margaret. it is very encouraging when people show how lovely they can be in times of hardship. I’m now very curious about your long story of being in a place you weren’t supposed to be…

    Reply
  99. The two posts do go really well together, don’t they, Margaret. it is very encouraging when people show how lovely they can be in times of hardship. I’m now very curious about your long story of being in a place you weren’t supposed to be…

    Reply
  100. The two posts do go really well together, don’t they, Margaret. it is very encouraging when people show how lovely they can be in times of hardship. I’m now very curious about your long story of being in a place you weren’t supposed to be…

    Reply

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