Trapped in Redmond, the iBOT won't get me to the top of Capitol Hill

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/12/25 18:16 -05:00, original URI:

A couple of days ago, I went out with the iBOT into the still uncleared snowed-over sidewalks.

It was a test -- I had some Christmas day plans (a bunch of Seattle orphans sans travel plans all heading to Amy's places the top of Capitol Hill for Jumbalaya and wine and conversation) amd I wanted to make sure the iBOT would be able to navigate through the snow successfully.

You know I can count on one hand the number of white Christmas years I've seen in Seattle since O first git here in '96 on one hand and have as heap of fingers left over, so this is all quite weird.

Anyway, the test was a success -- I was able to move around and up an down the street with minimal difficulty.

I let Amy know I'd make it and I even practiced on the stairs at my place so I'd feel comfortable with the whole "strange stairs/weird handrails" type cases that might confront me once I got there.

I was ready.

We heard about some rain being forecast, which is the usual way that the snow goes away.

The old question I recalled "when did Noah build the ark?" and its answer "Before the rain, before the rain" were in my mind, and I figured with rain coming then things might not even have needed me to do the extra practice.

No worries, I still felt ready.

And then the rain came.

After that came a bit more snow.

The end result was a slushy, crappy mess.

Heading out at 2pm for a 2:35 bus that usually took just a few minutes to get to, I felt like I left adequate time to get to the bus stop.

I made it out of the Cambrian with minimal effort, but once I hit the street (well, the sidewalk next to 40th), I was in a world of hurt.

I was stuck within ten feet.

It took me 16 minutes of moving back and forth, turning, and mode changing (up into balasnce and then jumping down to 4-wheel proved to be particularly useful at moving out of a slightkly stuck position!) to get turned around and back into the Cambrian.

I called Amy to let her know I was going to miss the Jumbalaya. She shared with me that I was not the only one bailing -- several others were worried about the trip to the top of Capitol Hill too. She might endcup with the lion's share of the food.

It also means canceled plans last night and today and probably tomorrow and maybe the day after that and...

It kind of sucked realizing that I was basically trapped in my apartment for the time being.

I have food and I have power and I have heat and I have Internet connectivity, so being stuck here is not such a bad thing.

But the realization that I was stuck here for who knows how long is a depressing one.

Of course I know that the scooter wouldn't have even made it out of the Cambrian -- so the iBOT has opened many doors here. But short of getting chains or studded snow tires on it, the iBOT is not going to get me through every door. Certainly no the door to the top of Capitol Hill....

Maybe I should look into tire chains for the iBOT tires? You know, for just in case? :-)

If you were expecting me to pop by the office tomorrow then consider this your notice that it ain't gonna happen. We'll try again next week, maybe.

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