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The Sunniest Of Dispositions Tested At Pass

Sat., Dec. 28, 1996

Among the travelers stranded overnight on Snoqualmie Pass were some from Honolulu and Los Angeles.

At first, “they were in shock,” said Heidi Jeffery, general manager of the Summit Inn. But then the tanned visitors grew to like the snow, and decided one day after the holiday was close enough to call it a white Christmas.

Reading makes a comeback

Once they’d read the news, classified ads and obituaries, some stranded travelers became desperate for reading materials.

Shawn Templar read “Infiltrator,” one of the Star Trek series of books, three times while lounging on the tile floor of Greyhound’s Spokane station Thursday night.

At Spokane International Airport, “I’ve even read Cosmo,” said Paul Stepcheck, a 31-year-old computer programmer from Salt Lake City.

Stepcheck was headed for Seattle Wednesday night, but he’s been stranded in Spokane for two days. His luggage - and toothbrush and deodorant - made it to Seattle.

“If I’m here another day, I’ll be stinking,” he said.

What’s the hurry?

Linda and Nick Zanze were anxious to catch a train back to California after spending Christmas with relatives in Coeur d’Alene.

But their 4-year-old son, Kyle, wasn’t at all disturbed by Amtrak’s 15-hour delay leaving Spokane. Snowball fights and sledding are rare experiences back in Anaheim.

“I like diving into the snow,” Kyle Zanze said.

Be dogged about those hydrants

Authorities are asking residents to dig out fire hydrants buried in snow and to keep them clear through the winter.

Fire crews often have trouble finding hydrants during the winter and sometimes can’t hook hoses to snow- and ice-encrusted hydrants.

Citizens could save firefighters precious minutes by keeping hydrants cleared, officials said.

District 9 Deputy Chief Skip Wells said residents should clear a 5-foot space around the hydrant and dig a path from the hydrant to the street.

Wells said business owners should make sure they keep fire lanes and sprinkler hookups around their buildings clear of snow.

In addition, officials said residents should keep their sidewalks, porches and driveways shoveled so firefighters have easier access to houses.

People living on private roads should keep the streets plowed at least 20 feet wide, Wells added.

, DataTimes

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