Lifestyle & Human Interest

Couple Hikes Through Snow To Bring Food to Motorists Who Had Been Stranded for Hours


Nothing stretches one’s patience quite like a traffic jam. The lack of progress, the honking of horns, the reckless actions of other impulsive drivers trying to get ahead — it’s trying.

Yet as bad as the traffic jams most of us have experienced, they’re nothing compared to the record-breaking highway snarls. Autoevolution reported that the world’s longest traffic jam occurred in Beijing, China, in August 2010.

The jam lasted for 12 days and splayed over an astonishing 62 miles. Now a traffic jam spawned by a wreck near Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge on Feb. 12 might not have gone on for as long, but it still proved pretty impressive as far as American road troubles go.

According to KGW, a group of tractor trailers crashed two miles west of Hood River.

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The wreck was bad enough to shut down I-84 westbound — and it didn’t close the interstate for a short period either. Twenty miles of the highway stayed down for nearly 19 hours.

Numerous drivers, unable to make their way to an exit, had to spend the night in their vehicles. That’s a thoroughly miserable situation, one that could cause tempers to fray and eventually snap.

One couple from Cascade Locks, Oregon, decided to do what they could to lessen that terrible waiting period. KTVB reported that Jade and Quintin Stell spent three hours in the jam.

They could’ve gone home afterward, grumbled a bit, gone to bed and banished the incident to the recesses of memory. They didn’t do that, though.

Would you hike through snow to help people stuck in traffic?

When morning came, the couple realized that the traffic jam was still ongoing. So they decided to do something to help.

Jade Stell said, “We heard that people were still stuck. And we thought, ‘Well, we should bring them sandwiches and do whatever we can to help out.’”

They grabbed their dogs and went to a nearby grocery store. When they came out, they had food and a plan.

Motorist Dennis A. Miller‎ wrote on Facebook, “Sitting at a standstill for almost 18-and-a-half hours here just east of Cascade Locks, I see this lovely young woman and her husband handing out Granola Bars, water, and bananas. It made this long day that much better knowing there are kind people out there.

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“I spoke to them and they told me they were not in the backup, they were from Cascade Locks and came this way to hand out food to all the stranded drivers. It made The State Trooper and my day.”

Jade Stell noted that many people tried to give her and her husband money.

“They were like how much? And we were like, how much?” she said. “What are you talking about? Free! We’re not trying to get anything from you, we just want to care for you and help you out.

“Somebody gave us $100, so we’re like, ‘Well, let’s go get more food.’ So, we took that money and kind of recycled it back into, you know, trying to get more food and reach more people.”

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
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