After leaving Leavenworth, it got dark pretty quickly, and we noticed it was snowing lightly. It really wasn't snowing very hard at all, but it was enough that when there were two lanes of traffic going in one direction, only the right lane was clear. Although even this kind of snowfall makes me nervous when I drive, it really doesn't bother Shawn at all. He's used to driving in all kinds of weather, and he does have that wonderful, 4WD SUV.
We got up and over Stevens Pass with no problem. Everyone else was driving really slowly, and once we were off the mountain, the roads were actually relatively clear. However, this part of the state has gotten quite a bit of snow over the last few weeks, so there were small banks of snow on the shoulders that had been left by the snow plow. The guy in front of us was driving a Jeep Wrangler. For no apparent reason, just as he was going around a slight curve, the Jeep's right tires went through one of those snow banks. This did not make the car very happy. Shawn and I watched as his Jeep tried to cut through the snow; then his right front tire seemed to get caught in the snow and he came to a very quick stop. The back end of the Jeep slid out to the left so that his Wrangler was sitting sideways in the road.
Shawn basically had two options. Either keep driving straight and try to stop, or try to steer around the guy to the left of his Jeep. Since this part of the road was only two lanes (one in each direction), that would have meant driving into potentially oncoming traffic. We also think the left side of the road had a ditch which eventually dropped off into a river. I agree with Shawn's decision to keep driving straight and trying to stop. Unfortunately...that didn't happen until the right front corner of Shawn's car came into contact with the right front fender of the other guy's Jeep.
Fortunately, none of us was hurt and both cars were still driveable. Since we were more or less in the middle of nowhere (at night, on a 2 lane road, on a curve, in the snow), we decided to keep driving until we got to a town with a McDonald's, where we stopped and Shawn and the other driver exchanged info. Here are the pics of the car that Shawn took in the parking lot.We're just glad that no one was hurt and that we were able to easily drive Shawn's car back home (instead of having to get it towed). Sadly, we've been informed by the insurance company that it's considered our fault since we didn't stop in time. Bummer.