The day before Thanksgiving has a reputation for offering hellish traffic jams, including over airports, although my impression is airplanes stack less these days, than when I was a kid, have stronger controllers.
Anyway, our lot was I-5 going north out of Portland and it didn't look promising, already backed up on the Morrison Bridge on-ramp. So I avoided that lane and took a downtown route to the I-405 bridge to St. Helens, rejoining I-5 closer to Longview.
Then around Fort Lewis we got into a "parking lot" (quasi stationary traffic, just inching forward, stop and go). On the South Superhighway, so-called, behind Magallenes Village, such jam-ups would necessitate using the shoulders but North Americans accept strict policing and believe in sharing the road equally, although trucks rule (but pay for the privilege).
We got off to phone cousin Mary we might not make it for dinner -- turns out that particular voicemail got "routed" meaning the cell company servers took their sweet time brokering the message passing. This little town of DuPont (yes, as in dynamite) we got off at, near Fort Lewis, was doing a thriving fuel station business (along with a few surrounding business). I pulled into a parking spot to look at the map.
Woah, this computer just popped up with stretch exercise instructions, hold on a sec...
Anyway, praise Allah for maps (don't have a GPS in Razz, and besides, this might not've been the kind of mission it could handle so easily). Apparently I could rejoin in Tacoma via the town of Steilacoom, which turned out to be a sweet little town overlooking the water. Tara and I stopped for directions at a pleasant coffee shop and got instructions from the barista's mom, hanging out in the corner with her Apple.
The Steilacoom Tribal council also serves the Sastuck, Spanaway, Tlithlow and Segwallitchu groups, after an 1856 mix-up wherein the USA nation (illegal immigrants) forgot to supply the Steilacoom with a reserved area, forcing amalgamation with the Puyallup, Nisqually and Squaxin (some didn't go with that deal).
Once we'd rejoined the freeway, it was smooth sailing to Everett, skirting downtown Seattle by way of Bellvue (I-405 again). We arrived in time for a delightful Italian dinner at Luca's, the real deal. Cousin Mary and I split a bottle of red, a Sangiovese from Tuscany.