Since we have a (short) history of getting confused as to which way we're going when coming out of that garage i just turned on Google Maps and decided to follow its directions. The directions it gave us were certainly _a_ way to get to the 110 freeway, but they didn't really seem like the most efficient.
But in any case what the directions also did was direct us right through a drunk driver check stop =P The officer asked if we'd had anything to drink and i honestly replied "yes, a couple hours ago". Avalyn later berated me saying "four hours is not 'a couple'", but in any case the officer checked my eyes and waved a finger around and then waved us on through.
So we got on the freeway via a roundabout route, coming in from the side, and were on it for all of a couple miles before all of the sudden traffic just stopped.
We could see cop cars and such about 5-10 cars ahead of us, so clearly there'd been some kind of accident. At first it seemed like maybe there was a way around it as cars were inching forward, but it turned out that was just a little bit of final compression.
Some guy tried to cut around us to the left on what i believe was the shoulder. In a bit of karmic whatever he was quickly blocked by a police car that was trying to back up and was ordered to back up and get out of the way.
Shortly after the police car backed up past us, i noticed a bunch of the cars that were coming up behind us were pulling u-turns and going off the onramp. I'm not sure if the police officer had directed that or if people were just getting desperate and creative. The one or two cars that were immediately behind me backed up, turned around, and exited via the on-ramp as well. I was considering whether or not i wanted to risk backing up on a freeway to do the same thing, but took too long contemplating it, because about a minute later someone decided not to take the u-turn and exit option and pulled up right behind me. (Which i guess means that my concerns were slightly justified. If i'd decided to start backing up just at the point he decided to pull forward it could have been awkward.)
A little while after that some more cars pulled up behind me and the others and the stream of cars going out the on-ramp came to a stop. I'm not sure if the police decided to actively stop the maneuver (whether or not they'd initiated it in the first place) or if enough people decided they'd rather wait indefinitely than take a detour that the traffic backed up past the point where any newcomers could get to the onramp.
So we sat. And we sat. And we sat. Avalyn and i chatted. And made fun of the people doing stupid things around us. And listend to music. After awhile some emergency vehicle (ambulance? fire truck? i forget) came up the onramp (which may well have been related to why traffic stopped going out the onramp) and cut across the freeway. Luckily both i and the person next to me had stopped with quite a bit of room in front of us so there was space for them to get through. Then a little while later a tow truck came up the ramp, ignored the space we had left open, pulled forward ten or twenty feet, and _then_ decided they needed to get across the freeway, and spent 30 seconds or so getting people to rearrange themselves to make room to let him pass.
Shortly after that the police began waving us through along the left hand shoulder (or maybe it was a carpool lane? Not 100% sure.) After about 30 minutes of waiting we were free! It was amazing how aggressive some people were at trying to dodge around the slower cars as soon as we were past the accident. Really people, after 30 minutes of not moving at all you don't need to be _that_ aggressive about a few seconds of slow-down.
So we gleefully drove down the highway... for 2-3 miles before discovering it had been closed for construction and we were forced to get off and take a detour =P
So we got off the freeway and since we were right there tried to get on 10-W directly, except we missed a divide or exit or something, because somehow we ended up on the 10-E and had to get off and get back on again in the other direction. The first sign we saw seemed to indicate it was the right way to go for both directions, but we both swore after the fact we didn't see anything indicating how we we could have gotten onto 10-W after that point.
But after the fourth random event we encountered no more difficulties and, over an hour since we left the parking garage, we finally made it home =P
Over one hour to go 18 miles. You might expect that during rush hour, but not normally at 1 or 2am.