Through rain and snow to get sworn in

Sen. Bill Hansell (R-Athena) swears in to his second term at the state legislature in Salem on Monday with wife, Margaret, at his side.

Editor’s note: This is Sen. Bill Hansell’s (R-Athena) account of getting to Salem during a snow storm Monday to swear in as a state legislator. He was accompanied by his wife, Margaret.

Because of the weather I decided to fly, avoiding the possible closure in the Gorge. I flew out of Pendleton Saturday night only to have the flight return because of freezing rain in Portland.

I then booked the first flight Sunday morning, but when I arrived at the airport, all flights had been canceled for the day.

We decided if I was going to make it, we had to drive. On our journey to Salem we experienced almost every kind of winter road condition — packed snow, unplowed snow 8-10 inches in much of the fast lane a little less in the traveled lane, and black ice from Multnomah Falls to Portland.

The same would be true for the winter weather. We started off with sleet and snow, then just sleet, and then the other side of Boardman pretty heavy snow. We could not see the Washington side of the Columbia. In the gorge we encountered wind that blew the snow. Freezing rain greeted us at Multnomah Falls, which continued until we hit 35 degrees on Highway 205 in Portland. From there we were in pouring rain until Salem.

It took us around seven hours, but make it we did. I am reminded of a phrase Lewis and Clark often used to close or begin a journal entry: “We proceeded on.”

Senate President Peter Courtney made comment of the effort Margaret and I made to be there for the opening session.

The Bible Margaret is holding in the picture is the same one I have used every time I took an oath of office. If I have counted right, eight times as a county commissioner, once when I took office as president of the National Association of Counties, and now twice as an Oregon state senator.

Bill Hansell (R-Athena) is beginning his second term in the state senate. He will serve on the Workforce Committee, Special Committee on Conduct, Joint Committee on Ways and Means, Transportation and Economic Development Subcommittee and Legislative Administration Committee.

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