Thankfully, one of our main bosses quickly concluded that the rest of the day was pretty much done, as everyone was busy reveling in this new shared earthquake experience and/or contacting friends and/or family to check in and compare notes.
So when the word came out that we could go home, I bolted! The kids were home by themselves and I didn't know if their mother would be coming home early, too, so I felt it was my best interest to get home as quickly as possible to help encourage calm amongst the kids. And if other organizations came to the same conclusion as my boss, it was likely that the entire afternoon rush hour would be unleashed at the same time.
(Turned out that public transportation fared worst, as overcrowded buses got stuck with the rest of the commuters, and trains were rolling along very slowly all afternoon as every inch of rail had to be investigated before being declared safe)
As I got on the interstate, traffic was not overwhelming, and I thought to myself that today, with the earthquake just happening and people all confused and concerned, any traffic enforcement police officers would probably be called away from their speed traps to help the general population.
It was my chance to open it up and go for a record! At some points on my way home, the speed limit was eclipsed by substantial amounts. A fantastically smooth ride home. Fastest trip home since February of this year, and in my top five quickest trips home ever.
(My actual fastest trip home was 35 minutes, and that happened one winter day when a blizzard was going on and nobody went to work except for me and a few other hearty souls, and by the afternoon, the sun was out and the roads were clear and empty.)
I arrived to a still-standing home. The worst damage was not the attached picture (indeed, this picture was stolen from a friend who stole it from someone else), but my small collection of empty Pringles cans in the basement tool room that had fallen over and landed on the floor.
It was neat that so many people felt the earthquake, yet so little relative damage was done and as far as I know, nobody was killed or died as a result.
Watching the news, I was happy to see the reporters showing piles of stopped cars and standing pedestrians, while bicyclists fluidly weaved through it all and were able to maneuver themselves swiftly, efficiently, and silently. But they cyclists must have been invisible to the reporters, as not a single one noted how the cyclists were able to move almost freely through the field of vehicles and bikeless people.