Almost Snowed In

We had planned a 3-day trip to Tahoe to sled / ski / snowboard with a family we are close to. Driving up on a Friday, roads were clear and conditions we fine. Once we were close to a condo we have rented before, there was a lot of snow everywhere, except the roads, which were still clear. We decided we would go sledding on a hill we have enjoyed before, noticing the snow was really wet. Having spent a couple of hours sledding, we headed to the condo, just in time to miss the rain, which continued through the night.

Next day, the other family joined us, but due to fevers, some continued rain and other factors, all of us stayed in. We enjoyed our own company, great food, great wine and slept cozily.

Next morning, the forecast was to receive 8″-12″ of snow. Due to the heavy snowfall already in place and not knowing WHEN that amount of snow would arrive, we decided to play it safe by leaving at 9AM. Once we started loading up, vehicles were covered under a lot of snow, the parking lot was being plowed and we were all getting anxious to leave. All we needed to do was get over the summit and down to an elevation of about 4,000 feet.

Once we got on the main road, which connects to highway 80, we discovered the road had not been plowed yet. There was a train of vehicles behind us because I was only going 20-30MPH. My approach to situations like this is to drive responsibly, even when driving a 4-wheel drive. We went through our first checkpoint, where they were checking to ensure you either had a 4-wheel drive vehicle, snow tires or chains. Once we got onto I-80, we went through a second checkpoint. Conditions were better, but quickly diminished as we were climbing to the summit. Once at the summit, conditions weren’t great. We slowed to about 15MPH. Finally, we made it past all the bad conditions and at about 4,500 feet of elevation, the roads were wet from rain. We discovered that about an hour after the summit, I-80 was shutdown due to bad conditions.

Despite all this, both families had a great time!


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