It’s about the journey, eh?

well the journey has been nothing short of dull..

Oh, hey Tahoe! It’s been a good 7 months or so, and 43 hours to get here from Tacoma! Usually a 12-hour drive, 13 if you are going slow…what’s another 30?! I guess traveling during one of the biggest storms thus far this season isn’t very smart, but hey, I have my home on my truck so I figured I’d take the gamble. Figuring if worst comes to worst I’d have to sleep somewhere in the camper. That happened, twice. Got shut down in Oregon due to an I-5 closure, then after finding a way roundabout way on the freeway the following morning I had a pretty smooth drive into, and through, California. Just as I was about to make my way out of Grass Valley, CA and onto the final home stretch to Truckee…they had closed all highways into Truckee. It was only 3:00 pm. The good news: I was dying for a burger and parked right across the street from a small joint. Got a fantastic burger then decided to try my luck and see how far I could make it towards Truckee taking a different route. I managed to make it on to the interstate for a little ways, but got shut down. Luckily there was a rest stop nearby so Socks and I posted up there for the night. It was around 6:30 by this point and I was pretty exhausted from the night before so I did some camper rearranging and then just dosed in and out of sleep for a few hours. Opening my eyes just long enough to check the road status then trying to get back to sleep. Finally, at 2:52 am when I happen to awake for a minute, I checked the status and the roads were open, with restrictions. I decided it was way too late and sketchy to try and drive at that hour so I would try and sleep for a couple of more hours and hope that the road conditions stayed as they were. Chains were required on all vehicles except 4wd with snow tires, one guy tried to stop me and have me put chains on my front tires but I managed to squeak by. I knew that probably wasn’t the smartest, and I could easily get into some trouble driving up the steep summit it, but fortunately the weather wasn’t too bad and it was very slow moving. I made it to Truckee at 6:45 Thursday morning, finally! Thursday was a rather anti climatic day; my first stop was of course the trusty Crest Café. I found out the pass I was planning on getting to Squaw was no longer available so I weighed out my other options and then met up with a friend for a dog walk in Tahoe city. It was a gorgeous sunny day and the whole area was blanketed with snow. A couple feet of snow in some places. I meandered around Squaw and went back to the Crest for sushi night. I saw a lot of familiar, friendly faces Thursday and it was great to catch up with some of those people! Friday morning I set out on my mission to get to Squaw Valley USA, get a pass, and snowboard! Just before getting to the turn off to Squaw…the parking lots were filled. The same went for Alpine meadows…to the trusty Crest café I went again to reassess and figure out a game plan for the day! After not getting much done besides a lot of sitting and useless internet perusing, I headed back to Truckee to take socks on a walk around the river. I was hoping there would be a ton of snow on the trail so I could just take my splitboard out and use it like a pair of cross country skis, but they had plowed the trail. So, a regular old walk was going to have to do. We stayed parked there at the end of the road by our favorite spot to start the trail and took an hour nap in the camper. The sun was heating the camper up just enough to sleep comfortable under one blanket. Then came time to figure out what to do with the rest of our day. I decided I would be proactive and go back to Squaw and get my pass so I had no obstacles Saturday morning, and could just get up early, drive straight there, and get in line. Also, I had left my wallet at the Crest and figured the sooner I get that the better. On the drive that way, I quickly realized I picked a terrible time to go if I planned on getting back to Truckee any time soon after. Traffic was already backing up in the opposing direction. I picked up my wallet, went to Squaw and successfully got my pass. But then I was stuck. By the looks and sounds of it, it was going to take an hour just to get off the Squaw Valley Rd and onto highway 89, and easily another hour to get to Truckee. That suspicion was confirmed today hearing stories from last night. My good friend was working at a restaurant in the village though so I decided I’d hang out and try and wait out the traffic. That was somewhat successful. I got bored of standing around the restaurant though, and that’s all there was to do due to everyone else having the same idea about trying to wait out the traffic. There was more than a 2 hour wait to be seated. No one was going anywhere any time soon. I made a move toward Truckee, it wasn’t so bad, at least compared to what it had been. Still…50 minutes to go 10 miles isn’t exactly ideal.

Waking up Saturday to hearing that it was already raining at the mountain wasn’t ideal either…but I had all my ducks in a row and was not going to let that parking lot fill up before I got there again. I didn’t get there as early as planned but the lots weren’t nearly as full as I had thought they may be and there wasn’t any line at KT. I hopped right on the chair. Moved about 50 feet and the chair stopped…for 30 minutes at least…in the pouring rain. I had a puddle in my lap that began to seep through to my base layers. “Figures” was all I could think…just my luck. I finally got off the chair and it was raining at the top. I couldn’t see very well and to say the least, it most definitely wasn’t the first run in Tahoe for the season that I had imagined. And just like that, that was it. Break time. A beer with Andy, severe loss of motivation, and soaked almost to the bone from one run…I was ready to call it. Today wasn’t my day. That became even more apparent walking to the truck, slipping in the slush filled parking lot and fully laying out, flat on my back in a puddle deep enough it had covered the entire top of my foot in my boot. Now I was sure today wasn’t my day. The entire back half of my body was now fully saturated. My helmet fell off and was full of water. I was on the verge of crying and laughing hysterically. Only me…only me. Half of me happy no one I knew saw, the other half wishing a friend was there to just pound a beer and laugh at the series of minor misfortunes happening this week. Being thankful that thus far, they have only been minor hiccups and trying not to let them get the best of me. The upside, I was walking to the camper where I had plenty of dry clothes to put on immediately and not have to sit in traffic soaking wet. Now all I wanted was a hot shower, hot coffee, and a hot meal. Leading me to here…enjoying one of my all-time favorite coffee shops. Hot coffee: check…now to go cook a hot meal and find a hot shower!! Excited to see how the rest of this impulsive, so far eventful, trip to Tahoe goes! Stay tuned…

 

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