It turned out to be a good thing we didn’t spend the night in Yosemite. The forecast storm hit, and hit hard. At the lodge, it was a rain/snow mix that left 3″ of glop on the parking lot and car. As we dropped the trailer to head back to the park to check out all that we had missed the previous night in the dark, our shoes and gloves got soaked. And as we ascended into the park, this transformed to a heavy snow. When we got to the entrance, the ranger notified us that the access road, the one we had just driven the night before, was closed. We were disappointed to miss some of the best of Yosemite, but relieved not to have gotten snowed in.
That’s when we decided it was time to head to Lake Tahoe. We picked the trailer back up and hit the road. The change of weather with elevation was incredible; first a snow storm, then ice storm, and finally beautiful spring weather. We couldn’t resist pulling off for a few photos along the way.
The spring weather didn’t last long. As our route took us back into the national forest and we started ascending, it wasn’t long before we reached winter snow again. Then we hit another required check point for tire chains. That’s where we learned that our route on Hwy 88 was closed ahead due to excessive snow. Apparently they had just blasted a mountain to force an avalanche and had a big mess to clean up. Wow, I’ve heard of that kind of thing in movies, but never been anywhere close to it.
After backtracking several miles, we took the more major Hwy 50 route through the mountains to Lake Tahoe, our last resort, that would hopefully be open. After an incredible sunset high up in the mountains, we suddenly came to an area where just about every car had pulled off to install their tire chains…we followed suit. That’s right Jeff, much more difficult to install on the cold wet ground than in the warm store on the unobstructed demo tire. However, we managed to install them for the first time on the car and trailer. Don’t worry Dad, we looked after the trailer as well. And good thing, we would have been turned back at a check point if we didn’t have chains for both!
The pass through the mountains was some of the most incredible terrain I have ever seen. Deep, deep, deep snow over huge mountains and cliffs. Unfortunately it was also some of the slowest traffic I’ve ever encountered. The entire trip was bumper to bumper, stop and go traffic, but Shannon got us through it to Tahoe safely. The Edward Sharpe and Magnetic Zeros show is going to have to be great to justify this trip!