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Monday, March 15, 2010

Next Time, I'll Heed the Winter Warning

We drove up to Tahoe over the weekend and as always we checked the weather conditions.  The forecast showed a Winter Storm Warning--with heavy snow in the mountains and chains required over the pass.

Usually seeing conditions like this makes me want to cancel our mountain adventures all together, but because my husband and twins were meeting their YMCA Adventure Guides group, we decided to brave the weather and go for it.  We have a 4 wheel drive after all.

So we packed up the kids and the dog and with a can do spirit, started on our journey.  It rained off and on most of the way and as we approached the base of the mountain it had actually stopped raining.  We figured the storm must have passed and that we would be fine.

That was until we got to Colfax and the traffic completely stopped.  It was a parking lot.  Luckily we had friends who had left a couple hours earlier than us and so we quickly called to find out how their travels were going.

"Turn back if you can," our friend emphatically warned.  "The traffic is stopped and we've been stuck for 40 minutes."  "Get a hotel in Auburn if there are any left!"

That was all we needed to hear and we took the very next exit and headed back down what little bit of mountain we had climbed.  Luckily, we were able to get the last room at the Best Western in Auburn.

As it turned out, not only was there an accident at the bottom of the hill (the one we saw) there was also one at the top.  And they ended up closing the highway for some period of time (I never heard how long).  Evidently an overconfident SUV (sounds familiar??)  had spun out closing all the lanes.  YIKES!!

So this will be the last time I ignore a winter storm warning and forge ahead despite weather alerts and warnings.  Because even if you think your car will make it and that you are a cautious driver, not everyone else is!

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