Woke up after a horrible night at 5:30. Haven’t slept that much, room was too hot also outside it was cold and severe storm, had a headache (maybe because of the altitude?), just turned around the whole night. Stood up, looked out of the window and looked at something I didn’t wanted to see.
Obviously it had snowed the whole night, what a nice surprise….. Hoped that I would be able to leave this “lovely” town, considering that when I am out of here and back on the highway it should be better. Had to clean my car from snow first, borrowed a broom from the reception and cleaned my car (that’s a picture after half of the work)
Had to turn on the engine and heat the car for several minutes to get the windows ice-free. A look at the temperature (around 8am) showed why…
Left mammoth lakes without a problem, at least they were used to the snow and the streets were already clean, thanks a lot! Headed highway 395 up to the north, streets where sometimes a little bit covered with snow and nearly no cars on the way, reduced my speed a little bit as it was always going up and down and temperature still between -2 and -3 degree, wanted to arrive without an accident. As I came close to mono lake it started to snow again and wind increased. Went to south side of mono lake to see the tufas, again some strange stones. Arrived at the parking lot, only one other car there, parked, went out (today I wore jeans, socks, T-shirt and my nice jacket), was f***** cold, halfway to the lake (it was maybe an 5 minute walk) the guy form the other car came back, asked as all Americans do “how is it going”, replied I am freezing, he replied “wait till you are at the lake, there you will freeze your ass up”. Nice! As it was really cold I jogged to the lake to get warm, as told on the shore the wind was blowing like crazy and it was soooooo cold (the wind you can only image by looking at the waves of the water)
Took three pictures in about 20 seconds and jogged back to the car. On the road back to the highway stopped shortly to take some pictures of the winter wonderland I was currently in.
Now I thought OK, I am coming closer to Nevada, it should get better. What I didn’t knew at that time was that there were still several mountains in front of me. Passed Lee vining, saw that the tioga road is closed (that I already knew), then there was a flashlight above the street telling “snow, ice next 10 miles, use chains”. Thought its just a joke…. But weather really got worse and worse, chains were only mandatory for trucks, for regular cars winter tires are sufficient (thats what signs told you every couple of miles, my car has tires with a profile of around 3 mm). My average driving speed was already around 40 mph, found a convoy and took the next mountains with an average of 30 mph as weather still got worse, snowfall increased, temperatures decreased (all pictures taken out of my front window….)
What you do not see on the pictures is, that it snowed so heavily that sometimes (most of the times) you only saw the car in front of you. Only thing I am sure about is that I will receive no tickets for speeding today! Once I was lucky, car slided on the right shoulder of the street, but as we were so slow I managed to get back on track (now it was around -5 degree, even the temperatures did not increase but decrease). Had eaten nothing in the morning as I thought I will have breakfast somewhere on the way, but first there was nothing on the way and second there was no chance (and no reason) to leave the convoy, at least somebody would notice if you crash somewhere. Passed several crashed cars (with police and emergency cars) and winter service cars (always appreciated to see them). Went in this convoy till the state border of Nevada, there the weather increased slightly ( was already around 11), street was mostly clear, instead of heavy snow is was now heavy ice showers… Stopped at a gas station at the border, filled my tank and smoked a cigarette (it was so cold I was not able to smoke a second…) Went back into the car, looked up my travel guide for lake Tahoe, saw that it is at an altidude of 1900 meters, skipped the plan immediately 🙂 changed plan and went directly to reno, after Carson city weather improved dramatically, no more snow, only freezing cold.
Arrived in reno around 1 pm (according to my GPS it is a three hour ride, it took me nearly 5….), checked into the best rated hotel in town (peppermint ressort and spa, 55$ 🙂 ). Booked it yesterday, smoker room, at check in the lady told me the booked category is only non smoking and for smoking I have to pay 30$ upgrade, argued with her, in the end I payed the 30$ as I just wanted to have a room and take a rest. Stay now in a luxury room on the 17th floor (meaning the highest floor in the building) overlooking this town and the mountains around.
Looked up Google, buffet in the hotel is top rated, decided to have a brunch (officially it is lunch buffet, as I had no breakfast it was brunch for me), reasonable priced at 15$ including tax. Was nothing special but filled my stomach for the day 🙂 went afterwards out shortly to go to the gas station to grab some beer and orange juice (I think I do not have to say that it was f***** cold again), went back and have not left the hotel since. Did a nice nap in the afternoon, now I booked my hotel for the last three days in San Francisco, will most probably book one more thing and spend a relaxed evening in my room enjoying beer and TV 🙂 And according to the weather forecast at least it should not snow in San Francisco in the next three days 🙂
I DO NOT LIKE SNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!