After spending time with Kelli and discussing the logistics of getting her to Mom's remembrance, I left Sacramento pointed for home. Part-way up the mountain, my mobile phone rang. I couldn't answer it, but I got off the freeway at the next exit (Big Bend) in case it was Kelli or Lisa trying to contact me. Big Bend is a low-traffic exit, and it was easy to pull onto the shoulder and park, where I found that the phone call was spam, but I'm glad I stopped anyway because of what I saw across the road.
This little critter was in the grassy gore between the off-ramp and the freeway.
After checking me out and apparently deciding that I wasn't a threat, it went back to grazing on the spring grass.
I think this was a Yellow-bellied Marmot. Although according to the linked article they are relatively common in the Sierra Nevada, I don't recall ever seeing one, even growing up on the edge of the woods in my home town of Challenge, California.
After taking a few more photos (click through those above if you want to see them), I continued on up the road.
After my wildlife encounter, I made only one more stop, where the snow was still high.
There was still plenty of snow at Kingvale, and while I was stopped here it began to rain, with drops that looks sort of like they wanted to turn into snow, so I hurried on across the summit and made for home, where I arrived around 7 PM.
Lisa helped me unload the Rolling Stone, after which she then wanted to immediately look into the electrical issue with the hotel power on the RV. In one of those "it figures" moments, the lights were back on in back, but moving stuff around on the RV caused the lights to flicker. Lisa latest theory is that it might be a loose ground connection. She congratulated me on having done all of the things she would have done, as I did them over the phone by her direction.
We did fix at least for now the problem with opening the hood. After unlatching it together, she suggested that maybe it was the latch rather than the spring and sprayed silicone lubricant liberally into the mechanism. It works properly again and you can open the hood without assistance. That's a very good thing, as I've been in a situation (when the Astro's alternator seized up) where I was on my own and if I hadn't been able to open the hood and douse the fire, the whole vehicle could have gone up in flames.
It will be a while before I need to use the RV again, so we'll have some time to work on isolating and repairing the electrical wiring fault. I was certainly glad to get home.