Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

Winter Road Trip Day 1: Fernley to Bishop

Fortunately the Day Jobbe work was manageable as everyone else was working on getting away for their long holiday weekends as well, so I was able to shut down around 11:30 AM and start packing. Lisa had been staging material in the living room for the last couple of days, but I'd been behind on packing my personal stuff, and in the end I did end up leaving some things behind — nothing critical, but definitely annoying. I also forgot to go get my stack of $2 bills that I typically bring along on these road trips to use as tips.

There maybe was 1 cm of snow overnight, but much of it had melted by the time we started packing the Astro, which helped a lot. It was pretty cold, though. In the end, we managed to get away from Fernley House just before 1 PM.

Here was our route for today. There are shorter routes, but this was the only one that had a chance of not requiring us to put on the snow chains. I was nervous all morning, though, as both the Nevada and California road conditions web sites were showing chain controls over Montgomery Pass (US-6). However, by the time we got on the road this afternoon, the chain controls had lifted. The question was would they stay lifted.

We had very little precipitation fall on us heading south on US-95. Occasional snow flurries, but nothing to worry about. Clouds all around us, but they mostly seemed to be heading east and to the west and south it was slightly clearer. Our goal: get over the pass by dark.

South of Mina, we turned onto NV-360 and followed big rigs up into the mountains. Most traffic was heading our way, so when we got back into the snow, the trucks were helping keep the road relatively clear for us. We turned onto US-6 west for the climb over the summit. Light snow continued, but again, as long as Lisa kept a measured pace and left lots of room for the vehicles ahead of us, we seemed to be doing okay.

Just as we crested Montgomery Pass, the amount of slush being thrown up onto the windshield was enough to need to run the wipers for the first time since I had new wipers installed at Jiffy Lube when I had the oil changed. To our horror, we realized that the wipers were starting to come off! Fortunately, there was a pull-off just past the summit (it's a vista point for Boundary Peak, and the road department had cleared it, thank goodness). We got out and reinstalled the wipers. The Jiffy Lube guys hadn't installed the wipers properly. It would have been bad if the wipers had fallen off, that's for sure.

The adventure of the nearly-missing wipers was the most excitement we had on this drive, and I'm glad for that. We'd made our goal of getting over the pass by dark. By 5:30 PM, we reached our hotel in Bishop, the Vagabond Inn. After checking in, we went and refueled the Astro (more than $1/gallon more than gas in Fernley!), returned to the hotel, unpacked, and walked across the parking lot to have dinner at Denny's (where hotel guests get 10% off).

Tomorrow's trip is a little longer than today's, and there may be more snow on the roads here in the Owens Valley, but we still are not in a rush, so we have our fingers crossed for our Thanksgiving Day drive to the LAX Marriott.
Tags: bishop, lisa, snow, travel
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