September 18th, 2011

Conrunner Kevin

Longer, But Less Traffic

This morning, Lisa and I went over to the house and picked up some of the things that are going toward the Bay Area instead of away from it, and after we had lunch I dropped her off at the RV park and headed south. Yes, south, not west. I'd decided that since the weather today was so good that I'd try a different route than the obvious one (I-80/I-680): My route was Alt-95/50 south to US-50 west to US-395 south to NV-88 south to CA-88 west over Carson Pass (and then on to CA-99/CA-4/I-205/580/880 to Fremont). I've never driven over Carson Pass before in my life. If it had been a weekday, I wouldn't have gone that way, because there are "expected 2 hour delays" over the route where Caltrans is working on clearing a major rock slide. As it was, there was only a short delay at the traffic light they've set up for one-way controlled traffic around the slide.

The Carson Pass route is by no means faster than the freeway route. It's winding and slow in spots, but there isn't very much traffic, either, although what there was rapidly collected behind Old Slowcoach here. I did my best to pull out where I could to let everyone else go by, as I'm not a fast driver on this kind of road and my minivan isn't the sort of nimble vehicle for hugging mountain curves, either. But it was a pretty drive. I reckon flick would have despaired of all the conifers, but being a Mountain Boy from a bit farther north in the Sierras than Kit Carson Pass, I was bred to that sort of environment. There were some stunning views, too, although I couldn't really pay too much attention to them or else I'd drive off of some rather scary cliffs.

Anyway, total travel time with a couple of bathroom stops and a meal break at Lathrop was about seven and a half hours. I definitely won't be going that way in the winter, through. The only reason I can think of going up that way in snow times would be to go to Kirkwood Ski Resort, which I'm unlikely to ever do, as the last time I snow skied was at Mammoth Mountain in my second year of high school.