December 20th, 2014

Rolling Stone

A Break in the Weather

Last night's weather forecast for Norden (my proxy for Donner Summit) was for 10cm of snow and snow falling throughout the day. This morning, the revised forecast is for little or no snow, and the chain controls over I-80 have been lifted. Big rigs are still being screened for chains (meaning they won't let them through unless they are carrying them), but that doesn't apply to me, and as long as I take it fairly carefully (which is to say not drive like I'm an ice racer), the snow tires on the Rolling Stone should be sufficient as long as there's no new snow. So I'm off on a new assault on Donner this morning, via Lodi and Sacramento.
Fernley House

Home for a Few Hours

The weather was damp throughout my drive, but even right at Donner Summit it was only just barely snow, and while the pavement wasn't dry, it also wasn't snow-covered. Past Kingvale, as it starts to get steep for the most difficult section (chain restrictions are commonly "Kingvale to the Donner Lake Interchange"), I was happy to follow a slow big-rig up, over, and back down again at 35 mph. The rest of the drive was at 55 mph, which with my usual stops made for a nine-hour trip for the 300 miles home to Fernley.

Tomorrow we head to El Dorado Hills. We haven't decided which route yet. US-50 is more direct, but also more prone to winter-weather issues over Echo Summit. Fortunately, the next few days should be dry, which will not only let the waterlogged areas recover a bit in hope of further rain, but also make for a good week of skiing in the Tahoe basin for those so inclined.