December 23rd, 2014

SMOF License

Delayed Drive Home

When we left Placerville yesterday, on a whim we decided to drive up CA-49 rather than the more direct route home to Fernley via South Lake Tahoe. This was mainly because there was perhaps 90 minutes of daylight left and I'd never been over that particular stretch of highway before. Like almost every other bit save parts between Auburn and Nevada City, the Placerville-Auburn portion of the road is a hill-and-dale, twisty little road, not meant for high speed. It's a pretty drive on a clear day, which yesterday was.

About five miles or so south of Auburn, as we descended into the canyon of the American River, Lisa spotted something around the next corner and told me to slow down. As we rounded the corner, we found the road blocked. After a few minutes it became pretty obvious that nobody was going anywhere, as a fire truck pulled up in the other lane, so I put the van in park, set the parking brake, and went up to have a look.

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The total delay from the accident was on the order of an hour. We were relatively lucky, having had only three cars ahead of us in the backup. Had we been only a few seconds earlier, the cyclist might have wiped out right into us! Traffic coming south on CA-49 was backed up nearly all the way back to Auburn. I do not know how long the backup extended behind us going north.

We stopped briefly at Colfax for a coffee for me and a smoothie for Lisa, and decided that we really didn't need to stop any more between there and home, not being all that hungry otherwise and not needing groceries for the two days we'll be home before we return to California on Christmas day.