In continuation to our northern California trip to San Francisco in this month-long US trip of 2010, we then pushed eastward of the Bay Area. We drove about 4 hours further to the city of Carson in Nevada where we have booked for an overnight stay at Days Inn Carson City. We intended to go up to the Lake Tahoe area which lies divided by the states of California and Nevada to have our first experience of snow.
So around 10 in the morning after breakfast, we drove away from our hotel in San Francisco with my brother again taking the wheel. Once more the travel was long but the scenery that we see as we climb up to Tahoe is very different from the path we took from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Now instead of farm lands, we passed through different towns and as we go further we see pine trees.
On that trip, we rented tire chains for our rented van. This is as we expect that we shall be driving through snow and tire chains are required. As we climb up upto about 3000ft elevation, we seen road signs notifying motorists that there tire chains will need to be installed further. And so we decided to make a stop at a gas station along the way to gas up and install our tire chains. Also while on that petrol station we saw parked pickup with a big chunk of ice on its hood. This made us all excited that we might see snow along the road.
After gassing up, it was my turn to drive up to our destination. So proceed with our trip and this time we started to see some cars heading back with big chunks of snow on top of them. Also, we start to see the surroundings getting white with snow. Then at some point during our ride we met a very long traffic jam. Suddenly all the cars stopped. There were big trucks with us that same road and other cars.
The whole mountainsides were full of snow and we were driving very slow. And so we decided to pull up to another exit and try to experience the snow. We stopped at the exit of Cisco Grove which is within the Tahoe National Forest in Colfax. There were also quite a number of cars dropping by on that same stop. Well apparently there was a snow camp nearby. So while we were there, every played for the first time snow. And it was very fortunate while we made our short stop there, snow once more fell, quite heavily. We all were excited and had our times of our lives. It was such an enjoying experience. It was way cooler than the hail storm I experienced when I was in Bruges.
Since we were still quite far from our destination, we decided to push through after about 30 minutes of stopping there. And the snow continued to fall all the way until we got ourselves downhill once more. When we reached Truckee, we made a quick stop for toilet break. It was starting to get dark already that time. Also around this point we checked our tire chains to be sure they are all okay. Our van had a lot of icicles formed up near the wheels and all over after snow melted and froze again.
So we pushed further in the dark past the lit up city of Reno. Further south of Reno is the Carson. On our way, i experienced one of the scariest time in my driving experience. There were roads along the way that have frozen and was very slippery. I hear the van screeching when it is sliding. And a car in ahead of us even slipped to almost a 180degree turn on the slippery road. Scary.
Upon arrival in our hotel in Carson, we settled down to our rooms and I almost lost my wedding ring. Fortunately I found it in my pocket. I think because of the cold I didn’t feel the ring slipped from my finger. Also that night, we decided that instead of pursuing our path to Lake Tahoe to experience the snow, we will just head back to the same petrol station in Cisco Grove. This is because the road from Carson to Tahoe is more crooked and there was heavy snowfall that night. We worry that we might again be trapped in traffic on that route as we will be driving back to Los Angeles the day after. Also we were no longer opting to stop to see the casinos of Reno.
The very next day, we had our breakfast in a nearby McDonald’s restaurant. And it was just morning that we realized that Carson was not like a city that we have thought it was. As there were not many buildings structures around and we are still quite far from the city center.
This time the sun was up and the skies were clear but still very cold. We all took scoops of snow and played snowball fight. Something we all did the first time. It was such a great experience. We spent about an hour in this stop jumping over the snow, making snow angels and simply playing with snow. The snow as about 4 foot high and apparently during that same week the eastern coast of the US and Europe have experienced terrible snow and blizzard.
Then we once again head back down to the Bay Area and made a quick stop at my mom’s friend near Oakland and making another quick stop in Gilroy Premium Outlets before going home straight to Los Angeles. On our way back we passed through the garlic fields of Gilroy and once more at the stenchful cow fields of Coalinga. Anyways this long trip definitely made our whole US tour of 2010 much more memorable.