Northern CA Storms - Reno Weekend

Truckee Travel Blog

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The beginning of the rain turning to snow

On January 4th, Northern CA got hit with pretty massive storms, causing severe flooding, blizzard like conditions with hurricane force winds in the Sierras, and much resulting damage from the wind and water.  We had plans to to be in Reno that weekend and I really wanted to stay home, even though we had no power or heat as I couldn't imagine driving on the 80 fwy through Truckee!  Being that Scott was raised in Cleveland and used to big snow storms, he couldn't be persuaded to stay at home and freeze! 

What normally is around a 2 hour drive for us turned into a 5 hour adventure.  We left his home in Vacaville to head into Sacramento and couldn't find anywhere that had power, let alone gas pumps working!  We nursed the vehicle into West Sacramento where I live and finally found a gas station open.

The snow falls a little harder
  Many places already had wind damage and awnings down, trees knocked over.  We headed on our drive through constant rain and didn't hit snow until probably 3500 feet.  At first it was not too bad, the roads were fairly clear and then conditions began to deteriorate.  I should point out that I am a Southern CA native, I do not know what falling snow is - my experiences were limited to a couple day trips to Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear, where there was a little snow left on the ground weeks after a storm. 

So, as we headed further up, we literally were in white out conditions (gee, just like the news stations warned).  After my several anxiety attacks and crying fits, we were through Truckee area and over the Donner Pass, heading down into Reno.  By this time, it was dusk and the snow flakes were bigger and bigger and you couldn't see any exits.  We were apparently headed to an all you can eat lobster place but the snow was so tall and visibility about 10 feet, we missed anything that resembled an exit.  Once we did manage to get off the freeway, we decided we just needed to check in the hotel and eat there.  Plus, I really needed a drink.  LOL. 

Quest says:
I can imagine how bad it must have been for you, since you're not used to this. I've driven under such conditions many times.. although I can't say I like it much. It's pretty intense when you can hardly see and you have to stay focused constantly.
Posted on: Oct 20, 2008
Kana says:
I was around the Sierra Foothills for the weekend, and the snow storm was quite dramatic... Hadn't seen that much snow for years! We didn't have power, either, but it was fun to play in the snow. :)
Posted on: Jan 16, 2008
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The beginning of the rain turning …
The beginning of the rain turning…
The snow falls a little harder
The snow falls a little harder
There is the side of the freeway u…
There is the side of the freeway …
A bit blurry but started to head u…
A bit blurry but started to head …
You can barely see the headlights …
You can barely see the headlights…
Pulling up to the chain checkpoint
Pulling up to the chain checkpoint
All the vehicles stopped for the c…
All the vehicles stopped for the …
Just passing through the chain che…
Just passing through the chain ch…
The beginning of deteriorating con…
The beginning of deteriorating co…
This is the same vehicle as the ph…
This is the same vehicle as the p…
A little snow stuck to the windows…
A little snow stuck to the window…
That is the side of the 80 fwy as …
That is the side of the 80 fwy as…
There is a car in front of us some…
There is a car in front of us som…
Truckee
photo by: alonski