So, how can a day start so well and end so screwed up?
Beautiful morning and once finally packed up headed up the stunning Kingsbury Grade on th eastern side of the Sierra. Was trying to get to the Stagecoach lot but missed the sign – or it was buried somewhere under the many metres of snow. Once I’d finally gotten there it was of course full so dashed to the nearby Boulder lot which was thankfully still taking acceptances. Could only afford a couple of hours but figured it was still worth while. And it was great. Snow seemed drier than at Kirkwood and once again I felt like I could ski. Had a run through the triangle of trees that Doug and I had enjoyed at the start of the trip, and after a couple of very nice groomer runs did a top to bottom run with some tree skiing up high and great groomer lower down. A nice way to finish up.
Still had closures in both directions on 50 and after seeing how often 88 closed yesterday figured best bet was back out into the Carson valley. Tossed up heading up the open stretch of 50 and going around the lake but going via Reno – highway all the way – was just as quick. I’d spent a LOT of time checking all the options for this final drive and quite comfortable with it all. Grabbed some gas and coffee just south of Reno then onto 80 to start the last hill climb. Traffic slowed to a crawl 8 miles before the State Line – nowhere else to go and figured it would clear out relatively OK – middle of the day and pretty light traffic and for a 2 hour trip had over an hour up my sleeve and almost two if I wanted to cut it fine.
So you can probably imagine my consternation when we finally started moving at measurable speeds 7 miles later when over two and a half hours had elapsed. They had a lane closed doing mop up work on some of the slides from earlier in the week, but I still can’t figure out why it took so long – I can only assume they actually closed it completely for periods getting machinery in and out etc. Whatever. Was doing the arithmetic in my head as I tried to ignore my bladder and sped to the rest area at Donner Summit. Suitably relieved I could now figure out that (a) I would definitely miss my flight from Sac to LA; (b) the next Southwest flight was fully booked, would barely get me there in time anyway and other options may not be much better; and (c) the chances of me making my flight home were pretty close to zilch.
So spent the next 40 minutes on the phone rescheduling with QANTAS and Southwest and adding a day to the car rental. QANTAS were asking an arm and a leg to change to tomorrow but if I took my chances and didn’t end up making it tonight they’d hit me with an extra few hundred for the privilege – and still charge me the arm and the leg as well. So, feeling rather shattered, headed off over the top barely noticing the stunning scenery. Though shortly after I had much more time to admire it. Because of course my quiet midday trip was now a late afternoon trip – a busy, sunny Sunday afternoon trip – and was meeting up with all the skiers heading back down to Sacramento and the Bay Area. Good thing I hadn’t convinced myself I could still make it tonight.
So at the time I should be taking off I’m enjoying the ambience of Motel 6 in downtown Sacramento. I think I’ve got a few photos from the last few days but I really can’t be stuffed even thinking about them. Might to try to post a few tomorrow to kill some time. Not a lot else to do – except of course to GET TO THE AIRPORT EARLY !!!!!!!!