Surprisingly easy weekend trekking up to the snow. And through the snow. And shoveling the snow. And using the snow as a freezer (no shit, we really did that). So Tahoe got a *lot* of snow recently with all the stormy weather California has been having, and it was exceedingly lovely, albeit exceedingly drifty; the girls and I drove up on Friday midday as Gene was coming home from the east coast (I picked him up in Reno LATE that night - thank you again to Fu for coming with). Amazingly, we a) left about when I had hoped and b) made it up there about when I had hoped, including a lunch stop. The kids were great, with the exception of 40 minutes outside of Truckee when Peabo lost her marbles due to no nap (neither of my two are big on the car naps, alas); she finally yowled herself into a fitful nap, but what are you going to do. I had stopped at a McDonald's north of Sacramento and had to do the drive-through and eat in the parking lot thing because, not so much wanting to dig the stroller out of the pile of crap in the backseat and you know, faster. Anyway, I also did not get to hit the bathroom and let me assure you, I was drawing on every vestigial memory of being nicknamed "Camel" as a child.
The roads were both clear and empty of traffic for the most part, which was a relief; Truckee/Tahoe Donner was a bit sloppy but our bruiser of a car scoffed at the muck and fetched up at our lovely rental house to find...a lot of snow. Okay. I can deal with this, I grew up in the frozen North. Fortunately the driveway had been mostly plowed, so it was just getting into snow up to my hips to get the key out of the lockbox and then up to knees to start sherpa-ing stuff into the house. Got the kids inside, got Peabo eventually into the portable crib to scream at me more about the whole nap thing, got Bean situated with toys and Spongebob on TV, and then started shoveling. The good news was that the snow itself, while incredibly deep, was also incredibly powdery. If I cared anything about downhill skiing, I would have been sacrificing marmots to the weather gods. There was also something rather nostalgic about getting out there with the shovel - when you grow up in a two daughter house, someone gets to be 'the boy', and generally speaking that meant Heather, so I've shoveled my fair share of the white stuff. I did pay for it the next day, admittedly, but it was a minor casualty and I felt insanely virtuous having the porch and stairs cleared off before anyone else arrived.
Got the kids into bed at a normal hour, had dinner with everyone else, tried to keep my eyes propped open with coffee until 10:30 when we left for Reno. In passing, I-80 between Truckee and Reno SUCKS. As Fu sagely pointed out, it's a bit distressing that this is our lifeline between us and the rest of the country. Still and all, we made it there and back and the snowstorm didn't start in earnest until the next day, after which point the five foot snow drift on the back porch became less a bed of ice for conveniently freezing leftovers and beer and more of a deep chest walk in freezer of industrial proportions. We were debating leaving stuff and placing bets on when exactly someone would unearth it, but the need for beer outweighed that decision.
Saturday became a sit around on our asses and eat crap and drink more crap and you know, that was really quite all right. We did rouse ourselves in the afternoon to take the three kids outside and try out the saucer sleds we found in the garage, but it was a) damn cold and b) damn blowy with the snow; the two toddlers gave up about 5 minutes in and were taken back inside, but Bean loved loved loved the whole experience, maintaining giggles even after falling into a snowbank. Quite honestly, that made the whole trip for me. Peabo was hilarious all bundled up into an immobile little fireplug...unhappy immobile little fireplug, admittedly, but hilarious all the same.
Poker was played Saturday night, booze was consumed, more slackassitude. Over night the wind and snow continued and we awoke on Sunday to hear that all the roads in and out of Tahoe were closed; however, they do know how to deal with this sort of thing up there and by 10 or 11 am, it was down to chain control for non-4WD vehicles, and by the time we left at 2, there wasn't any control. Which would have been great if a Safeway truck hadn't jackknifed across westbound I-80 at Blue Canyon. Yeah. So we were literally parked on the freeway for close to 2 hours, during which time I just kept shoving snacks into the kids to keep them close to a semblance of happy. However, made it through and got home about 8:30, both kids straight to bed, and me glopping lotion on any exposed part of my body. It is effing DRY up there. You don't remember that fact until you get home and feel like a charred leaf pile in the middle of the desert. Bleh.
It was a really good weekend though - one of the best, I'd have to say. Thanks to all y'all who came up with and made dinners and helped with kids, and all that good stuff. Next year, the compound!
by at February 05, 2008 10:38 AM