After yesterdays post I've done a lot of dreaming about my years at the family cabin in the Sierras. And so I add this snapshot to remind me of driving during the winter.
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Yes, there were the cold nights heading into the Sierras in snowstorms; anything to get up there for a weekend of skiing. It always came down to either putting the chains on ourselves or hiring a chain monkey. I was cheap; we usually put the chains on ourselves. It made it easier that I had a front wheel drive. And then we'd return to the line of red taillights making our way towards the summit.
But then there were days like the one in this photo when the freeway was empty; silence except for the sound of the chains on the crunching snow. Heading east over the summit for Truckee and a night of fun at our favorite hangout; wall to wall ski bums. It was a bit of heaven.
There was one thing I always took along on those weekend trips that I had to carry from the parking lot for the half mile tramp along the mostly snow packed road. Oh sure, I had to carry my skis, and my weekend bag of clothes, but the most important item was the briefcase full of LPs. Joni Mitchell's Court and Spark was always along. And so now when I listen to it I see the snow drifts and hear the heavy snow falling from the pine branches. I'd put it on for inspiration while getting ready for the night out.
Eventually there'd be the long drive home in the middle of the night on the empty freeway, again heading for the summit, heading west. We never really thought of the stupidity of what we did. We weren't going to get hurt. It wasn't our time. The walk through the darkness from the parking lot to the cabin, especially in a snowstorm, could be a slog, but then there was sleep followed by another day of skiing. It's my past and at times I miss it and would love to step back in time to do it one more time.
Tattered and Lost volumes 1 to 7 available at Amazon.