Snow is biased and discriminatory against two wheel drive cars. That doesn’t mean you can’t show it who is boss!
Over the weekend I took my GTO on a nice road trip to Reno to visit friends that had moved there a few months back. Sadly the Audi Quattro I am buying wasn’t ready yet. Coming up on Donner pass I tuned into the radio and it said all clear and no chain restrictions. Phew that is a relief. Of course that wasn’t so when I got closer to the top. Turn around, buy chains, and put them on and away I go. Getting back to the chain stop and the Cal Trans guys compliment both Lilith and myself at how quickly I chained up. Which surprised me because I thought 45 minutes to buy and install cables was a long time. Of course I had to stop a couple times to tighten them up more and such.
After what felt like ages I was still traversing the mountain when disaster struck. Horrible noises protruded into the cabin. I pulled over and stopped as quickly and the snow and ABS would allow me to. The cables on the right rear wheel had come apart and were now not useable. So after 20 minutes of trying to get them untangled and off the tire, I was still half way across the mountain and only one wheel chained. Checking the tightness of that side I noticed I had lost two strands of the cables that go across the tire. So now the other half of the trip I slowed from the recommended 30 mph to 25 mph.
All I have to say is thank god for limited slip differentials and being able to turn off traction control. With only one wheel chained up she moved along in the snow just as easily as she did with two. By the time we reached to bottom of the mountain both of us were very happy to have the remaining cable off and get back up to highway speeds.
So I checked into my hotel at 3 am and got a much needed 4 hours of sleep. Of course I woke up and my usual time and looked outside to watch the sun raise over the mountains and light up the lightly snowy Reno. It was a beautiful sight. I really do love the snow. My one friend who stayed up to make sure I made it down safely wasn’t waking up to my phone calls, so off to my other friends’ house for breakfast. Of course I was attacked by their child and new puppy upon entering the door. God it is good to see friends you haven’t seen in a long time. Finally my other friend woke up so I picked him up and went back. We all hung out and figured we would go to the mall to hang out and do some dumb shopping. That was fun, but being so tired and having a young child was wearing on the two of us that had been up till the wee hours.
The parental friends and their child left us to go make themselves lunch at home and he and I went to In N Out. Absolutely packed probably due to then falling snow. After stuffing our faces with a California specialty we headed over to the Nation Automobile Museum. The museum may not pull the same atmosphere as The Peterson does, but it is easily on the same level just a tad smaller. The amazing assortment of vehicles was quite something to behold. Definitely more focused on the origin of the car and vehicles up to the 50’s as that was the majority of the collection. My friend and I were far too tired to fully enjoy every aspect of the museum. They also had a film on the origin of the car and how the museum came to be. Well worth a watch. Fun side note; my friend Ronnie looks twelve, but he is almost 22. We entered the museum and asked if it was on adult and one child. I, very obviously confused and thinking they were joking, said yeah sure why not? Well then she charged me the full price for myself and half for Ronnie. Apparently that happens to him all the time. Well while we were watching the film I put my arm around him and you know did the little movie date thing. Well I didn’t see it, but one of the front counter ladies had come into their little theater while we were watching the film and apparently made a weird face at as before leaving. Hey your fault for assuming!
The rest of Saturday night included a lovely dinner date, going to a club and dancing around for a while before ending up at Hookah to relax and enjoy the buzz from drinking. Thank goodness we were only a few blocks away from my hotel because it started snowing hard and I gave my jacket to my friend because he is small and would have frozen. Nothing a few rum and cokes back in my room wouldn’t fix.
All in all Saturday was 3 days’ worth of fun packed into 1. Sunday included a late lunch and a little shopping before leaving at 2 pm. And here is where all the trouble began. I80 was closed Saturday night and all day Sunday due to 36+ inches of snow and white out conditions. So back up plan was taking the 6 to the 395 to the 15 and back, but of course that would be too easy. The 6 was likely going to be closed by the time I got there and the 395 was under chain restriction all through Mono County. Well fuck me right? I decided I would head toward Vegas and then turn west. Guess what else? There was snow on 1/3 of the 95. Which meant 25-50 mph on summer tires in the middle of the night. I literally had a mental breakdown from being so tired and stressed. Thank god my friend Ronnie called me and talked with me for a little while as I drove slowly behind a semi. I ended up getting into Vegas around midnight where I settled on a Motel 6 to catch 2 hours of sleep. My plan was to wake up before 3 and try to make the 6 hour drive to work. Well that didn’t happen cause I woke up after 3 with just enough energy to text my boss I wouldn’t make it and went back to sleep. Monday equated to a long and uneventful drive back home. And you know what? I was overall very impressed how well the GTO did in the snow, but tbh I would rather go back in an AWD or 4WD vehicle if for nothing more than convince.
Total Miles Driven: 1273
Total Time Driven: 24 hours 27 minutes
*ps: I am tired and my writing is shit today.