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Entries about snow

A Road Trip With No Point

At least we could eat

rain 37 °F

We had Zaya and needed to get her back to her parents. We thought we’d get her to Reno where we could meet our kids, saving them time. As they live north of Reno, they could drive down to meet. Then realized that, if we were going to Reno anyway, we should ski at Tahoe. I looked at the weather and it was supposed to be great skiing on Monday and Tues.

By Sunday, we remembered that Dale had an appointment on Wed a.m. and then we saw that the storm wasn’t going to hit until Tues/Wed. We decided to leave on Wed after his appointment, ski Thurs with Zaya then meet our kids on Friday. We’d stay at our favorite place, the Peppermill, in Reno.

We packed all set to ski and drove off, unfortunately, mid-Wed afternoon. This meant that the Buffet was not going to be open for dinner. Then as we were driving I checked the weather for Boreal and saw that it was actually raining at the base and forecast to rain on Thurs. By this time we were already committed to meeting Nate and Bekki and our room had a non-cancelation clause.

We had no problems going over I-80 as it was mostly raining, nothing heavy, but rain nevertheless. The forecast that night was rain at the base of Boreal for most of Thurs.

The buffet closed as we arrived so we opted to eat at the café, a place where we often eat a late dinner. I like to play Keno with dinner, so I filled out my 3 numbers. I only had $12 so marked 2-$5.00 games. The Keno lady came by and suggested that I play 5-$2 games instead and I thought why not. Wouldn’t you know, the first game I had all 3 numbers winning $86, however, if I’d played the 2 games as I’d planned the prize was $250! Alas….
Thurs morning, we slept in and weather still was forecast to rain then turn to snow. Instead of skiing, we headed down to the buffet to console ourselves with food. We were in touch with Nate and Bekki and we agreed that we’d call as we were leaving.

As we were finishing breakfast we were talking about how we’d promised our middle son, Justin, that we’d bring his kids up maybe over the weekend so that they could visit Nate and Bekki. Let’s see now- it’s Friday and we are going to come back over the weekend? What kind of stupid plan was that? And Zaya wouldn’t care if boys skied but she couldn’t? Not one of our better ideas.
We called Nate and Bekki and suggested that we simply go back home with Zaya in tow, pick up boys then start the trip all over again.
Oh well, we had a nice road trip!

Posted by Miss Chris 13:36 Archived in USA Tagged snow road_trip travel snowstorm grandkids sierras gmc_sierra Comments (0)

Road Trip Delays

You just can't make this stuff up

storm 30 °F

We had planned to stay home for a change and start remodeling the house, but then our son asked if we’d help with their move back to Northern Calif, Surprise Valley. That sounded easy enough: pick up a cargo trailer (none near him) and go to Hollister on Tues, load up the trailer then drive up to Surprise Valley. Turn around on Wed, spend the night in Reno and get home on Thurs. All well and great plans.

We were so confident of our plans that we did not bring many snacks as we’d be on the road. Didn’t bring food for meals because we’d be eating out. Well…..

By the time we got to Hollister, it was mid-afternoon. Nate needed tires and off we went to see about getting tires switched out. We all realized that we’d be spending the night in Hollister so had to buy groceries for dinner.
Wed morning, we got up and finished loading the trailer and stuffed the pickup as full as possible, leaving 1 seat up for our 2-year-old grandson, Jasper. We had our 9-year-old granddaughter sit in the middle front with all kinds of stuff on the floor at my feet.

I’d checked the roads and there didn’t seem to be anything amiss over I-80, the shorter route. This route goes thru Lake Tahoe and the Sierras. The weather didn’t show that storms would hit right away so off we went.

We were driving along I-80 when it started snowing. Traffic started slowing down, then way down, then it stopped. Snow was falling harder by then. Soon we came to a chain control stop. We assumed that we’d be fine as we have nearly new snow tires, but alas, that was not to be.

The CHP stopped us and said that because we were towing a trailer that we had to have chains on both the truck and the trailer. We had chains for our truck but not the trailer so were told to get off at the next exit and buy chains for the trailer at the station, after which we could continue down the highway.

Dale was driving, it was snowing hard and we did not see the station until we were passing by. Oops! We got off on the next exit, one where nothing was and Dale put the chains on the truck. We figured that those were better than nothing. Dale was just getting them tightened when someone came by and said that the chain requirement had been lifted. Off came the chains. Now that Dale was wet and hands frozen we started back where we’d left off.

About 5 miles down the road, there was another slowdown. Another chain checkpoint. Here we were stopped again, This time the CHP told us that the truck must have chains on but the trailer tires did not need them. This time we got off at the next exit, stopped at the gas station, put on the truck chains and drove to the on-ramp.
At the on-ramp, Cal Trans was inspecting vehicles getting onto the I-80. The inspector took one look at us and stopped us. He said we had to have chains on the trailer in addition to the truck and that we could make a u-turn then go back and buy chains or cables for the trailer tires. Back we went to the station, bought cables and put them on the tires.

As Dale was putting the cables on I noticed something on the back tire of the trailer. With a closer look, it appeared that a link of a chain had been picked up by the tire and appeared to be embedded.

We were approved finally continue our journey and while Dale drove I called U-Haul, where we’d picked up the trailer. After a 2nd call to them, I was told to call their roadside service. Roadside asked if we felt air leaking out. I said no, we didn’t notice so we were told to keep driving and just check the tire. If there were problems then we were to call back.

We stopped outside of Reno to check the tire, no problems. Then we decided to also get fuel. Dale got out and was getting the fuel going, I got out with Zaya to make a pitstop. I left Jasper in his seat as Dale was by the truck. When I closed the door I head the sound of the doors locking. My first thought was NO!!!! This can’t be. We tried all of the doors and they were locked. Dale’s key in the ignition, mine in my purse. Fortunately, we got Jasper to push the lock button and he unlocked the doors. We didn’t have to call AAA. We finally got back on the road and off to Nate and Bekki’s arriving 5 hours late, starving and tired.

We wanted to get an early start on Thurs for home as we now had a very long day of driving. We thought that we’d start unloading what we could. Dale and I unloaded the bikes off the bed of the truck then Dale went to reposition the trailer so we could have it closer to their ranch house.
As Dale was backing up I was pointing for him to move it more to the left. Then it caught my eye, the tire was white. At first, I thought that it was white mud but I knew that it couldn’t be mud. I walked over to the trailer and the tire was completely gone from the rim. I thought we were done with all of this!
I called U-Haul and explained that the tire was now completely gone. Now we had another delay, waiting for someone to come and replace the tire in the middle of nowhere. Finally, by 3pm we were able to start for home.

Now if all of there were not enough, Nate had packed and was carrying most of the food. I’d packed up a few yogurts, rice rollers, cookies, granola bars for each Bekki and our vehicles. We assumed that we would arrive in time to make dinner. I’d also put some gluten free pasta and sauce in Bekki’s car because we knew she’d arrive before the rest of us as we were towing the trailer and Nate would be behind us. Well, that was all the food we had with us. So when Nate did not arrive until noon we’d eaten about everything there was. We didn’t starve but there were slim pickings.
Then our granddaughter was eating a piece of beef jerky when she said, “my tooth broke”. Sure enough, a piece of her tooth came out along with blood. She thought she’d bitten into a piece of bone. Bekki took her to the closest dentist, an hour away, only to find that her permanent tooth was pushing the baby tooth out, weakening it so when she bit into the jerky the tooth fell apart. Fortunately, we met Bekki on the road traded Zaya and kept driving for home.
Enough adventures for 1 trip.

Posted by Miss Chris 10:19 Archived in USA Tagged snow road_trip travel snowstorm grandkids sierras gmc_sierra Comments (0)

An Anniversary to Remember

What an amazing anniversary trip to Finland

overcast 3 °F

I love the breakfast here; smoked salmon, herring, veggies and coffee. We will try more of these breakfasts at home

We had to get out for our reindeer safari at 10am so we had to eat breakfast sooner than later. We found that we were sharing the safari with 4 other people. The others were parents with 2 kids, a 7 and a 2-year old.

Our guide arrived, dressed in the garb of his people. We learned that he is part of the Sami, an indigenous group, located in the Lapland area. They are known for raising reindeer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_people

The guide introduced us to a bit of his life. The reindeer belong to him and he is so kind to them, they are really like his children. He pets them, smiles and speaks so kindly to each reindeer. The ride itself was so beautiful, quiet except for the sled going over the snow.
We each had a reindeer skin to sit on which kept us really warm. Then nice wool blankets to cover with.

Each sled had a reindeer to pull it but all were attached to each other in a long line. The reindeer behind us kept coming over to Dale’s side and tried to lick Dale’s face on a couple of occasions. The reindeer in front is a leader in the group and the other reindeer let it eat meals first. It knew the way and would sometimes run, sometimes walk, sometimes slow way down to put his nose in the snow or grab a bit of snow.
After our ride, we were invited into the guide’s tepee. This is a place where he likes to sleep in during summer months. He built a fire, served coffee, tea, and cakes, and then played a couple of songs of his people.

We had a sleigh ride scheduled for 9:45pm. We arrived at the reception desk and met our guide, then walked to the barn. The guide handed us a basket that contained a small bottle of champagne, lots of chocolates and 2 traditional wood cups. He said that we could have the champagne when we wanted.

The snow was so beautiful in the dark. Again, it was so quiet except for our sled, and again we sat on the reindeer skins.

We saw some lights in the distance, which we assumed were a house. Instead, they were lights from candles, a sort of Finnish farolito, in the snow. The guide had dug a hole then built up a wall of snow around the edge, with a hole one side leaving the top open. There were several of these candle holders. There was also a table, covered with snow, and candles. In the back, there was the structure of a tepee, only the wood, no covering.
We set our basket on the snow covered table, poured our champagne, ate some chocolate and took photos with the big camera on the tripod.

Wow, what an end to our trip!!! This has been an amazing journey.

Posted by Miss Chris 16:34 Archived in Finland Tagged snow walking finland outdoors reindeer winter_in_finland kaksluttanen sleigh_ride Comments (0)

Rovaniemi, Lapland, The Land of Santa

overcast 20 °F

We’ve been spoiled with having our own sauna, eating fish and veggies for breakfast and fast quiet trains.

One last train ride, to Rovaniemi. But first a walk down to the Baltic to see the sunrise and maybe shoot some photos. I didn’t carry my tripod but think that photos came out ok. It wasn’t easy to work with the polarizer while wearing heavy gloves, so it looks like some photos have dark corners.
The 3+hour train ride became lots closer to 4 when a locomotive broke down. We cooled our heels drinking coffee, while the train sat on the track.
We got into Rovaniemi and took a cab to the Santa Claus Hotel where we had to check in. The lady at the desk said that we could walk to our hotel, which turned out to be a hostel. It was about ½ mile away.
We walked thru the square where the Christmas Market is then started up the hill. We walked and then walked some more. Finally, it seemed like we were walking into an area of apartments.

We stopped at a grocery store and the clerk was sure we’d passed the hostel. I googled the hostel and sure enough, we’d walked ½ mile too far. At least we got to walk downhill.

We were starving and after dumping our stuff started walking to a restaurant recommended by the hotel clerk. When we couldn’t find the restaurant, we went into one recommended by some people walking down the street. (They were looking for a grocery store) The restaurant was completely packed with no tables open for the evening.
Finally, we went back to the Santa Claus Hotel and ate a nice meal at their restaurant. What a day!

Posted by Miss Chris 04:23 Archived in Finland Tagged snow walking finland outdoors rovaniemi winter_in_finland Comments (0)

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