Thursday, November 21, 2013

Made it Home by the Hairs on my Chinny Chin Chin

Isn’t weather forecasting just great.  On Friday before we left Donner Summit was going to be sunny for five or six straight days.  By Sunday afternoon when we left there was talk about a “change” coming.  While we were gone it rained off and on in the Sacramento area for three straight days.  I figured that if we were to get over Donner Summit without problems, we had better do it around 2 pm, which meant getting up at 5 am to leave Salt Lake City by 5:30.  We were pulling out of the parking lot at 5:33, not bad.

We stopped for coffee at the Flying J at the Tooele exit.  (That is pronounced as “Two Ella”, not “Tool E”)  As we are leaving the Flying J our Rand McNally TripMaker RVND 5510 says turn left, which I did figuring they might have put a new freeway entrance in since I last traveled this way…but no, it decides to take us on a four mile longer route through Grantsville, at 65 mph max instead of the 80 mph max on I-80.  Well, after a bit of cursing and complaining about the “B in the Box” as she is affectionately known, we make it to I-80 where we drive under the freeway, and circle around to get onto the western direction, and look at what we see to the east…..


Now had we been driving I-80 at this spot we would have never seen the reflection pond … it would have been a picture opportunity missed that we would have never known about.  Perhaps our GPS needs a new name.  We contemplated staying a bit longer and getting more shots as it got brighter, but I know Donner Pass, and it is nothing to mess around with.  We needed to be there around 2 pm.


We stop at the last rest area before the Salt Flats, and get this shot.


The skyscapes made the trip across Nevada much easier to take, although the occasional periods of rain were a bit annoying.


And we did stop for breakfast, Subway on the go at Wendover, and Arby’s on the go in Fernley.  I don’t mind eating and driving, Marcia does not like it very much when I eat while I drive.


And I was right, we got to Donner Pass right around 2 pm, it was snowing, but the road was open without any chain restrictions.  The temperature at the 7,250 ft summit was 35 degrees.  It snowed and remained at 35 degrees all the way down to Emigrants Gap, then it started to get warmer and snow turned to rain.  We arrived back to our motorhome at 3:30, after eleven hours on the road (5:30 Mountain Time to 3:30 Pacific Time).  There sure were a couple happy puppies when we got there, that’s for sure.  After a long nap, we had some soup and later watched the 10 O’clock news….watching the backlog of traffic going over Donner Summit with chains on in heavy snow.


  1. Glad you made it home safely! Gorgeous photos, especially the pond!

  2. Beautiful skies! Glad you are home safe and sound!


We love to hear comments from our readers. All comments are moderated by Dave before added to the website. Spam, advertisers and rude comments are deleted, and due to high spam attempts, Anonymous Users cannot post, sorry....register for a Google ID, it is free and it is easy to setup.