Recently I returned to the Reno area to photograph the Wild Horses or Mustangs that roam the Virginia Range. The weather was cold, anywhere from the mid 50’s or down to the upper 20’s. The ground was frozen in some areas on the Virginia Range.
I got some nice shots, and braved the cold, and the wind and the hostile conditions to photograph those Mustangs.
But what I wasn’t aware of is the day I wanted to return to the SF Bay area a snow storm was now occurring in front of me on Interstate 80, which meant the full force of it would be felt at Donner’s Pass. I bought snow chains at Walmart for $40.00, and started out at 12 noon. As I was driving I could see the outside temps slowly dropping, 52, 48, 42, 36, 32, 30, then it stopped declining once it reached 29 degrees. the first 25 minutes on the highway was dry, then it started snowing, traffic slowed, the snow came down harder. The elevation went from 2,000 feet to above 5,000. The snow was coming down hard. Then eventually snow chain signs started appearing. The traffic slowed even more, until the highway was covered in snow. The snow was laying on the pavement. Eventually I could not see any pavement, and I had to plow myself through the snow with snow chains on the car.
At the snow chain installation area, an elderly couple asked me to install the chains on their car, so I did, and afterwards they gave me $20 bucks. A minute later an elderly disabled fellow asked me if I would help him, so I installed the snow chains on his car. I did not accept his money, but I considered that a pay-it-forward deal.
When I started the drive I was nervous and a bit scared. But after a while, I realized this is right-up-my-alley, and concluded that drive during a snow storm on a mountain highway was an adventure. I do indeed think it’s an adventure worth selling.
A few pics of the snowy adventurous commute below.