West Coast Road Trip – Day 21 
Sunday, April 4, 2010, 10:17 PM
Posted by Administrator
It was 28 degrees and we had plans to spend 3 hours on snowmobiles. I bundled up with 7 layers on top and 3 on the bottom, including my new snow pants. Amazingly, I was quite comfortable all morning, with the exception of my fingers which kept getting numb.

Our motivation for going to Diamond Lake was to snowmobile to Crater Lake. Unfortunately, that particular trail was not groomed. But, we had a blast anyway! The snow-covered, tree-lined trail was gorgeous and we only saw a handful of people the entire morning. Apparently, snowmobiling is not a popular Easter activity.

Paul was surprised when I requested two single snowmobiles instead of one double, and even more so when I hauled ass down the trail. Of course, I was also the one who got my machine so stuck in deep snow that we had to go back to the rental place and have someone come out to rescue it. (This is Paul trying to get it out.)

We made lunch on the road, stopped in Ashland for coffee and tea, and then continued down I-5 into California. When we left Ashland, it was about 50 degrees and lightly raining. As we drove, and climbed in elevation, the rain became heavy and then changed to snow. Highway traffic slowed to a crawl and, when it became icy, Paul pulled off at the next exit which was for the town of Mt. Shasta.

At the end of the exit ramp, we turned left, hoping to get to the Best Western just on the other side of the overpass. We saw cars sliding all over the place, and then ours became one of them. We couldn’t move without sliding and so we just put on our hazards, stayed put and watched lots of near misses as other cars attempted to make it over the icy bridge.

Just a few minutes later, a police officer asked Paul to step out of the car, got behind the wheel himself and got us off of the bridge and out of the way. He suggested trying it again with some momentum. This ended us up in a snowbank, but a good Samaritan towed us out and then recommended an alternate route to the other side of the freeway, which was where all of the hotels were located.

A few treacherous miles later, I hopped out at the Mt. Shasta Inn to inquire about vacancy while Paul tried to get the car out of traffic. The owner informed me that they had plenty of rooms available, but, before registering, we would need to get our car into the parking lot, which was buried under two feet of snow. So, I asked for a shovel and got to work while Paul struggled with safely getting the car back to the motel.

After about 10 minutes, I was thrilled to see four other people walking out of the hotel with shovels. It turns out that they were the kids of the motel owner. Then, a young man walking down the street with a shovel jumped in and started helping. He was just out to offer help to anyone that needed it.

While our situation was frustrating at times, we were amazed by and grateful for the many kindnesses shown to us by total strangers.

It took us a good hour to clear enough snow to get the car in the lot, maneuver it up the driveway incline and fit it into a snow-free spot. We were relieved to finally settle into our room and take off our wet clothes, but also felt fortunate to be there and not stuck on I-5 which was now a giant parking lot.

Happy Easter!

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