Theoretically, we’ve escaped winter as best as possible in the United States. We’re now in Burbank and I’ve spent part of the afternoon lounging around the park across the street, sitting in the sun in a tee shirt. Earlier today I sat poolside at a nearby hotel, a number of people tanning nearby. Not bad considering that Reno hit three degrees a few days back.
Our escape from Reno was a bit backwards, but worked out wonderfully. It began with a trip to Saint Louis, where we had a spectacular time at a friend’s wedding / wedding weekend. But Saint Louis was pretty cold too, so it was a bit of a weird 1,500 mile detour on our way to SoCal.
When we got back to Reno we hopped in a cab to meet up with our RV. We were chatting with the driver and told him about our plans to head west when he informed us that Donner Pass was pretty nasty and that full chain restrictions were in effect. We picked up chains and had a fun time trying to figure out how to use them, and totally unprepared for what we were about to encounter we hit the road.
The “road” that we hit was I-80, which for those of you who don’t know is the second-largest interstate highway and is the major east-west thoroughfare in the United States. Once we hit the Sierras, however, I-80 was at a crawl. Truckers were chaining up all along the side of the highway, snow was falling, and we were barely moving. And with good reason. There was a stop sign set up in the middle of I-80! Every single vehicle was individually checked to ensure that it had chains on, and even with the chain restrictions and a 30mph speed limit we saw a good number of spinouts and accidents on the road.
The weather eventually eased up, and 600 miles later we pulled into Burbank. (There were a few great stops on the way. More to come on that in another post.) We got in around 4:30am and I wasn’t quite sure where we were parking, but we woke up in a pretty sweet spot. The RV was in a quiet residential neighborhood, across the street from a lovely park and a quick walk from the convention center that was hosting the swing dance championship. Best of all, parking restrictions are limited to two hours, once per week.
Things are nice here. Warm weather, flat and bikeable streets and lots of interesting Mexican food stores. Lots more exploring is called for.
posted by jay