Sunday, December 14, 2008

Snow in the Mountains = Truckers Curse

California is finally getting some snow up in the mountains and my trucker friend isn't a "happy camper". Yesterday he had a long day dealing with the snow up there and it looks like today is going to be a repeat. I just got off the phone with him and he said that he's already had to put the chains on (and take them off) twice getting up the hill this morning! He's definitely dreading the trip back down the hill this afternoon!

Anyway, since his call, I've been playing with the live cams on the CalTrans website. (It's been a while since I watched them. Like last winter when I was his weather/road conditions info person.) The first screenshot looks pretty good. That's at the Whitmore Grade showing the westbound lanes. Road looks pretty good, doesn't it? Pavement is a little wet and there's just a bit of snow on the shoulders. Ahhh.. But wait until you get a little further up the hill! It gets whiter!

Here's the Caltrans camera at Kingvale. The snow is deeper at the sides of the roads and the lanes aren't as clear. This is one of the spots where my trucker friend had to put the chains on this morning. I guess it was pretty nasty between Kingvale and the Donner Lake interchange. I'm not quite sure where he had to put the chains on the truck the second time. With the mood he's in, I was afraid to ask! lol... (And, no.. Neither of the trucks in this screenshot is his! lol)

A bit further up the road, there is a camera on I80 at the highway 89 interchange which is in Truckee. Again, it doesn't look that bad in the camera shots, but apparently the pavement has ice on it. And again, I don't know if this is one of the areas he had to have the chains on. A short while back, he and I went up to Reno for a couple days and on our way up, he pointed out most of the cameras that I've viewed from the Caltrans site plus quite a few more that I've never seen listed on the site.

Caltrans has done some shifting around of available cameras this year. I don't remember seeing this one last year. I'm not quite sure of the position of it, whether we're looking at I80 or if we're looking at highway 267. It seems to be a pretty busy road, though. By looking at a map, it seems to be just down the road a bit from the highway 89 interchange camera. I guess I will have to take a drive up to Truckee one of these days and see if I can spot this one. lol

This camera is a "new" one and I'll have to keep an eye on this camera to see if the snow and ice on the lens clears up later so I can get a screenshot from it. I have no clue which direction it's pointing or what we're supposed to see. The description of the camera says that it's at the Ag Station on I80, which means it's at the inspection area where you have to stop and tell the folks where you're coming from and whether or not you're carrying agricultural products.

There were a couple of the cameras not working this morning. The one at the Truckee truck scale and the one at Floriston. I'll check them out later on today, maybe. Here's a list of the I80 cameras from the Caltrans site, go check them out!;

Update 1:20pm
Just a quick update. I got another call from my trucker friend. Poor guy. He is stuck in Reno with an "out of commission truck". One of the brake lines on the truck went bad and he can't release the trailer brakes so he's stuck at the loading dock at the Post Office distribution center there in Reno until a mechanic gets out there to fix the problem. It looks like he'll be spending the night in the truck up there. What a way to start your "weekend" huh? His "weekend" normally starts on Sunday night, but he's going to have to stay up there and drive down tomorrow, so the first day of his weekend will be gone. I took a look at the CalTrans camera in Truckee again and it looks like even if he were able to drive, he'd still be stuck. Traffic is at a complete standstill in Truckee and it's been that way for a while now. Somebody must have pulled a really bad boo-boo on the highway west of Truckee.


Sprocket said...

When I lived in Ohio I enjoyed the a point. It was harder to ride my motorcycle on those slick roads.

Anakerie said...

lol, Yep! Riding a bike on slick, icy roads is a pretty risky proposition!

Sprocket said...

I only fell on black ice once. I was a total dare devil back then; I didn't have a car, just my R60/2 with Earls. Boy how I miss that bike!

Anonymous said...

It must be amazing to have that amount of snow. I have never seen snow and ice like that before. I hope that you guys are safe and with power.

Anakerie said...

Thanks, Anon.. All that snow and ice in the pics in this post were screenshots from the webcams that CalTrans has along the highway up in the mountains. I'm living at a low elevation, only 59 feet above sea level, so none of that is down where I am. It did snow down here a bit on the 16th though, but nothing stuck to the ground... My grandkids were so disappointed that they didn't get to make any snowballs.. lol.. I guess we need to take them up there to play in the snow for a while.. hehe