Weather-wise this has been a very unusual week: it has been raining every day, partly with heavy storms and even tornados. Today the sky looks bright and sunny again and the air is clear and fresh. As the weather forecast predicted snow up in the mountains between San Diego and the desert, we assume that today we could see some fresh white powder up at Laguna Mountains.
To get there we take HWY 8 West. We don’t see any signs of snow even as the road leads up to 4000 feet (1200 meter) elevation. The road is dry and the signs along the HWY warning of “winter storms” seem to be completely miss-placed as the temperature is about 54 Fahrenheit (12 Celsius). We exit the HWY to take S1 up to Laguna Mountains. Just after the exit there are about 3 HWY Patrol Cars blocking the road and lots of car owner kneeling on the ground, putting chains on their cars. We stop at one of the HWY Patrols and ask him whether we can proceed. He asks us whether we have a 4×4 and if we would have any chains, just in case. We confirm that we have a 4×4, decline the inquiry about the chains and add that we are from Switzerland and know how to drive in snow. He nods and lets us pass. Soon the amount of snow to the left and right of the road gets more and more and as we get up to about 6000 feet (1800 meter) we are in “Winter-Wonder-Land”. Snow everywhere, about 1 to 2 feet, the trees are all white and even the road is covered with snow – gorgeous!!
As only the roads are plowed people park their cars everywhere along the road and have fun with kids and dogs in the snow. On every little hill they are sledding, and skiing. We take a few breaks to enjoy the fabulous scenery. It is very cold and windy up here. At some point we look down to the desert from a view point with about at least 1 foot snow and bitter cold wind – we are sure that down there it’s about 30 degrees Fahrenheit (15 Celsius) warmer than up here. The view is spectacular and we can see all the way to the Salton Sea.
Soon after the road is closed and we have to turn back the same way we came. Never mind it was a beautiful day!
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