An excerpt from It Snows in California?
The Players: The Deej, the victim, and me
The Location: North Lake Tahoe, CA, USA
Saturday numero uno in my mountain haven and the snow gods have decided to litter the landscape with those beautiful powdery snowflakes by the plenty. The snow seems to bring out the best in everyone this time of year. Spirits are high and optimism for an epic ski season is streaming through the area. The boys and girls club in Kings Beach is having a charity dodge ball tourney and being new to the area, it should be a good chance to meet some good folks. We’ll cross over the rather tame Prosser Pass on our drive; a chain controlled area which serves as the Truckee folk’s gateway to magical Lake Tahoe. ‘Tame’ of course is a relative term in the Sierras; and I’m about get a first hand lesson in mountain driving and why it’s a good idea to wear your chains.
As we start our ascent nothing seems to be out of the ordinary on the road. DJ is giving the run down on area, informing me of the highs and lows of Tahoe-land. A couple inches of fresh snow has crowned the rough blacktop, so everyone’s moving fairly slow and controlling their vehicle in an orderly fashion – except of course for the SUV flipped over in a ditch up there on the right. That sux…and would probably ruin your day. I wonder what they’re gonna use to pull that thing out? A vehicle flipped over like that has to be considered totaled, doesn’t it? I mean the structural integrity of the frame is just spent. Hmm, what is that coming out of the back window? Is it moving? Is that an arm?! – Holy Shit is somebody still in that thing!?!
My shoulder caresses the powder covered asphalt moments after the door
on our moving car magically opened itself. Adrenaline and instinct take over as I slide into the ditch grasping my new friend’s forearm. In a quick but controlled fashion, I help the gentleman out and away from the wreckage. As expected, he is dazed and confused but has no visible injuries. A couple more cars have pulled over by this point and we all work to calm the accident victim while trying to figure out what happened. Turns out, it was nothing too crazy that caused the wreck; he simply didn’t have the proper equipment to be driving in such conditions and lost control. Even stranger is the wreckage scene: a large, crushed SUV, miserably stuck upside-down on a busy road which could have easily killed or maimed a few people…but all is fine in the world. The falling snow veils an eerie silence over the area, and the few people aware enough to have stopped are gathered in a very nonchalant, take-it-or-leave-it manner. We stay no more than a minute longer and jump back in the car.
None the less, it was quite the humbling experience. I decide I had better get some chains for my ride sooner rather than later. DJ and I briefly discuss the whole series of events as we continue the drive over Prosser Pass – if for nothing else to confirm they actually happened. Even though I feel bad for the guy’s SUV, he’s ok, I have learned a good lesson about driving in the snow, and with the adrenaline rush from the whole ordeal I will be a force to be reckoned with in the up coming Dodgeball event! All and all, I suppose it’s not a bad way to start your Saturday.