Wednesday, March 6, 2013



Driving up I –5 in March means you have to be aware of a couple of mountain passes that can ruin your day really quick. We knew there was a chance that there would be snow on the Sisikew  Pass on the California/ Oregon border, ( which is the reason we usually take 101 over on the coast.)  We were hoping for the best as we motored along enjoying a beautiful sunny day.


We noticed  a sign saying truckers would be checked for chains just outside of Redding CA, so when we stopped at  Red Bluff, Skip quizzed the man at the Pilot Travel Center about whether we would be allowed on the pass. The man said they would probably weigh us  and more than likely they would require us to chain up. So Skip said would I just be better to head for the coast, and the fellow said I would.

A check of the map showed to routes one from Redding and what appeared to be a shorter route highway 36 from Red Bluff.

It started out as a pretty windy road through  ranch land.



We didn’t pass many vehicles, and the road was dry so we were pretty happy with our choice.

After maybe thirty miles we could see snow on the mountains ahead of us, but the road was still dry and everything was fine, we saw a sign near Platina that  said chain area, four wheel drive or winter tires were ok. Still no snow on the road, so we continued on, until we saw a small patch on the side of the road, then we turned a corner and saw this.



We had no where to turn around, we kept thinking we would come to an area without a drop off and be able to turn around

We saw a snow plow go by us and the driver gave us a big wave, like it was perfectly normal for us to be driving up a mountain in a motor home towing a car.


We could have stopped, but we knew it was the warmest time of the day, and we didn’t want to go down on frozen pavement.



We finally made it down the other side, I’m not sure but I think there was four summits and we were at almost 6000 ft. at  one point.

We won’t be doing that again, I had a little argument in our defense, but there is way we should have taken that route.

Our poor little tracker that Skip keeps so clean and shiny.





  1. I know that 'sinking feeling' one gets when the realization sets in that a wrong decision has been made. Especially that 'can't turn around one' when you have to keep going ahead & the situation continues to get worse. Also know that feeling of elation & relief one gets when one successfully reaches the other side of the problem. Your problem was extra bad though because of the snow & possible slippery ice conditions on mountain roads with grades & drop offs. We all make decisions we regret from time to time but fortunately this time you came out the other side OK. Safe travels:))

  2. Well you did do some inquiring before taking the road so it just wasn't the perfect final decision. but you had no idea and you came out of it ok. I think the snowplow would have stopped you if he felt you were not safe.

    Hope you are feeling a bit better.

  3. A little tense!! I am surprised you are heading north just when it's getting up to 80 in AZ. Where are you now? When can we expect you in Anacortes? Camping at the Casino? The Ferry to Sydney won't begin until Mar 24th. Anxious to hear all your stories! Love, Pam

  4. Glad you guys made it through okay. I take it that you are on the home ward route home.
    Take care.
    Love Sharon.

  5. Highway 36 is a bear of a road, and gets a lot of snow. The Trinity Alps are worse than the Siskyous. Glad you made it OK. We have been caught in that conundrum as well now and then, but so far haven't had to chain up. Travel safe! By the way, you got an anon spam there to delete. They seem to be getting worse lately.

  6. Thank you for living my fear... Maybe now I won't have to!

    Glad you made it through okay . . .Sue

  7. Well, I know that felt hairy. You do your best, and then you make the best of it.

    * makes note to stay south *