The Winter Wonderland

Now one draw for many PV trips out west is wintertime.

DSC_0008Train #5, the California Zephyr headed for Sacramento, CA along the Truckee River. Photo by Alex Ramos

Because for most folks, the whole concept of snow is something unfamiliar at best. In most of California, a bit of cold and some rain and that is winter. But crossing the Sierra Nevada anytime between November and April? You might be treated to a covering of white. And not just the light powder, but the wet heavy stuff known as Sierra Cement. High in water content.

HPIM0072Photo by Roger Colton

In some years, a light dusting comes and goes through fall into spring. Others can bring record amounts with drifts as high as the train. Never the same twice, it seems that the snow gods can be fickle at best.

DSCN2315Photo by Roger Colton

Normally, PV’s will travel from Emeryville to Sparks, making the trip up on a Saturday and back on Sunday. One night in the Biggest Little City in America seems the norm as folks make the trek around Reno. I’ve had groups of as many as 125 aboard 4 PV’s or as small as 5 on one car – all to enjoy the scenery and of course, snow.

PV Trip2 079The Reno Fun Train heads west bound as the CZ heads east across the Sierra. Photo by Alex Ramos.

The Reno Fun Train has offered folks a bit longer stay with two nights in town over the years, traditionally during February and March during the prime snow season. PV’s have not been unknown in consists from time to time.

DSC_0497Photo by Roger Colton

And even the Union Pacific, corporate descendant of this former Southern Pacific route gets into the party now and then with special trains of their own such as this steam move in April of 2009.

snowygwPhoto by Roger Colton

Meanwhile, folks back east, for whom snow is a part of each year can chuckle in amusement at the Californians as they ride the trains off to see the snow from the warmth and comfort of the chartered PV!