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