The Trailmomma Family actually went to Tahoe this weekend. We were super excited to see the Amgen Tour of California which was starting in South Lake Tahoe. We've had our rooms booked since February. I knew that I'd be 36 weeks pregnant but I had no doubts that we'd be able to make the race.
I did not of course, factor in the weather. Oh boy that tricky tricky Tahoe weather.
The Trailmomma Family left on Saturday. Of course for some strange reason, the State of California decided the week the Amgen Tour of California was here was the "best" time to close down highway 50. Lovely. We were forced to take highway 88 up towards Kirkwood ski resort. Saturday's drive would be fine. Sunday's drive home however, would be um, interesting?
Arriving on Saturday was great because we checked into our hotel and then walked around south shore checking out all the buzz. There were team cars, media, cyclists and all sorts of craziness just wandering around. South Lake Tahoe is not that big and there really are not too many places you can go.
The Peanut was thoroughly loving it. She kept saying she loves Tahoe and asking when were we going to be "in" Tahoe (even though we had already arrived). We walked around Heavenly, drank copious amounts of warm coffee (or um, beer for Vans) and met up with the Scrapbook family and their two kids for ice cream. All the kids were pretty hyper from having been in the car for over 2 hours ... why not serve them more sugar right?
It was at some point in the middle of the night that I woke up absolutely freezing. I knew something had changed. They were calling for snow so I had a feeling that mother nature had actually delivered.
the view from our window
Yup, she delivered and then some! The race start was supposed to be at 10:30 am. At around 9:00 am we got word that the start time was delayed until 1:15 pm. No biggie. We asked for a late check-out, the hotel granted us until noon. The entire California Highway Patrol (and ahem their super nice BMW motorcycles) were all staying in our hotel and were milling about the lobby area waiting for word on the race start. What was the hotel to do? Kick out everyone?
We decided to head on over to the host hotel for the race and see what else we could find out. We saw the Versus Sports Caster Bob Roll and countless other media people. We saw the team cars and team buses.
We also saw a lot of snow however. We watched the start banner being assembled, talked with some of the officials and just enjoyed the energy. We took refuge in the host hotel Montblue which is where everyone was taking refuge from the storm. Occasionally we'd see something worthy of a photo opp and duck back outside.
Like the Radioshack Team bus
(notice the horizontal falling snow)
The Peanut was well bundled and completely enjoying herself. In fact, I was sort of glad the race had been delayed because when else would we have an opportunity to rub shoulders with so many people from so many different countries? It was just amazing listening to the conversations (and languages) around us.
Finally it was getting close to check out time so we made our way back to our hotel. Along the way, I ran into a guy who was on his cell phone. He had a press badge on and looked to be someone semi-official. I heard him say "they just had a quick meeting and they are going to cancel the race because of ice." Mmm, interesting, I wonder if this guy is legit? Pretending like we heard nothing, we went back to the hotel, had lunch, used the restroom and checked out.
We loaded ourselves into the car and decided to try our luck at getting as close to the race start as we possibly could . . . which meant that Vans figured out a way to park amongst the other media trucks. Sweet. I had a clear shot of the podium and starting line. It was a good thing too because when I turned around to get the Peanut ready to head back out into the cold I found this:
out like a light
Oh well. Vans still went out and meandered around taking photos and pretending to be a "real" photographer. I'll have to share some of his "professional" photos later. I was nice and toasty in the car and I could hear and see the MC doing his thing on stage. The riders also were warming up and down on their bikes directly in front of my car.
You can't see much in that photo because the skies are so dark and the snow was falling.
this photo and the one below, compliments of Scrapbook
At about 1:00 pm they started doing the count down to the race start. Riders were signing in and doing quick speeches with the MC guy. The mayor of South Lake Tahoe addressed the crowd and they had a school choir sing the National Anthem. Then about 3 minutes before the race, I cannot even recall who it was they called up onto stage, but the gentleman made an announcement that quieted the crowd in one breath. The race, was canceled. They introduced Levi Leipheimer who has won three Tour of California's to ease the crowd down gently. It was sort of surreal. Everyone sort of just turned around and started walking back to Montblue.
Wow. The disappointment was high but the reality of it all was no surprise. The weather was terrible and if it was terrible in South Lake Tahoe it was bound to be worse in North Shore. They were even going to re-route the race from the East Shore to the West Shore through Emerald Bay which, c'mon, if you have ever driven through Emerald Bay in your car, you already know how crazy those roads are without snow and ice on them.
So Vans returned to the car (with a free t-shirt that he snagged) and I used the bathroom one last time before hitting the road. Of course the Peanut decided at that moment to wake from her wonderful nap.
The ride home was adventurous due to the snowy conditions and the closure of highway 50. Highway 88 was covered in carnage. It had drivers who didn't realize it was 20 degrees out with black ice on the road or they thought they were invincible with their SUVs or snow tires. We passed quite a few accidents on our long 2+ hour drive back from Tahoe. Thank you Honda for the built in DVD player.
Just getting to Hwy 88
Overall I can't say I was too disappointed. I had a blast. I know The Peanut did as well and even though Vans had to do all the driving (and was factoring in the gas mileage in his head as we drove) was probably quite happy with the trip too. I saw it as one last threesome Trailmomma Family get-away before we are graced with Trailbaby (who by the way, really disagreed with the altitude changes on this trip).
On a completely random note, I ask that if you read this blog or follow this blog at all to please head to the Circle of Mom's Top 25 Health and Fitness Mom Blogs and vote for me (no registration required). You can click on the link or click on the badge on my right hand sidebar. This has not been the best year for my blogging due to the lack of trail running adventures or just running in general but I plan to return in full force once Trailbaby arrives and we've settled into a routine. Trust me when I tell you I'll be back out there doing cheesy JCPenny poses or just having fun with some friends out in nature. I've already signed up for the California International Marathon so there is no turning back now. Thanks! Trailmomma~