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Leaving Sierra @ Tahoe Sunday, as the snow began to fall after two weeks of moderate temps and clear blue skies.

Sierra is close to the Hwy 50 summit and CHP closed traffic in both directions while setting up chain controls, so outbound Sierra @ Tahoe skiers had exclusive use in both directions (down to Tahoe or down to Placerville).

Mahem ensued.

Mr. new Mercerdes sedan owner installed chains on his front tires. Very fun to watch him spin and spin his rear wheels and drift sideways into the oncoming traffic lane. His car finally gave up and wouldn't move, other than his furiously spinning rear tires.

Mr. 4WD GMC Youkon felt he had a rightful place in the front of the queue to get on the highway, flying down the wrong side of the 2-lane road. He cut in front of me. Very entertaining to watch his balding rear tires, which must have been modestly less worn than his balding front tires, kick snow and slide side to side as they spun faster than his truck was moving (4wd owners, remember to rotate your tires regularly!).

Mr. Crown Victoria plowed 45° into the snowbank was quickly joined by the over-reaction of the 1970's vintage Oldsmobile-the-size-of-a-Caddillac-so-we-don't-need-no-chains powerslide 45° into the snowbank on the opposite side of the highway -- forming a nice "gate" for the rest of us to shoot through. I don't know what the CHP officer was thinking as he pulled forcefully on the open driver's door while the Olds gunned it in reverse yet somehow managed to move forward/sideways down the highway. All great fun to watch from my bumper-to-bumper pearch.

Oh, and Mr. Toyota Rav4 owner who felt it necessary to utilize the very well camouflaged "passing lane" to get a jump on all us slow people caught in 5mph mountain gridlock. You go, boy! Show us low-landers how it's supposed to be done!

Let's not forget "gawkers bend" which consisted of the pretty, bright flashing lights of the CHP units at the uphill chain control point, followed immediately by a three-car traffic-choking outbound pileup as the road curved to the right.

Me? I productively used the 90 minutes it took to drive 20 miles to learn the lyrics to Hot Hot Heat's Bandages. Tricky! Maybe it'll come in handy next time I see the Rav4 planted in the side of a tree.

Damn, I wish I had a dashboard mounted video cam!