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Trip Report "Heavy Snow" in Santa Cruz Mountains?!?

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OK, I'll admit it wasn't the smartest of moves taking a spontaneous drive yesterday from Monterey to Mountain View, but it was a chance to spend a little time with my son who had a purpose for meeting up in a place so close to Stanfordland and so far from Berkeley. He wanted to visit Kapp's Pizzeria & Grill for a school project. And I wanted to see my son.

Not surprisingly, Helga, my VW Jetta Squareback navigation mistress (the better word should be "dominatrix") insisted I take Hwy 1 to the 17, then cut over through Scott's Valley to the 85. Now, I like the 17 -- very pretty drive -- but not the most ideal during a winter rain storm. As I neared Santa Cruz, the yellow flashing warning signs began: "HEAVY SNOW ON 17 AT SUMMIT!" Huh?! I was being directed by Helga to take highway 17, what to do? What to do? I had no chains! This is a new car! And where oh where is the Summit?!

Too late to digress, I took 17, hoping "Summit" came sometime after the 85 turn-off and I wouldn't have to deal with the "heavy snow". Shortly after turning onto 17, another flashing sign shouted the same alarm. I looked across the highway at cars traveling in the opposite direction, and saw no sign of snow clinging to their vehicles.

Onward I pressed. It was raining off and on, but not too bad. Cars weren't slowing down, and continued to take the highway at maximum speed. I was nervous, piddling along, checking the outside temperature just in case it was cold enough for black ice on the road. After all, how often does a West L.A. resident get to drive in what I thought was going to be a blinding snow storm without chains? On dreaded highway 17?!?

I finally reached the Summit and there was a "dusting" of snow off to the sides. Nothing on the roadway. Gee, we had this much snow in WLA in 2007. My paranoia was the total result of False Advertising!

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