My friend Robb, one of my mentors when I first started hunting crashed planes, stopped by to visit a couple days before Thanksgiving. We had planned a two-day trip to get out and search for crash sites like we did in the old days, but the first major winter storm was moving through on the day we planned to go up. We debated about cancelling, but I had put in a significant amount of research on the two crash sites we planned to look for and was pretty sure I had their locations pinpointed. Not to mention that after all that planning, I was pretty psyched go to that area and see if I had done my homework correctly.
The forecast for central NV showed the snow was going to be light in the area where the planes were, and it was possible the snow elevation might be above the sites. Since this trip was more about getting out with an old friend than it was to find the planes, we decided to still go and, at worst, call it a scouting trip. Plus, it had been a while since I had gone out after a first snow, and I was secretly hoping to have a couple inches of snow on the ground. While it could no longer be a full two-day trip because of the storm, we could still make it a day trip.
However, the “day trip” was about 700 miles round trip, so to get a head start, we drove up that evening and spent the night at a hotel in Reno. We drove up about two hours behind the storm and while I-80 was not exceptionally bad over the Sierras, it was chain conditions and took 6 hours to drive what normally takes 4. No photos of the drive up, as I was too busy driving and trying to read the road. It was one of those surreal trips-- the clouds had cleared out and a practically full moon was lighting up the fresh snow.
The next morning were head east from Reno and were greeted by snow on the ground.
However, the next valley east was clear of snow.
But one of the crash sites is on the back side of those snow covered mountains... so we moved on to the next site.
However, the next crash was in the foothills of these snow covered mountains.
We exit the freeway and head out to investigate.
Looks like someone else beat us to first tracks!
In addition to tire tracks, we saw coyote, deer, cow, and rabbit tracks.
Winter Wonderland! Not a cloud in the blue sky and everything was crisp and clean with the new snow.