Peanut butter & Jelly.
Bonnie and Clyde.
The Colorado Avalanche and outdoor-game traffic jams.
…Some things just go together, for better or for worse.
For the second time in as many seasons, I was lucky enough to participate in the aggravating gridlock of stop-and-go traffic, en route to covering an Avs outdoor game. Instead of I-25 North, or North Gate Blvd. leaving the U.S. Air Force Academy, the culprit this time was U.S. Route 50 — more commonly known by the locals as the El Dorado Freeway, a scenic highway that runs from Sacramento, California to South Lake Tahoe.
I was so damn close too. Just 25 miles away from the large lake known as “Big Blue,” suddenly the two-lane El Dorado byway came to a sudden halt. As I opened up the GPS on my phone, I saw it read two hours, 11 minutes…to cover 25 miles. I violently rub my eyes in disbelief. Thinking I was going to arrive at the Edgewood Golf Resort with plenty of time spare, suddenly, according to the GPS, I would be lucky if I made it there by the end of the first period.
*Cue record scratch, freeze frame* You’re probably wondering how I got here…
Let’s start back at the San Francisco airport, where I last left you all in the first chapter of my travel diary.
Where were we…
It’s roughly 4:30 a.m. and finally I decide it’s time to get up from my half-moon banquette I tried to slumber in at the abandoned food court at Terminal 1. Spoiler alert: I wasn’t able to catch any shut-eye.
Anyway, due to a clerical error — which was, admittedly, a lack of time-zone converting on my end when I was booking my rental car — my plan was to head to the off-airport Fox Rent-a-Car center right when they opened at 5 a.m. and beg them to give me a car two hours earlier than I had originally reserved it. Had I stuck with the original 7 a.m. pick-up time, I realized the four-and-a-half hour drive would’ve been cutting it very close to the Noon Pacific Time puck drop.
After washing my face, brushing my teeth and putting on more presentable clothes than the airportware I was sporting (sweats and a hoodie are my go-to for comfortable airportware, by the way), I took the shuttle to Fox and arrived at 5:15 in the a.m.
After explained the situation — told him where I was going, what I was doing, trying to seem far more important than I actually am — the not-so-nice rental car attendant informed me that I wouldn’t be able to make it to Lake Tahoe in the current Economy rental I had reserved, which he informs me is an adorable little Toyota Yaris.
What do you mean I won’t make it? I ask, in a snarky, I-haven’t-slept-in-24-hours kind of way.
At this point, the Fox salesman informs me of California’s strict tire chain enforcement as you near Tahoe