This last weekend, my husband and I decided it was time to put our newly bought snow boots to the test. Now, you must remember one very important detail: we are Brazilians. This means that we have no real concept of what cold is. Even less what snow is! Ok… there are parts in Brazil that get really cold (around 30-40F) but it is only in some restricted areas of the country. I’m from the south of Brazil, so it can get cold in the low 40F or even high 30F. There’s a town called Sao Joaquim, and I think that’s the only place where you can actually get real cold and snow on a yearly basis. Their tourism thrives in the winter because of that strong chances of snow. However, after moving to the U.S., my husband and I realized that we have no idea what cold was. So when we heard that it snowed less than 100 miles from where we lived, we had to buy snow boots.
We started looking for affordable places that we could spend a day in the snow. Remember that my husband is an international student and I cannot work, so we don’t really have 30 extra bucks to spend on going to an actual snow park. My research led me to this website which gave me a list of SNO-Parks in California for an affordable $5.00 plus $1.95 for the internet service fee. Sounded reasonable enough for us. There are actually 18 parks in the Sierra Nevada area which you can spend the day doing whatever snow activities you’d like. We ended up choosing Echo Lake SNO-Park, simply because it was the one which seemed to have the safest driving conditions last Saturday. You can actually get real-time conditions of the road on the California Department of Transportation’s website.
Echo Lake SNO-Park is just off Highway 50 which leads to South Lake Tahoe. The drive there is beautiful. It took us almost two hours, but we didn’t even notice the time go by. The closer we were, the more snow on the side of the road. Once we arrived, everything was pretty much covered in snow. The road towards Echo Lake was completely gone, so we parked at the designated area and walked towards the lake. It took us about an hour to get there, and at one point I thought I wasn’t going to make it. But getting there was completely worth it. The views are spectacular and I bet that if you have the right gear you could explore much more. On the way, we met some lovely people who mentioned that the lake is also a great place to go in the Summer.
Ultimately, it was an amazing day trip. We were able to experience snow as we had never experienced before. Seeing everything in white is completely different from what we were used to. I was able to take a bunch of pictures there, which is always a plus (if you are interested, you can see more on my Flickr page).On the way back, we couldn’t help but appreciate how blessed we are to be living in Sacramento. Next time, hopefully, we’ll get to explore other SNO-Parks here in the area.
What’s your favorite thing to do in the snow?