Epic Sierra snow makes long journey from Bay Area to Tahoe worthwhile

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Records are being set in the High Sierra for the amount of snow that has fallen in the last couple of weeks and travel has been nearly impossible. What started as an adventure turned into an odyssey and then a bit of an ordeal.

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Emboldened by the fact that Highway 50 was open when Interstate 80 was not, we left the East Bay fully aware we were in for a long ride and well-prepared for what we expected would take maybe 7 or 8 hours. We had a full tank of gas, plenty of food and warm clothing and the hope that the payoff would be worth the struggle.

And though it took nearly twice the time we thought, what we found on the other side made it all worth it.

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Sights like the current ones in the High Sierra have been hard to come by in recent years especially over the last decade or so.

It seems hardly a peak is left uncovered, a thick blanket of snow that extends for miles in every direction.

Even the locals know, that all of this is something to be celebrated.

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"It's so good to see mother nature come back to Lake Tahoe. I believe I just saw it was 26 trillion gallons of water has now fallen on the state," said Kevin Cooper, with Outside TV Lake Tahoe Television. "You can see behind me. That's about 3 1/2 to four feet of snow here at the Heavenly Village, which usually doesn't see this much snow in that short of time.

That's not to say there can't be too much of a good thing.

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There are of course the dangers of driving in it, but also the reality of digging out and making sure that roofs don't collapse under the weight of nature's bounty.

But there is also the reward, the joy of floating through all that fresh powder, being the first to carve your own path, cut new tracks--knowing that with each turn, there's a new memory.

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