This year’s Ice House drive fell on a holiday weekend. While we planned for the usual challenges this brings, we were pleasantly surprised when things did not go as expected.
We do our best at Road Adventures to avoid planning day drives on holiday weekends, as there is generally more traffic in the way…, I mean on the road. However, despite our best efforts, sometimes holiday weekends cannot be avoided. This year’s Ice House drive not only landed on Veteran’s Day Weekend, but it was also the weekend for the Rubicon Cantina event. Therefore, we were prepared to be driving at a slower pace than usual.
With 25 cars in attendance, ranging from GTRs, BMWs, a super charged Miata, a few Mercedes, and the usual variety of cars, we hit the road at 7:30am on the dot. We headed up HWY 50, where we hit a good amount of traffic. Reaching the turn off for Ice House, where the fun was supposed to begin, we found ourselves right behind a slow semi-truck. Ugh. Fortunately, the truck pulled over at the first turn out and we were off and running.
This seemed to set the trend for the morning. Not only did we hit far less traffic than expected, each and every vehicle we got stuck behind graciously pulled over and allowed us to pass. It was amazing!
Making it up and over the the range we hit the best section of road for the day. Carving down Wentworth Springs, we had no traffic. We did, however, begin to see a lot of the Rubiconers heading up in the opposite direction, starting their trek to the Cantina event. It was a big contrast to see all these sports cars driving down the hill past lifted Jeeps and other crawler vehicles that were headed up the hill. About half way through this section of road we found ourselves behind a local truck that was moving at a pretty good pace. I figured we would be paced behind him for a while, but surprisingly, despite moving at good clip, he seemed to realize we were faster and was kind enough to pull over and let us proceed. When we reached the end of this section of exciting road, we stopped at Stumpy Meadows Lake for a much needed bio break and our group photo.
Leaving the Lake we passed through Georgetown, where we could see a lot of offroad trucks getting ready to head up the hill. Cutting over to the small town of Cool, our spirited part of the drive came to an end, as we hit a lot of traffic. With a nice cruise into Auburn our drive came to an end. Due to the surprisingly light traffic, we found ourselves an hour ahead of schedule. Some of us decided to head home early, while most of us headed to Max’s Restaurant for brunch and good conversation. Overall, it was a great drive and we ended early enough to avoid the afternoon heat.