As we reached our photo location, it started to snow - lightly at first, then with increasing intensity. Before another hour had passed, we were entrenched in a full-on blizzard. Undaunted, Kiwi kept burning through camera memory cards shooting the wagons sliding through snow. As night fell, so did the powder, coating the area with six inches of soft fresh snow throughout the night.
We awoke to another day of dark skies, and the weather report wasn't good: the first storm had passed, but another, larger system was bearing down on the area. Heavy snowfall was expected in the Sierras and heavy rain in So-Cal. With a handful of photos left to shoot, we headed for higher elevation.
Clouds and snow swirled around us, as Kiwi banged out the last few exposures. Putting the cameras away, all Hell broke loose: visibility dropped to a little over a car length. We were snow blind and had get outta Dodge fast.
Now we're thankful for all-wheel drive, and even at 20 mph, the road was getting super-slick with snow piling up fast. Heading south on 395, Kiwi smoothly changed lanes in the Subaru, and an instant later the Outlander I was driving merged into the next lane as well - without any steering input. Kiwi and I grabbed the walkies, nearly broadcasting over each other with the warning, "BLACK ICE!!!" Not far down the highway, we spied a full-size van that had veered off the road, its driver standing beside the helpless vehicle. Sliding to a stop, we offered assistance. (Hey, we have tow straps!) However, the auto club had already been summoned, and pulled up shortly thereafter.
Retreating to the warmth of our wagons, we returned to Bishop, and while we may had been out of the nasty stuff, the weather and traffic reports weren't encouraging: more rain was on the way, and every major artery to the Los Angeles area was either closed due to snow, flooding, washed out, or heavily congested with the highway patrol providing vehicle escorts through passable areas.