Chris, Adrian and I went to Tahoe to snowboard and test some winter gadgets for an upcoming story. When it comes to the great outdoors and winter gear, little pieces of electronics have nothing on old fashioned tech like solid AWD, dedicated winter tires and gore tex outerwear. Driving up, we ran into a bit of trouble.
At about 2am on our late Thursday drive, I glanced up from my radar detector and GPS didn't see him in my rearview mirror for a minute longer than I should have. When I turned around, I found Chris and Adrian at the side of the road looking at the fender of their car. He had a bit of bad luck, hit some ice a little too fast and pinballing around a tight corner on rt 89 near Homewood. Even with AWD, the all season tires on his Subie and slightly-too-fast speed didn't keep him on the road. We were only 2 miles from the cabin, too. Even better than winter tires would have been those Qtires with retractable ice pins. Reminds me of The Animal, that toy truck with claws that pop out of the wheels. You know what I'm talking about. Trying to push the car out of the drift after banging out his severely dented and scraping wheel well made me think I needed more emergency supplies in my own car. Could have done with a few more bottles of water, a lighter, to go along with the weather radio and hand crank cellphone charger. (Rest in Peace, James Kim.)
The next day, we went for a short ride, and luck didn't improve. Since the snow was so thick, Lisa and Chris, really both better-than-decent at skiing and snowboarding, convinced me to traverse to the steepest slope at Homewood and take a dive. Meanwhile, I flopped my way down, avoiding snow wedgies only by virtue of some 3 layer gore tex high top pants. Chris bombed the hill, not noticing that there was a snow covered lake at the bottom, which he ended up having to hike out of. Later, we think it was his blue goggles that kept him from seeing well in the cloudy conditions. Gear matters, but not always the kind we write about on a daily basis. It's a pretty good story, though, you have to admit.
One last thing: If you guys have a moment, I'm not too ashamed to ask for some votes over at the bloggies for Gizmodo. We're nominated in a few places, but I don't recommend you vote on us for Design. Kotaku and Jezebel are there, too, as is Consumerist. I'll probably put up a proper beg post tomorrow, but for now, the few of you who made it to the bottom of this rather pointless post could make this editor pretty happy with a few good clicks. [Bloggies]