Given the brutality of the winter of 2014, it is almost incomprehensible that anyone who is not an avid skier, snowboarder, skater, or snowmobiler might purposely pack up a vehicle, load up the kids, and drive away from sun-drenched beaches lined with palm trees toward a region draped in frozen precipitation, but that’s exactly what I did this year with my family, using a 2014 Toyota 4Runner Limited for the trip.
Yeah, I’m with you on that incredulity. After all, as a native Michigander who left the Midwest largely due to the cold, gray, dark, and damp winters, I could easily live the rest of my life without ever touching snow again. Trouble is, I married a woman from Southern California, and both she and my children love going to see the snow each winter. Therefore, we embarked upon our annual ritual in a vehicle perfect for such an endeavor, a 4Runner with 4-wheel drive.
Rather than head to the Big Bear area just north of Los Angeles, a day trip that usually feeds their need for snow, we needed to venture farther away from home this year. Weather patterns have left our local mountains free of snow, but the Sierra Nevadas up near Lake Tahoe have received enough to make for a fun weekend. We chose Mammoth Lakes and the Mammoth Mountain ski resort area as our destination, and hit the road.