Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Missing the Eastbound I-80 turnoff at Sacramento

                                                   Eastbound I-80 in Nevada.
YOU'VE heard of making a wrong turn ... How about NOT making a RIGHT TURN literally and figuratively?

During an August 2016 drive from San Francisco to Reno and beyond on I-80, I didn't turn off as a should have.
In what is actually an unusual situation, I-80 eastbound at Sacramento requires a right-hand turn off the current road (and up and over a ramp to the northwest) to remain on I-80. Otherwise, the current road turns into California Highway 50, eastbound to Lake Tahoe, with little additional signage.
If you look closely at highway maps you can see this requirement, an important one to stay on the correct road.
But there are not a lot of prominent signs to spot before the turn.
As I sailed past the correct turn I thought I saw a Reno sign on a ramp headed over the highway, but at 65 mph, there's little time.
The rest of my family in the vehicle was oblivious -- either sleeping, or playing or texting on their cell phones and missing and sights to behold.
I didn't fully realize I was on the wrong road until "Freeway ends" signs appeared near Placerville.
As it turned out I went to Lake Tahoe and then had to head north to Truckee and I-80. That missed turn probably cost me 90 minutes and Lake Tahoe was somewhat hazy that morning and not its usual perfect blue self.
Also, I had turned down needing to use a GPS to guide me that day, as I didn't believe it was possible to get lost on I-80.
It is, though, if you miss just one sign ... Don't make my mistake.

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