In winter, you can leave the San Francisco Bay Area, cross over the Sierra Nevada mountain range, and arrive in Reno, Nevada the easy way or the hard way.
The hard way: In car, white knuckles gripping the steering wheel, for over 200 miles with heavy traffic for at least half or more of the way, possibly encountering winter driving conditions and chain controls.
The easy way: Take the train, take a nap, enjoy the scenery, have a meal, and happy sing “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” because you won’t be driving through the wet, slippery stuff.
And there are two ways to ride the rails to Reno.
Option #1: Hop aboard Amtrak’s California Zeyphr, as San Francisco Chronicle Travel Editor, Spud Hilton did back in December of 2009.
Option #2: Make a three-day journey to and from Reno, with a two-night stay in “The Biggest Little City in The World,” aboard Key Holidays’ “Sierra Scenic Train” (weekdays) or “Reno Fun Train” (weekends) during February and March.
(Tales Told From The Road editor, Dick Jordan, was a guest of Key Holidays when he rode the rails to Reno and back.)