Why, oh why, do people insist upon driving mountain roads in winter? Why is it so hard to figure out that if it's winter and you're in the mountains, you'd bloody well better stay on the main highways?
I realize I come from an area that taught me this early. I would never, for example, have made the drive from Spokane to Seattle on any road but the main interstate, and even then, I'd have provisions, blankets, and chains just in case. 'Cause even in Snoqualmie pass, on I-90, winter is a crap shoot.
I once drove from Westchester to Buffalo in the winter for a board meeting, and you can bet I stayed on main highways all the way, even if it did take longer. And I had blankets and food and extra warm clothes packed, just in case (but not chains this time, as I wasn't going into serious mountains).
If I were in a new area, I would definitely stick to major highways, especially in winter. And it doesn't take a genius to figure that out, just common sense. And yet, families like the Kim family, bless their little hearts, completely threw caution to the wind -- and apparently, against the advice of travel experts. ("Our visitor information specialist cautioned them against taking forest roads and to stay on the main highways this time of the year," he said. )
I don't care what any map says, side roads in unfamiliar mountains in the winter are a big fucking no-no. Respect nature, for gosh sakes. Respect what it's capable of. Where has common sense, critical thinking gone?
So ok, now everyone who's taken a wrong turn in the winter is going to rip my ear off figuratively, huh?