It is amazing that in such a short stretch from the valley and into the canyon you climb to a new elevation worthy of a different weather forecast. Seriously. It can be raining in the valley and snowing in the canyon. The highway through the canyon is especially dangerous in the winter. Imagine high roads with steep drop offs and no guard rails whatsoever with blinding snow and lots of ice, black and otherwise. The county has specially designated snowplows that run back and forth over that treacherous stretch. There have been numerous accidents over the years that have shut down the canyon completely. So much so, that they finally put in a median to keep cars from sliding over into the oncoming traffic. I dread this canyon. It's one of maybe three ways out of this valley to go south and it's the most direct. Not to mention the most terrifying.
Maybe I exaggerate out of my own paranoia. (Okay, so we don't have chains yet for our current car. That may be part of it. 4-wheel drive is small comfort.) I'd still rather be at home shoveling the huge driveway or nursing a child with the flu. I'd rather be doing almost anything else besides driving through that crazy canyon in the winter.