August 15, 2011

A Change of Seasons, A Season of Change

Why does everyone think I moved to LA for the weather?

I mean, sure, it's sunny here, but my first few months in LA were record-breakingly rainy. Even now in August, it's been downright chilly. June gloom hangs low over the mornings long after June has passed.

Or is that just smog?

Besides, I can't imagine uprooting my entire existence just for a sunnier, warmer climate. I needed to get out of New York. That's it. And I was willing to brave bridge-breakingly snowy winters in Minneapolis, altitude sickness in Dever, humidity in Florida, and desert dehydration in Vegas for any number of employers that might be willing to hire and relocate me - as long as it wasn't New York.

But when I landed in Burbank at the end of January, ripped my winter boots off and replaced them with flip flops on my feet, having left a huge blizzard in New York, I was glad to leave snow behind me.

Last weekend, on a detour to Virginia Lakes in the Hoover Wilderness area of the Toiyabe National Forest in the Eastern Sierras, I was reunited with snow.

At almost 10,000 feet above sea level, after a long winter with lots of snow, there is still quite a snowpack in the Sierra Mountains that still has not melted.

Seeing the snow-capped mountains in the distance was novel in August, but encountering the stuff underfoot was not necessarily welcome.

I mean, since escaping that blizzard, I've been waiting all year for summer to really hit. I've caught glimpses of it - felt the burn of it against my forehead, felt the slime of it on my skin (most notably while camping in the desert heat) - but, in LA, it's cooler today than it was in April. I've lost my sense of season.

The view at Virginia Lakes was breathtaking - and not just because of the altitude - but I was happy to once again leave that snow behind me and head south towards home, trading the chill for the Mojave Desert that separates LA from the Eastern Sierras.

I may not be in Southern California for the weather, but being so far from home, so West, so South, so California, I've lost my sense of snow.

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