When you live in the Bay Area like I do, and don’t really bother going elsewhere where the climate is the exact opposite of your usual climate, you get used to its weather. Sun, rain, clouds, fog, the occasional hail or unseasonal warmth/cold. But never snow. Unless you live on top of Mt. Diablo or Mt. Tamalpais, snow is never present in my neck of the woods. I remember my dad once telling me that it did snow in my city in particular back in the late 80s. If I could remember myself watching Care Bears and hair metal bands on MTV then (yes, even Whitesnake music videos were parent-approved programming in my household then), how come I can’t remember the snow?!
When I used to take family vacations to Tahoe and Reno during the winter times, we would make pit stops where there was a lot of snow, and you bet your ass I played in it like a pig in slop. This was something I knew we weren’t going to have back home, and, no, making snow balls from the excess frost in the freezer doesn’t count. I think I was 12 the very last time I enjoyed myself in the snow. Since then, I’ve taken vacations to Hawaii and Mexico, and LA a hundred times. But never where it snowed. My hatred for cold-ass weather grew over time, so traveling up to a real winter wonderland was out of the question.
Of course, tastes change over time. Like, how I used to go nuts over Emily Ratasomething here, but now think she’s a booger ever since I read her vapid cover story in British GQ and her defending a certain piece of trash lately. (There’s still Ashley Graham and Irina Shayk for me!)
The itch to go see some snow started almost a year ago. At one message board I used to post in, an online buddy talked about her winters up in Maine, where she lives. She happens to enjoy that kind of weather, to which I told her I’ll only put up with snow if it means snowball fights. Then, just a couple months ago, while I was chatting about the weather with a guest at my weekday massage job, she brought up snow. I told her it’s been ages since I experienced snow, and that I was hesitant to drive up to the Sierra Nevada during snowy days. Guest told me that I can drive up there when the roads are clear to where I don’t need tire chains, and that I didn’t have to drive up all the way to, say, Tahoe, to go see snow, but just to where there is some.
That was easy for Guest to say. I work five days a week, including the weekends, and the only time I venture out somewhere is if I get out early from my weekday job on Mondays or Wednesdays. (Never Fridays, since I work the next day.) The “closest” place I saw where I could see snow without driving so far out was the Blue Canyon area on Highway 80. Thankfully, it has gotten slow at my weekday job that I’ve been leaving early the past week, yesterday included. Since it rained like hell last week, that meant the Sierra Nevada got packed with powder. I left work real early yesterday, and, with the weather being great as it was that day, I decided to scratch my itch to see snow once and for all.
(By the way, I had to go some really shitty traffic on my way there. What was supposed to be a 2-hour drive turned into what felt like four hours. I bet that traffic wasn’t going to be as shitty today as it was when I went through it. I was right. Of course.)
I kept driving up I-80 and had the feeling that I wasn’t going to see snow unless if I went up to, say, Truckee. Was that webcam I saw at the Whitmore Grade lying to me?!? And then I realized that I haven’t traveled up that far. When I reached the Blue Canyon region, I finally hit pay dirt. Or pay snow, in this case.
To those who live in snow-ridden areas and think me seeing snow is nothing impressive, shut up!!! It’s been ages since I’ve had this shit! And I know it’s been a long-ass time because when I went to go walk up that patch of snow in the third pic above, I knew I was wearing the wrong shoes, for I found myself sinking down with every step. That sucked.
Sunset started when I arrived up here (I would have arrived earlier, but, again, bitch traffic), and I was running out of time to enjoy the snow while it was still light out. I traveled further up and was treated to some killer snow-capped mountain views.
(Yes, I took this pic while driving. Don’t do this unless you’re a daredevil airhead like me.)
You know you’re totally snow-deprived and find your brain succumbing to the higher elevation when seeing those mountains gets you yearning for a Coors Light.
I took an exit that led me to Emigrant Gap. I think I should’ve came here instead of my first stop, for the sights here were a little prettier.
And I could walk in this snow without sinking! I’m one to believe you’re never too old for anything, and that includes making snow angels and drawing a penis in the powder when you’re in your 30s, like what I did here. I would have loved to have spent more time here, but it was getting dark. I thought of staying somewhere near here (hell, I took these pics at a lodging area; I could’ve stayed there), but I wasn’t even prepared to stay overnight anywhere. So, I went back home. (Not right away–I passed by that Thunder Valley Casino after and blew $3 on slot machines before going home. That’s taking a walk on the wild side for me.)
My day as a snow ho was fun, although it could’ve lasted longer. I hear the snow season up in the Sierras continues on till May, so I think I have more chances to frolic in the cold powder. And if this year’s Presidential election results turns in favor of a fate worse than Armageddon or being born into the Duggar family, I can move up to Canada and become a snow ho pretty much every day.