Friday, December 19, 2008

THIS feels like Christmas to me.

Someone out there has a voodoo doll with my name on it.  There is no other way to explain the excruciating pain I have been experiencing since I woke up this morning.  My whole neck feels like someone is squeezing it in a vise and jamming a knitting needle into it.  What a way to start a vacation.

This cannot happen; I have plans.  A huge storm hammered Southern California this week and dropped tons of snow throughout the mountains.  Like all native Southern Californians, I love snow.  I just don't want to live in it.  Snow, to us, means recreation.  We love skiing, snowboarding, sledding, snowmen, snowball fights and then going home, where it's warm.

With over three feet of new snow in the local mountains, I seriously considered going to Big Bear for some skiing.  One thing got in my way: kids.  I have to drop off kids at school by 9 and pick them up by 3.  So, by the time I drove to Big Bear, strapped on some boards and hit the slopes, I'd have time for one or two runs and then have to come back.  Oh well.

Plan two is snowshoeing at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.  The Tram is great because you can get up to 8500 feet in about ten minutes.  What a great thing to have in one's own backyard. You can go to the snow but not drive in the snow.

My pain in the neck is not going to keep me home so after I drop off the kids I head over to Starbucks for a triple latte and some Vicodin.  No, that's not a new drink there.  I brought the Vicodin.

I get to the Tram about ten minutes before the first car leaves and the mountains look incredible.  There is snow all around the parking lot and it's cold.  I hop on the first Tram and head up.

  The mountains are plastered with fresh snow.  My friends
  from the Midwest say it doesn't really feel like Christmas
  in Southern California.  This sure feels like Christmas to me.

   It is not really that cold up here.  The sun is shining and 
   it is hovering around freezing.  Perfect!
I put on my snowshoes and hit the trail.  OK, there is no trail so I make one.  The snow is deep and soft and with each step I sink in about 12-18 inches.  It is very slow going.  It's not that I'm overweight and out of shape but the conditions that are keeping me from moving at a faster clip, I tell myself.  Unfortunately, while the Vicodin has lessened the pain in my neck, it has not robbed me of any logical thought so I know better.  I'm fat, old and slow but who cares?  It's beautiful up here and I have a couple of hours before I have to pick up the kids.

  Here's the track I left behind as I make my way up the "trail".
  Hmmm.  Which trail to take here?
  The path has gotten a bit deeper since I left.

Since I've got to pick up kids, I have a very strict turn around time and so don't get to cover much ground.  But the ground I do cover is beautiful and I appreciate the beauty and peace of just a couple of hours walking in the wilderness.  And my neck doesn't hurt a bit.

I am not really much of a photographer but I have posted some   More pictures here.

1 comment:

Snooty Aunt Cynthia said...

Hal, This is a delightful blog. I love the photos! Good luck in 2009 with your resolution to hike every day.
Snooty Aunt Cynthia