My first California December has been a bit disorienting. Sure it gets dark earlier, but the terrible grip of Old Man Winter isn’t threatening to ruin my life for the next several months. In fact, once the days start getting lighter in 10 days, I’ll be out of the worst of it.
Unless I want winter. Then I can call it up with a couple hour drive. But for now, I’m really finding that I like “Nature On Demand.”
My first December weekend, for example, I wanted to take advantage of the fact that I could wander around the city in a t-shirt. It was a crime, in my opinion, to stay inside and watch sports (I know! Right?). So I took to the awesome Transit and Trails website and discovered a great hike just a 20 minutes stroll from my house. Surprisingly I’ve met people that have lived here far longer than my measly nine months who don’t even know Sutro Forest exists. They should. You should. Hiking, mountain biking, CLOUD FOREST. Trails named “Mystery” and “Fairy Gates.” A great way to spend a contemplative afternoon.
My second December weekend was a little more wintery. I use “wintery” loosely. Sadly for my hardcore skier friends that I went to Tahoe with, the snow sucked. Fortunately for me, this meant a great discount weekend ($30 for “Learn to Ski” lessons + rental) at Squaw. I can’t say that I’ve ever been on a snowy mountain wearing only a tech shirt under my parka. And sweating. Unfortunately the deal was pretty popular and myself and some of the other “relearn” to ski folks (I used to be a great child skier) didn’t move through the stations as quickly as desire. Luckily this meant we got a coupon to come back for another weekend and try again. Hopefully I will!
Of course, despite the sporty setback, Tahoe was just as gorgeous as everyone has said (and I didn’t even see the actual lake). I went for a run on Sunday morning and found myself completely out of breath, and not just because of the altitude. And then I got to come back to a gorgeous place too. High five to my life!