Since the snow isn’t coming to me, I decided this past weekend to go to the snow. Lake Tahoe got it’s first snow last Friday and the forecast called for more over the weekend, so I booked a cheap room on Expedia and got in the car and headed east. After walking around town Saturday just being pleased to be around snow, Sunday morning I woke up and remembered the downsides when I had to scrape two inches of the white stuff off my car. But it was worth it.
I spent most of Sunday hiking around Fallen Leaf Lake, which is less developed than Lake Tahoe itself. I found some waterfalls, kind of by accident — sometimes taking a wrong turn is actually taking the right turn. Later I walked across a dam and discovered hundreds of salmon just sitting in a pool. I knew from reading James Michener’s Alaska that salmon will always return to the pond where they were born to spawn the next generation. It seemed these guys were trying to get into the lake, but had run into the dam and didn’t know what to do next. A local resident came by and we started chatting. She explained that they had installed “fish ladders,” but that it appeared the salmon didn’t know how to use them. I hope they figure it out…
Once again, using the slideshow feature, here are a sample of pictures I took from the weekend.
I’ve been having a lot of conversations lately about the weather in California, or lack thereof as it were. It’s not really a secret that the first snow of the season is somewhat of an event for me. As we get towards the end of October and I’ve not once thought about even wearing a sweater, it’s starting to hit home that there will be no first snow for me this year. Oh sure, I will go home to Minnesota for the holidays and there will be snow on the ground or I could drive to Tahoe, but that’s not the same. The first snow comes with a smell in the air the day before that puts me in a mood to bake cookies and drink cocoa. It’s how I mark the passage of another year. (It is probably not a coincidence that it tends to happen shortly in advance of my birthday.)
But this year…
This weather thing has already screwed me up a few times. I nearly forgot to plan my trip home for the fair and other Minnesota summer things because it never stopped feeling like spring in San Francisco. Baseball season is ending in a week, and I am not prepared because I see no leaves turning colors. My roommate reminded me about Halloween and I realized that I haven’t even thought about it once… partly because we were talking about it while swimming in an outdoor pool. Last weekend, I caught the intro to the local news and the weather promo was “Later we’ll tell you about how the temperature might change by as much as five to ten degrees next week.” And that was said without irony.
Harvey once told me that he didn’t understand why people from Minnesota complained about the lack of weather. His metaphor was something akin to why a person would ever want to eat a glass sandwich when they could eat steak all the time. Well, Harvey, if all you ever eat is steak, it gets boring. I need my seasons to remind me that life isn’t permanently on pause.