I’m working on what has turned out to be a long and complicated post, and I’m also finishing my first draft, so it’s taking a while to finish that post. I thought in the meantime I’d share a photo from recent adventures.
I snapped this with my phone while on break from some volunteer work I did at a ski race in Alpine Meadows.
I haven’t been skiing this year, and this day went from sunny to stormy. I was reminded just how cold skiing can be! But during the break between the two runs, I had a chance to take a picture. Then Google stylized it for me, so it’s a little more intense than in real life, but I kind of liked it and hope you do too.
This is what the start of winter looks like in the Sierras near Lake Tahoe.
Plus it’s very cold so the resorts are making snow. The two resorts will be able to open for the huge Thanksgiving holiday week, which is this week. Their work prepared them for the opportunity of early snowfall and cold temperatures, and now there is a huge economic benefit, not just for the resort owners, but for all the employees who rely on the season for their livelihoods. Extending the season in the spring and fall helps stabilize the economy up here. I grew up here and it’s nice to see the doldrums of shoulder seasons shrinking. Nice to see people working.
Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows prepared over the last years and especially last summer to be ready for snow making. The temperature has to be cold enough to make snow and you have to have a lot of infrastructure to be able to do it. We passed by an installation of electrical lines on the mountain side when we were hiking in Alpine Meadows a month or two ago.
The only huge problem is lack of housing. Somehow economic growth always seems to leave out adequate housing. Hopefully the expansion and development and Squaw Valley will include employee housing. I’m not sure if it does or not. In California we need 3.5 million more homes.
I decided to rename this series because California is not necessarily overcrowded. I’m not sure if it is or it is not. In fact, 80% of our water usage goes to farming.
We have a farm. Not quite, but my husband is a great gardener and has expanded our garden this year. We are already enjoying chard, tomatoes, and squash. We’ve decided to squeeze indoor water usage to the minimum in order to water these plants and some of our landscaping. We eliminated lawns a while ago. We will eventually find out if we made it under the allotment. You can’t really tell with water until the bill arrives. With electricity, you can look at your usage as you go along.
We have a smart meter for electricity, and today is a smart day. These days occur when the temperatures get really high, as they have today. A number of years ago, we had rolling blackouts because of a power shortage. Air conditioning on week days when businesses are cooling their buildings drives up the demand on the power grid. Voluntary reduction of power usage during these peak times helps the grid. So, it’s hot, there’s no AC, and we can use very little water. But I’m happy. I love California!
Here are the things that I enjoy about the drought and heat:
1. A sense of community. We are all in this together, finding ways to reduce water use.
2. Water use is being looked at very carefully, which was really needed.
3. A lot of sunny days. I’ve always liked California and could even imagine myself living in the desert because of the blue skies.
4. Appreciation for and awareness of water. I am aware of every drop that slides down the drain and capture as much as possible to use for other necessities.
5. With hot days I can go for a nighttime walk in shorts and a t-shirt.
I would love to have one of these dogs, the Great Dane. The man let me take a picture.
The Alpine Meadows Adaptive Skiing Center makes me so happy.
There were two people helping this little skier. The next day I saw two people helping a blind skier. Skiing feels really good, the fresh pine-scented air blowing on your face and the feeling of gliding. The center makes all kinds of innovative equipment to help people with different disabilities.
Here is the last photo of this vacation.
I do have a few more to show you, which I will do when I get home.
This is a very short video to show you the pretty mist yesterday.
Today was snowing and blowing, so it was a good day to finish up some indoor projects.
The news is that California is due for an average or even an above average amount of precipitation over the next three months. I’m told as California goes, so goes Australia, so here’s hoping for a (gentle) end to the drought here, and in Australia.