This past Presidents Day weekend, our family and two other families met up in Mi Wuk Village, California for a snow weekend. And boy, snow is what we got in spades!
On Friday, I had a funeral to attend, an old college buddy who quickly succumbed to pancreatic cancer. Penny still had a full school day so we didn't leave until after 4PM. It was raining and cold all day while we readied the truck and our provisions, we we fully expected to drive through the rain, then snow once we got to elevation. I had installed new windshield wipers and bought tire chains for our four wheel drive pickup, just in case, so we were really ready.
It rained, hard, all the way during the trip. Traffic was tough all through the bay area but finally broke up before Tracy. Getting past Sonora and up to Twain Harte, rain turned to snow, big, fluffy flakes. We reached a point in the road with wide shoulders where others were installing chains, so we did the same. Since I practiced before leaving, despite freezing fingers, it went pretty smoothly. And it was a good thing we did that. As I was installing the chains, I heard a slow motion crunch, and looking up, across the street I saw one car that had slid into the rear of another. Going up the road more, I saw two other slide outs. People going to fast in the slick conditions, for sure.
As we entered Mi Wuk, the snow was about 4 to 6 inches deep, but we kept plowing forward, not really noticing any slippage, though we were only going about 15 to 25 miles per hour. We found the cabin no problem, and the other two families were already there. A friendly neighbor let them park their cars in his carport and driveway since our driveway, at a medium slope, was not easy to climb. I backed into it but only got in as far as getting my truck's nose well out of the street. We unpacked and finally settled in at around 10PM.
It snowed all night. The next morning, it was a winter wonderland and I got out to start digging us out, so we could get the firewood pile dug out, have access to the trash cans, and our cars.
The next two days were all about sledding. This is the reason we come back to this place (it was our second time here), there is plenty of space on the side of the cabin to build a nice, long, but not too dangerous sled run.
Since this cabin is relatively close to the local small town grocery store, convenient for last minute items as well as beer runs, we never moved our vehicles until it was time to leave on Monday. The kids (and grown ups) were wiped out every day from hard sledding, snowman making, and snow fort construction. I also need to make mention of the quality of the people we met. From the grocery store folks to all the neighbors on the street (some full timers, others in their second homes), everyone was very nice, pleasant and hospitable. This is definitely a nice place on many levels and we look forward to returning again, perhaps at different times of the year.
To view all our pics and videos from the weekend, be sure to check our Flickr photo set.
Wrapping up tonight and the wind outside is picking up. I stepped outside moments ago and the rain is just starting to come down a light rain, as if it is hesitating to drive down through restless air.
We're in for a whole week of wetness, and I hear it will be getting cold too. Good for snow pack, a good thing all around.
Rita did a number on her ankle. Twisted it something awful on Friday, swelled right up and hasn't been able to walk without real pain since. I've been taking care of the household duties all weekend. It's a right good amount of work, for sure.
Here's hoping, on the eve of another full work week, for her healing to come quick and full. And thanks to the kids for understanding, and especially Penny for being such a helper.
Learned today that a friend from college, Spyros, crossed over yesterday. It was just last Saturday, less than a week ago, that I learned from his brother that he was diagnosed recently with a particularly aggressive form of cancer. And that he didn't really have that long.
I was leaving him voice messages this week hoping to talk to him, to see him, discuss some philosophy, like we used to do in school. Plan was to relate some Stoic ideas I've been reading about lately. Thank him for helping me move some compost to the back yard, back in summer of 2009, for a new lawn I was installing. Thank him for being a friend, back when, and even now.
Never got a call back, so I emailed his brother again, checking in. That's when I learned the news. Wasn't easy, never is.