Last Lift Out Of Winter!
Ah, the middle of February. The day after Valentine’s Day. Historically known for that wonderful combination of feelings, mingling somewhere between “oh thank GOD Valentine’s Day is over” and “WHY HASN’T WINTER ENDED YET?”
With maybe just a sprinkling of “Ooh, half-priced chocolate clearance!” mixed in.
Well, unfortunately, winter isn’t quite done with us yet. And it’s not looking to be, for at least another month or so. But that doesn’t HAVE to be a bad thing.
Winter’s still around. That means that all that cool winter stuff (you know, all of the things on your winter to-do list that weren’t marked “Christmas” that you’ve been procrastinating on?) can still get done!
I don’t know about you, but here’s a list of all of the winter stuff that I still need to do, before spring rolls around in March.
Hit The Slopes
I haven’t gone skiing yet, this year. I actually haven’t gone in a couple of years. It’s something that I always intend to do, but never actually do. Kinda like going to bed an hour earlier. Or cleaning the house.
Well, that changes this year. I’ve got about a month left before the snow is too hard or too high to ski on, and loads of the country’s best slopes out here in California. Time to hit the slopes. Shred some powder. Carve some tracks. Gnarly, brah.
If you’re still waiting to go skiing or snowboarding, don’t. Do like me – make a reservation next weekend, and take the day to have some fun! Personally, I recommend keeping warm, and since I’m not about to rent my pants (gross), it’s time for me to pick up a pair of these. They’re kinda cool – just put on some warm-weather pants, slap these on top, and you can keep your ankles snow-free. I’d also recommend a balaclava to keep your ears and nose from freezing off. And you get the added benefit of looking super professional, so that’s cool.
Rain, Rain, Stay A Day
Rain is a nuisance to most of us, and an inconvenience at best. But I actually really like the rain. I remember when I was a kid, and the rain meant I could sit inside and goof off all day, instead of my parents making me play outside. Now that I’m an adult, it’s been a little bit of a pain to try and recapture that magic.
Out here in California, we’ve been having a little bit of a rain problem. We weren’t really getting enough of it. Or any, at all. Until a month or two ago, when we suddenly had all of it.
So now I’m looking for a middle ground, so I can grab my rain coat and go for a walk.
I’m not talking about the heavy, gusty storm that’s best viewed from behind glass. Or that little drizzle that hardly counts as rain. I’m waiting for that perfect rainstorm – just hard enough to keep most people inside, but not hard enough to blow into your face. Sure, it’ll be cold, but a winter day in the quiet rain is about as much as I can ever want.
If that sounds good to you, make sure to remember your jacket and umbrella. Oh, and make sure that your shoes are waterproof. And get an umbrella hat, because, well, who doesn't want an umbrella hat? I don’t really have any other suggestions.
Cold Air, Clear Days
In California, we have a little bit of an air-quality problem. The valley has a habit of holding smoke and smog and whatever else, so our air isn’t always as clear as we wish it was. Usually, it’s something on the agricultural side – farms burning, orchards in bloom, harvest time is kicking up dust… it’s just a part of life.
A cold, clear winter day is one of the only times that us Californians can actually go out and appreciate the atmosphere. Here in Chico, we can see the Sierra Nevadas on one side, and the Coastal Range on the other. We’ve got a few nice parks (including one of the biggest in California, right in the middle of our city) all around us, and my personal favorite outdoorsy-type activity on days like this is to go hiking to the top of Table Mountain.
It’s cold, and clear, so I make sure to bring a few things. First, I want to be able to actually look out from the top of the plateau, so I always bring binoculars. Second, I need to make sure that (since it’s usually a day trip) my phone battery lasts, so I bring a solar charger and attach it to my backpack. Third, it’s still a hike, even if it’s cold, so I make sure to bring a water bladder. Beats the crap out of carrying a bottle around, that’s for sure. We’re actually having a sale on those right now (it's not figurative - we actually have too many), so if you need one…