Sunday, January 3, 2016

Inverted

I see you, summer tourists hiking around in the national park in the glorious sunshine.  You're talking about how beautiful it is here, and look, there's a ski hill here also.  You bet that it is great here in the winter too; in fact, maybe you should MOVE HERE.

Whoa there, partner.  Yes, it's fun here in the winter; there's skiing and snowshoeing and the mountains look amazing covered in snow.  But here's a secret: It's not very sunny.

We often get long periods of inversions, where a layer of clouds sits over the valley for days.  It feels damp and oppressive.  This is when a lot of locals make a break for it, heading for Vegas or Hawaii. I drag myself to the gym, feeling surly. I know it's not the worst thing:  I spent five winters in Fairbanks, Alaska, and I'll take clouds over -40F anytime.  But I miss the sun. 

You have to climb to find it.  It's there, above the clouds, at about 6000 feet.  To get there, you'll need a snowmobile, a long day on snowshoes and skis (It's only about 3000' on the valley floor), or a ski lift.  That's the route I chose.

It was only a few degrees above 0, but there was the sun, waiting like an old friend.

I drove back down into the valley and into the clouds.  The inversion was still there; it's supposed to persist for several more days.  Somehow though, it makes me appreciate the sunshine in a way living in Hawaii never did.  You can't count on sunny winter days here.  When they show up, they're precious.  Cancel the gym, put off those errands. The sun's out!

9 comments:

  1. The older I get the more 'winter' bothers me..the lack of nice bright sunshine.....the early darkness in the evenings.....the cold. It bothers me more each year! That said.....the beauty you are surrounded with makes it easier to swallow. :-)

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    1. I think mother nature heard me. It's sunny in the valley today and it wasn't supposed to be. Yay!

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  2. We have the same problem in Norway. Grey weather can be so depressing... but then the sun feels awesome!

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    1. Yes, it makes it seem so much warmer, even if it isn't actually.

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  3. I live in Portland Oregon, where it rains all winter, so I'm used to not seeing the sun. We always laugh at the Californians who move here and then complain about the rain.

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    1. That's funny! I lived in Washington state for awhile so I'm familiar with that kind of winter too.

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  4. Not quite as cloudy here at the PNW, but we treasure each day of sunshine...makes the snow diamonds light up. Glad you found some sunshine "up high."

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  5. Not too much issue with finding the sun here in Florida! Some days I'd like for it to go away for just a bit. Ouch, -40 in Alaska? No thanks!

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    1. I'm jealous of your weather right about now.

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