Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Chill Is On

The cold has been feeling good in LA these past few weeks. I am so used to holiday seasons that are, maybe a bit chilly, but where, if you really wanted to, you could lie out on the beach and catch a half hour of clear, low-lying yellow sun for yourself.

Many times I have run at the beach such as Santa Monica, Venice, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach on Christmas Day, and even though I didn't grow up on the East coast, there will always be something strange to me about dry, blowing sand and beach-chairs on Christmas Day.

I think this is because as I was growing up, my parents took me skiing quite a bit. I may have been the East Coast in them that pined for some cold air, and so they passed that onto me.

I just went running in Griffith Park; a short five miles. I ran on the bridal path that skims along the LA River and I had to dodge a few places where muddy puddles were deep. I started at 3:30pm, which meant that I only had about an hour before the sun set. Actually, a little less time since Griffith Park is in the shadow of the Hollywood Hills. It was cold! At least for this Southern Californian it was cold. My ears were past nippy, and my nipples numb. The air I breathed in felt cold to my lungs. I loved it!

I have also enjoyed driving in the past few days and seeing snow beyond the Verugo Hills, atop the San Gabriel Mountains. I do wish we had this more often. So Cal is a desert I realize, but couldn't we get a few more storms sneaking down from Alaska to drop some snow in the local mountains?

I've always thought it would be cool to have a set of storms come through and bring in like 15 or 20 feet of snow to the Grapevine and other local mountains; I mean really to just pile in some snow packs for once.

The closest we've come to that in recent memory was in 2004 when the LA area had terrific rains that came through. The news radio station said that it was the most rain that was dropped in a certain period in LA in recorded climatological history. I happened to be going to my girlfriend's parents' house and happened to stop at a main river in the Santa Clarita Valley.

This river is normally a completely dry river; probably home to a frightening number of rattle snakes. However, when I stopped that afternoon and parked by a bridge that ran over the river, I was amazed to see the incredible volume of turbulent, boiling brown water that was moving huge acreages of soil and plants by me.

But I digress. It's just nice to have some winter in wintertime.