yosemite winter and cross country skiing

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In early December, when we heard that it had started snowing in the Sierras, we made our way north to Yosemite for the weekend. Though we’d visited the park at the tail end of last winter, the severe drought meant that there was only a little bit of snow. It was a treat to get into the real winter spirit. Down in the valley it was cold and rainy but there was a few feet of snow in the higher elevations. We stayed in Camp Curry in one of the unheated tents. It was nice to not have to set up camp in the rain and have more space to spread out our things but Camp Curry has some drawbacks too. You aren’t allowed to cook anywhere in the camp, which means traveling to a picnic site a few minutes away. It was sort of an amusing adventure to cook all alone in the dark though, even if it meant carting all our stuff.

After nightfall, we went to the Ahwahnee hotel to warm up and check out the massive fires they have. It happened to be the night of the Bracebridge dinner, so the main halls were empty except for the costumed performers who made their way in and out of the dining room. We found a table for ourselves and played cards and ate chips until late in the evening.

In the morning, we woke up early and headed up to Badger Pass for a day of cross country skiing. We signed up for a group lesson but happened to be the only two in the group. While Shawn has been snowboarding for years, I’ve been skiing all of once when I was a little kid, so my snow experience was basically nonexistent. I fell a few time and struggled to get the hang of it but still had lots of fun learning. It was crazy to climb up the trail on skis but eventually we made it up to the Old Badger Pass Summit. It was super hard and by the end of the day my muscles were aching but it was really cool to explore in the snow. I’d really like to go on the skating tracks, where it’s much easier to glide along. One day we hope to ski all the way out to the Ostrander Ski hut. I could certainly use some practice first. Mostly I’m hoping for more winter weather so there are snowy places to visit.

winter time

It was a real treat to visit Park City and experience some real winter. It was snowy and cold and beautiful. We didn’t make any snowmen or throw snowballs but we did walk around as snowflakes wafted gracefully down on us. It left me dreaming of snuggling up in a cozy cabin, shutting out the rest of the world.

We also dug my car out of the snow (twice!) and had one of the scariest drives ever down from Park City to Salt Lake on an icy road, so I guess it wasn’t all magic. I suppose it’s easy to be romantic about winter when it’s 80 degrees here in Los Angeles. What do you think, do you love snow?

Snow Day

You may recall, last week I was fantasizing about having a snowy adventure. Well, despite living in Los Angeles, we made it happen. We drove up to nearby Mt. Baldy to go play in the snow for the day.

the gang

The crew threw on all their warm gear, loaded up in our cars and drove up the mountain…to snow!

snow play

Even though I read the weather before hand, it still seems so unbelievable that there could be snow so close to where we live. It wasn’t until we were nearly at the top of the mountain that things became dusted and then covered in white.

starburst snow

ski lift

We took the scenic ski lift all the way to the top. I have to admit, it did make me a little nervous.

trees don't grow up here


This was right before Shawn realized I didn’t have a strap on my camera (right after I leaned over the side with it in my hands to take a photo of a squirrel).

baxter and alicia on the lift

snowy sky

At the top, we were above the clouds. They turned into a sea of white.

It was so much fun. It made me want to rent a cabin, snuggle up by a fire at night and build snowman in the day. I want to go sledding.

I’m so happy we were able to make the trip, even though it was brief, as it really made it feel like real winter.

Snowy dreams

I’ve been dreaming of snow. It’s been extra cold here in Southern California these past few weeks, but we don’t have that same winter feeling of snowy places. It was actually cold enough here to snow in areas not far from Los Angeles.

I looked back on our road trip last winter. Here are a few shots in snowy wonderland.


Look at this sweet bearded man. Beards are good for cold weather.

winter in new jersey

wall at biltmore house


I’m hoping we’ll get to drive somewhere and see a bit of snow before it’s gone. Maybe I’m also just dreaming about anywhere else but Los Angeles as is often the case.

I can’t wait to go on another big adventure.