Sunday, March 04, 2007

It's not all sun and surfboards in California

CAMP CONNELL, Calif. - At the 5,000-foot elevation in the mountains east of here, visions of beaches and bikini-clad nymphs exist only in the mind. The reality is snowplows, parkas and heavy boots. Oh, and wet boots. We can't forget wet boots.

A snowstorm walloped the Sierra last week, leaving enough snow that it looked like Western New York near Jamestown, on an average snow day.

Need a shovel?
Anyone need a shovel?

Our friends Sanders and Pat Lamont were staying with us here at sea level in Sacramento when much of this snow was falling, but returned to their Camp Connell cabin to be greeted by the scene above. They moved up to the higher elevation there last year, in good part to escape the city and also to experience the wonders of a Sierra winter.

Among those wonders could be: I wonder why we are doing this?

They report though, that while the snow is pretty high, the sun has been out and it's beautiful. Plus, there is skiiing right outside their door. They live just down the road from a major ski resort, though it's just as easy to slalom out off the porch and down the trail to the local watering hole know as the Lube Room. (At one time, I think it was a gas station. Now the main lubricants are beer, wine and a wild assortment of alcohols. And from my brief experience there, the lubricants are quite tasty.)

In a few weeks, however, the Camp Connell contingent will be coming down from their mountaintop retreat, heading to Tenacatita Bay with the Admiral and I for a vacation in La Manzanilla and to view some property on Admiralty Beach. Surf, sand, and relaxation are on order, along with snorkeling and kayaking.

Oh, and, of course the occasional bikini sighting.

Sailing vessel Sabbatical's Chief Engineer, Scott Noble, and his attorney (and spouse) Jennifer will be there, too, checking out the same beach and engaging in many of the same pursuits.

There's no snow to contend with there, though we did get a car stuck in the sand in January on a foray to check the beach out. It took almost two cold beer's worth of serious thinking before we figured out how to get the little car loose.

But this time, I'll have my Chief Engineer along if such a mishap occurs.

Oops, that's right. That means it will take three Pacifico's to get us loose this time.

No problema, senor...

The heavy snows of winter
The heavy snows of winter

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