This past weekend we got invited to stay at a chalet in Arrowhead rented by our friend Dominic for his birthday. We couldn’t leave LA until Saturday evening, as I had prior commitments during the day, and we knew that the weather was going to be a challenge. In fact, the Weather Channel forecasted rain here in the city, but several snow storms in the nearby mountains, so we bought some tire chains as a precaution. We ran into some rain on the way there but only for 5 minutes and as we started driving up the mountains, we were almost positive that after all, we would need no chains since it wasn’t snowing and the roads didn’t have any ice. That was more wishful thinking; after a large curve we saw some rangers parked on the side of the road with a big flashing sign reading “tire chains required from this point on.” We pulled over and we just did that gladly.. right after that stop we entered in a Winterland zone, almost a different dimension where everything was completely covered in a few inches of snow! It was foggy, windy and snow began to fall in large flakes. It all reminded me of James Joyce’s ‘The Dubliners’, not because it was Saint Patty’s day, but because it contains a story, ‘The Dead’, in which the snow covers equally the living and unliving things and everything looks the same under that neutral white blanket. I believe it’s no coincidence that I thought about ‘The Dead’ in that moment, because what happened next could have potentially killed us! Just kidding, but it was scary enough…we were going slow, diligently following our gps instructions but going slow is actually not the best strategy on the snow, especially if you need to go up the hill; you need all the power the engine can summon to push forward and we learned this the hard way; we got stuck at some point on a uphill, our car would simply not move. We had to back up to the beginning of the uphill….the thought of having to spend the night stranded in the snow really scared me, but luckily, there were other vehicles on the road and a couple of them stopped to check on us. Hurray for humanity! I’m glad we were not the only crazy ones venturing on snowy roads at night! We finally made it, after what seemed an eternity, up to the chalet, our friends couldn’t believe it; they kept saying we were such daredevils! We stayed up late, catching up with everyone by the fire. The snow couldn’t stop falling and the balcony by the time we went to bed, had two feet of snow!
The next day, we enjoyed the beautiful views of the lake and the nearby landscape, we all felt like kids at Christmas, we built a snowman and threw snowballs at each other. We were all impressed by the appearance of some snow flakes, some of them they just looked like perfect little plastic balls ; okay, I know that we all live in LA and we’re not used to see snow, but something about these snowflakes made everyone wonder if this is a byproduct of climate change. After all, it was only two weeks ago when we enjoyed a very hot weekend (in the 80s) and this weekend the temperature was down to 60…just saying, I feel like there’s a crazy pattern in our climate. Anyhow, towards the end of the day when everyone left and we said our goodbyes, the Duke and I were amazed to see how in the midst of our adventure the night before we lost one chain! We made it back in one piece even if we saw a few cars sliding slightly off the road. Note to myself and yourself; don’t mess with snowy roads!