I decided a few minutes in to my long run on Sunday afternoon to go north so that I could begin the “out” portion of my out-and-back with the mountains in view. Due to all the rain in the last week, the mountains are capped with snow.
As I ran north along Azusa Boulevard and then west along Temple, I kept wanting to stop and take a crappy cell phone photo of one of my favorite views in LA. But I didn’t. I just stared at the San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountains and zoned out.
I used to go up to Big Bear or Lake Arrowhead in the San Bernardino Mountains often. As a kid, I just called it The Snow as if it was a place. My parents would get together with their siblings or compadres and split the cost of a large cabin for the weekend. A whole bola of Mexicans would get cozy for the weekend. I loved it as it meant there were plenty of kids to play with and each night was like a slumber party. My family went once or twice a year, enough to warrant buying snow boots, ski suits (we didn’t ski) and sleds. I loved playing in the snow, especially sledding down a big hill. I was never as adventurous as Danny, who quickly earned the nickname Evel Knievel. We continued going to The Snow often as I got older. My parents had friends who owned cabins and would let us borrow them. Those trips were usually just immediate family, but still fun. In high school, I’d go to Lake Arrowhead for weekend retreats with the St John Vianney youth group. Most of those trips were in the spring or summer, but occasionally we’d go in the winter. If there was snow, we’d still make time to sled, snowboard and build snowmen.
I went up in college too, usually on MEChA retreats. On one retreat during winter quarter, it started to snow outside. My friends ran out to play in the snow, but I refused to go out. I was warm and comfortable inside and not dressed for snow. My friends didn’t care if they were in jeans and Chucks. They were too excited to play in the snow for the first time. I stayed on the couch and watched them played. They made snowballs and tossed them at each other just as I had when my parents first took me to The Snow as a little girl.
It’s been six years since my last trip to The Snow with extended family. There was no snow on the ground and rain kept us indoors. It was a great trip with lots of delicious food and laughter as we played games and watched movies.
I’m still waiting for a do over of that trip. With snow, of course.