Saturday, January 16, 2016

Chasing the Snow

I lived the first six years of my life in Long Island, New York.  A vivid jumble of loose memories gather in the back of my head from those early years - chicken McNuggets dipped in honey, the soaring steeple of a familiar church at the base of a sloping road, the pine Christmas tree at my preschool, the steel rodded spinning platform and chipped wooden see-saws at the playground, and of course, snow.  Drifting to the ground through the bay window, coating the stout bushes surrounding the lawn, obscuring the Power Ranger house in the school yard.  It was nothing but magical to me.  When I came to California, I initially wondered if there would be snow here, but I basically forgot about it and moved on.  As for Wes, an LA native, snow was always associated with winter sports.  It wasn't a backyard occurrence and if there was a large amount of it, it would most likely have been man-made.

Last weekend, the two of us went up to Big Bear.  Along with throngs of snowboarders and skiiers, we wanted to experience the culmination of the week's El Niño storms in full force, since neither of us have gone snowboarding in real, a hundred percent heaven-sent snow.  As we drove to the base of the mountain, our GPS directed us to the back route, where supposedly there would be less traffic, but more ice.  Glad that we went this way - the scenery was stunning.  It seemed like we had crossed this imaginary line, where brown ended and white began.  I was immediately taken back to Long Island.  Seeing thickly padded snow on tree branches, roadsides, rooftops, and street signs felt different and more nostalgic than simply seeing snow on the slopes.  I was so excited that I took a bunch of pictures on my phone.  Wes was focused on keeping the car from sliding out from under us, but he was able to appreciate with what mental and emotional devices he could muster at the time.

So here is a documentation of our day, starting at 6:30 in the morning, ending at 6:30 at night.  We drove on black ice, made snow angels in fluffy untouched snow, rode through swirling snow blowing in every direction, went off trail through the trees for the first time, did a couple of night runs, and ended up at our usual spot, Himalayan Restaurant.  Overall maybe one of our most memorable experiences snowboarding in Big Bear!

6:45 AM
6:51 AM
7:05 AM
7:06 AM
7:20 AM
7:37 AM
7:42 AM
7:48 AM
7:52 AM
7:59 AM
8:02 AM
8:03 AM

8:41 AM - after a pause to put on the snow chains

8:45 AM
8:57 AM

10:05 AM - Arrival at Snow Summit!

Snow angel success!

Overlooking the frozen Big Bear lake

Started actually snowing!

Backcountry snowboarding!
Was about to throw a snowball.
Many breaks were needed for that rough terrain! What were we thinking...

And THIS is what we crave every single time! Pro tip: make a reservation, it gets packed in here.
Chicken Mo-mo - Himalayan dumplings with a sesame chutney dipping sauce.  We saw them wrapping these to order in the back.
Tandoori chicken - marinated overnight in a Himalayan-style sauce made from yogurt, fresh herbs and spices
Baigan Aloo - Fresh eggplant and potatoes prepared with ginger, garlic, and homemade spices
The best naan ever.
Our trip to Mammoth is coming up next weekend and we can hardly wait to see what the snow will look like up there!  This season has seriously been the bomb so far.  ¡Gracias, El Niño!

No comments:

Post a Comment