Prayed for rain.

It’s been quiet on the GB front for me the past couple of months… not sure what that means… Am I not having as much fun? Am I over-worked? Are vacation days going unspent? It’s a little bit of all of it, but sometimes life happens.

Last year, I remember moping around due to the serious drought conditions in California. Bodies of water were looking slim, rolling hills turned dry and golden, and everything just looked tired. But this winter, it looked like California decided to cash out on about a decades worth of prayers for rain, though it’s come with it’s own set of consequences… Erosion, landslides, flooding- you name it.  Though in sheer Grommet Barn fashion, I absolutely CANNOT wait to see the springs, mountains, and valleys replenished by the wettest winter of my life. Here’s how I’m setting my expectations…

Old things made new
The same trails I’ve hiked in the last four years (not much was done before that, unfortunately) will look completely different. For instance, I can’t wait to see the full force of the American River… whereas many parts were merely an American Trickle. Hillsides are going to covered in wild flowers, and lakes filled up to places we normally set camp. Even now with the Santa Cruz mountains finally dry enough for mountain biking, I’ve seen new streams form across trails and rock gardens I’ve ridden a hundred times. It’s a whole new sensory experience – same place, but new sights, sounds, and even smells. Can’t wait to see old friends made new again.

Fresh-water swimming
Rule of thumb for all my trips this season will require some sort of fresh water swimming. I can’t wait to see a new shade of blue and see bodies of water renewed.

Poison Oak
I’ve been mountain biking a couple times a week in town and I’ve already had poison oak for about a month straight… I’ve seen it crawl up to new heights and it has a pretty treacherous oily sheen to it. Looks like it’s going to be a good year for Tecnu. I’m probably going to plan for high elevation (~5000 ft) to try and minimize my contact. I usually get an interaction with poison oak each year that’s pretty much crippling, so it’s likely odds aren’t in my favor this season.

Mosquitoes
With wet seasons come mosquitoes… stock up on your repellent, mosquito nets, and sage. You’ve been warned.

BAH. All things considered… It’s going to be a beautiful summer.

GB

Lake Nacimiento - full capacity

Lake Nacimiento looking COMPLETELY different from last year. Went last weekend and it looks clean and full. (Paso Robles, CA)

Lake Nacimiento - Tent

Otis is not stoked on having to be on a leash. At least he has a nice view. (Paso Robles, CA)

Tahoe Winter 2016-2017 - cabin and car

It was dumping snow like this in Tahoe for what seemed like 2 whole months. Go Prius!  (Truckee, CA)

Tahoe Winter 2016-2017

I feel like this is the first real winter that I’ve had in a long time. (Truckee, CA)

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