California – It’s a Wrap! March 13-18, 2012

P1080964Our 6 days in California flew by and now I am in the air on the way to Obregon, Mexico.  Almost every farmer we met mentioned that California has only had 30% of normal precipitation this winter.  Winter rain is important to recharge the underground aquifers and above ground irrigation water reservoir systems throughout the state.  Winter rain is stored becomes summer irrigation water.  It was mentioned they were looking for a ‘March Miracle’ in the form of rain.  Well, they got it!  We had a good two to three inches of rain while we were there, a significant amount for this area.  The precipitation also provided us with a bonus on Sunday – skiing at Yosemite National Park!

I made a google map of our travel route in California.  If you are interested, you can find it here:

Sunday, March 18th was  my 35th day away from home and the first day since February 13th I didn’t have a flight or meetings.  It turned out to be quite an adventure.  We took off at 7am from our hotel in Fresno, California and headed north toward the Sierra mountain range, about 50 miles away. P1080974 The drive started out great.  It didn’t take long to leave the flat fertile ground behind and get into rough pasture ground with exposed rock as we travelled toward the mountains.  Soon the snow started!  At the small town of Coarsegold, we were stopped at a police roadblock.  No one was allowed to continue without 4 wheel drive or tire chains – the first time I’d seen that!  We managed to buy some chains for the van at a corner store and carried on.  The snow got heavier and heavier and we continued our incline.  Finally, we reached the Yosemite Valley, deep into park, with a good foot of fresh snow.  The views were spectacular!yosamite

P1080989After lots of photos and a quick tour around the valley floor, we headed to our ski destination – Badger Pass.  We weren’t well equipped with gear, but managed to rent skis and scare up some gloves.  The snow continued and we skied fresh powder all afternoon.  A ski hill staffer said it was the best ski day of the year.  They had 3 feet of snow in 36 hours at the hill – amazing considering that less than 50 miles away they never get snow and barely a frost.  The drive back down the mountain was rough.  The roads were plowed, but slick with ice.  We made it without any major issues – I didn’t expect my worst winter driving experience of the year to be in California!P1090008













Rhys showing off!


A common scene – no serious injuries!


Spectacular view from the lift.


Coyote sighting!


Monster Snowblower!


Installing tire chains





4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Luc on March 20, 2012 at 7:40 am

    Bizarre. The day before you went skiing in California, I went golfing in Ontario 🙂


  2. Posted by Carie on March 20, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Nice pictures! Lucky you had 8 farmers to figure out the putting on of the chains! I am jealous of the skiing of course, looks like prime conditions. Have fun in Mexico!
    Love Carie


  3. Posted by Anita D'Sylva on March 21, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Still really enjoy reading your blog Crosby but will be glad to have you back in the office! What an amazing trip you are having. Take care – the end is in sight.


  4. Posted by Laura Stewart on March 30, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Crosby, Chad and I have enjoyed reading your blog! The picture of the Yosemite Valley is breathtaking!! See you soon, Laura


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