ESCAPE to the snow

Did we find snow? YES we did! (Eventually.)

It’s been a dry winter. But we are grateful for north-facing slopes, and vendors who stash snow in the shade during the week, and spread it out on the slope for flatlanders like us to enjoy on a Saturday. Though it’s been raining and snowing more the past few weeks, February was a tenuous situation, and we caught what was at the time the last weekend of the season.

As in the past few years, we were treated to a charter bus. Fifty of us geared up, all clad in our new ESCAPE Club apparel, and headed to the Sierras. But our day would not go as planned. We sat on the bus for an extra two hours as I-80 was reduced down to a one-lane road.

Our kids persevered, however, and we kept the hope alive of seeing snow. We arrived at Kingvale close to 1pm, and it had a layer of snow as promised.  We quickly scarfed down our tamales, chips, and Mexican hot chocolate in the parking lot, and got in our time in on the slopes. The snow was icy, and thin. Not fluffy or light or powdery. And I don’t think one person cared. We had so much fun. Several, including parents, were in the snow for the first time.

We didn’t spend as much time as we normally do sledding, but that’s just how the day went. We were grateful for what we had and what we got to do. Because we were fairly dry, we didn’t really need to spend much time changing clothes, and we were on to Auburn, and our regular stop at In-N-Out.  

The state capitol was brilliant in white against the black night for our final stop, and we even got home on time. Kids were happy and tired, and we were glad for another adventure.

Apologies again for the delay in reporting. We’re off to Slide Ranch (away from our normal November time), so hopefully our PR department gets its act together with a timely summary. 

Thanks for reading, and thanks as always for your support.

Sure, the photos are okay, but you won’t know the full glee and laughter without watching the video. We’ve had a little trouble with YouTube and artists’ copyright claims for this one. But we’re a non-profit-ish program, and I think it’s okay to enjoy. So we’ve created a workaround… Click it.


ESCAPE to Año Nuevo

The pier, the seals, and the lighthouse…

Our sincerest apologies, as the ESCAPE Club Publicity Department has been pretty backed up, and we’re a little behind on our reports! January’s trip to Año Nuevo was a good one, though.  We fit in three great stops on a sunny, but brisk winter day.

Our first stop was the Pacifica Pier.  Walking out on the long, concrete pier offers a chance to watch massive, thundering waves crash below our feet.  We watched as locals fished for crab, and other tasty treats from the sea.  If you’ve never been there, check it out.  It’s free, even to fish!

We continued on to our marquee destination, Año Nuevo State Reserve. Thousands of elephant seals migrate here every year to give birth, compete for females, mate, and enjoy the California sunshine. Numbers seemed down this year, possibly due to the fact that there are other viable locations to hang out, like Point Reyes and San Simeon. We took our tour out to the beach with our docent, and got a close up look at the giant alpha bulls, nursing moms, and pups who can gain 10 lbs. a day from their mother’s rich (50% fat) milk. In the distance, we could even see a couple births, and the excitement it brings to hungry seagulls!

We wrapped up the day at the nearby Pigeon Point Lighthouse. Not much to see here, except a towering 100-year-old lighthouse, the vast Pacific, and a stunning sunset. It was a clear reminder of how good we have it here in the Bay Area with so many attractions nearby that we take for granted.

Enjoy the photos, maybe even our slideshow video, and please excuse the delay in communication. We’ll be back very soon with our summary of February’s trip to the snow!

A short one this month…