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The First Snow of the Year

 
Photographs by Alexander Chow-Stuart
'Twas the day before school started again and there had been heavy snow up in the Grapevine area of Los Angeles - and nearby Los Padres National Forest - so we decided we'd try to take Hudson and Paradise sledding...even though Interstate 5 was officially closed to all traffic!

In fact, because of the weather reports and road conditions, our initial plan (after a quick dash to buy snow chains for our car) was to try to drive to Wrightwood in Angeles National Forest - farther away from us but potentially more reachable, given the road conditions.

So we set off, bundled up in our warmest clothes and with our sturdy plastic sled in tow, and started north on the 405, intending to turn east on the 14 and 138 toward Wrightwood.

Then as we were driving, we heard that I-5 had just reopened, although chains were required, so we kept going north, merging onto the 5, and found the freeway relatively free of traffic - although there were still a few big trucks thundering along.

We were fortunate in avoiding the need for chains at any point and made it to the town of Frazier Park in the Tejon Pass, near Mount Pinos, one of our favorite winter spots for sledding and simply enjoying the snow.

After a weekend blizzard, yesterday's snow was fresh and powdery and about 8-12" deep - perfect for stomping around and scooting down the hills on our sled. It was Paradise's first real experience of walking through snow (we had taken her last year to Wrightwood but she was a little young to fully appreciate it), and certainly of riding a sled (with us holding her), and she had a fantastic time, as did we all.



We stayed until it started to get dark and really cold, then had a quick dinner inside a warm Mexican restaurant before driving back in the dark, with the snow-covered mountains looming around us with a curious mix of beauty and slightly Shining-esque menace!























    

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