step 1: make a decision.

Today I got cold.  I woke up, and felt the smooth chill of my summer sheets as my toes stretched to the end of my bed.  I saw a yellow leaf swirl through the air as a sudden gust tore through the September air.  Winter is coming.

But maybe not to here.

California remains in the grips of a terrifying drought.  The water levels in the Lakes Basin are depressingly low, leaving the dry and cracked lake beds exposed to the always beating sun.  The bears have been wrestling with the dumpsters for months now, sniffing out any scrap of food.  While it rained a lot in July, the short storms made no improvements to our dire water situation.  We rely on the water that is released each spring from the cold, white snow, and for the past three winters, mother nature has simply not provided.  I see no immediate end to the drought.  Locals are muttering hopeful predictions that this winter doesn’t look like it’s going to be that bad, and that El Niño is coming!  That bad won’t do it for me.  The drought will not end over night.  Climate change is happening and in California, winter isn’t so white anymore.

In the vein of self preservation, I have decided to leave my home here in Mammoth and make a new one somewhere where it still seems to snow every once and a while.  I fear my heart turning jealous of cold fronts and pressure systems bringing huge dumps of snow to the Rockies, the Tetons, and even to my first home, the Northeast.  I am afraid of resenting this beautiful, amazing place for keeping me from a deep, snowy winter.

I have made incredible friends, unforgettable memories, and had some pretty awesome ski days.  But there are a lot of ghosts roaming around this town too.  Friends that have packed up and left, moved on to new chapters in their lives.  Too many reminders of a man that taught me about love, and then took it away.  The smoldering remains of my failed relationships and attempts to move forward.  I’m ready for the sun to set on this part of my story.

In the end, the choice is easy.  Go.