We arrived back from Los Angeles yesterday evening to a nice surprise of snow in Mill Creek. After leaving our friends’ house on the Rancho Palos Verdes peninsula, we bounced North and West along the coastal beach towns all the way to Santa Barbara, then passed through Solvang on our way towards San Jose. A gigantic storm system was hurtling itself at Sacramento and we started running into showers about the time we saw the artichoke and garlic fields around Gilroy. By the time we crossed the Martinez Straits, we were being rocked by 30 mph side winds and pelted by solid sheets of rain. In Walnut Grove I still felt alert enough to make it to Redding so I called our favorite place there to reserve a room. After 14 hours of driving, a bed never looked so good. We left Redding early. Dawn was breaking over Lake Shasta as we passed by Turntable Bay. Scattered remnants of the overnight storm were nestled in the valleys like giant rolls of cotton candy, pierced by the tips of giant evergreen trees. As we descended the Gilman Grade we soon found ourselves under the rolls of fog, and were rewarded by the occasional ray from the sun, still low in the sky, blazing along a canyon floor and lighting the hanging clouds from the inside. Fresh snow blanketed the higher peaks. When I told my colleagues at work that we were planning on driving to LA and back over Christmas, they asked why we just didn’t fly. The answer, my friends, is in the experiencing, first hand, of the power and the beauty and the grandeur wrought by a Force far greater than we.