It's Christmas day, the temperature 60 degrees. A day mixed with expectations of fresh snow and cold weather, enough to make any child full of delight as they huddle near the fireplace, cocoa in hand. Not this year. Instead the climate follows a cruel pattern of high 50s to low 60s. Nevertheless, the mountain continues to pump artificial snow through the familiar metal machines located parallel to every knob on every run throughout the hill. Here I am, riding the barren strip of snow on which the park is located. Half a dozen rails, and a six foot jump bring me here, desperate to ski. "This isn't skiing". “Why am I here?” These thoughts play through my mind, reminding me of what skiing is supposed to be.

Two weeks later, the weather continues to stay consistently warm, as I stare through the window in the far corner of my English classroom, gawking at the massive range that is the Sierras. The sight is one for sore eyes, as the grim mountains stare back, completely stripped of their winter coats. The days pass without sign of any weather, reports play through the T.V. screen of “driest season since 1849”. Local ski resorts threaten to close, some never even to open, while the notorious California sun continues to cook the state. The Iphone in my pocket reminds me of the familiar ski stoke I have yet to experience this season. Japan, Wyoming, Montana, and Colorado all share the same story of fresh snow and good vibes. I can’t help but feel sorrow for myself, unable to experience the winter in full as I had so many years before. I pass the days riding the local skatepark, if it can even be called so, in an attempt to mimic the feel and thrill of riding on skis. My attempts are in vain, and I can’t help but fuel my addiction further. Back to the mountain. Week after week, run after run, the snow only continues to disappear, and the temperature only rises more. The forecast calls for even higher temperatures in the future, without any sign of precipitation. The local hotel’s business is down sixty percent, nearly all stores have sale signs out front, desperate for customers. The people of California all share one thing in common, pain. No matter where you look, you will find suffering throughout California. This is the California Curse.


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