Originally Published: July 14, 2018 6 a.m.
Having moved around as much as I have in the past 10 years has given me the opportunity to experience a wide range of climates, including the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, Central Oregon Coast, Sierra Nevada in Northern California, North Shore of Lake Tahoe, and High Desert of Arizona.
Each of those regions is so unique, not only for the landscape but for the weather that largely defines the places.
The Rocky Mountains were awesome with snow during winter that came down with a thud, and made for some of the best skiing and snowboarding on the planet. The Central Oregon Coast was wet and wild, with an average rainfall in the neighborhood of 79 inches per year, and days that made me feel like I never got out of the shower.
The Sierra Nevada in Northern California channels epic, at times. More than 700 inches of snow in the 2016-17 winter that left snowbanks along Interstate 80 so high that I thought it would never melt. The North Shore of Lake Tahoe, which is in the same region, was equally nuts with fierce enough winter wind that made it possible to surf the lake in the morning before heading up the road to ski or snowboard in the afternoon.
Then there is the High Desert of Arizona. More specifically, Chino Valley, Prescott and Prescott Valley. Now, I don’t know much about the weather here having been on-scene for 94 days. But the one thing I heard about a lot when I arrived in spring 2018 was the monsoons.
Some folks made it sound like Central Oregon Coast 2.0. A moment from last year’s rainy season, captured on a cellphone and shown to me by Daily Courier Sports Editor Brian M. Bergner Jr., confirmed some of these claims.
The footage, which was filmed in his neighborhood while probably on holiday (again), showed a robust downpour with rain bouncing off the street like superballs in a confined space. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to experience that kind of downpour this year. And I suppose that’s OK, but it would be nice to get more rain.
After all, roughly 2.5 inches in this measurable rain year isn’t much. But there have been glimpses of the so-called monsoons, and I’m hoping to see more because it’s bad-ass. I largely work 12-hour shifts, which take up the back-half of my day and have me making the short drive home around midnight.
The other evening, or was that morning, I was driving along Glassford Hill Road when a lightning storm lit up the night sky like nothing I’ve ever seen. Gigantic flashes behind a veil of clouds and rain that made it seem largely improbable had I not seen it with my own eyes.
So when I arrived at home, I grabbed an ice-cold Pabst Blue Ribbon out of the refrigerator, went outside, and stared at the sky. Cool as hell. No doubt. I must have stayed outside for a good 30 minutes watching the night sky like a movie in a theater. Good thing the PBR was a “tallboy.”
I’m not so secretly hoping for more of this activity, in part because I’m a big fan of the weather in every place I lived. And, Prescott Valley is no different. Now, it’s off to the Department of Motor Vehicles to register my Jeep Cherokee.
I’m fairly certain, that unlike the weather in all the different regions I’ve lived, that the DMV is probably the same as DMVs in other regions in which I’ve called home. Long lines, lots of paperwork, and a large amount of dough to register the Jeep.
Hopefully I’ll have enough dough left in my pocket to afford an ice-cold PBR at Matt’s Saloon afterward. Wouldn’t that be cool?