I’ve lived in California for more than 11 years—longer than anywhere
else—so it’s as much my home as any place. But in a few weeks I am moving
California is a truly special place. As my time here draws to an end, I’ve been
thinking about the many reasons I love this state.
I came to Silicon Valley to work in software, and there is no better place for
it. The deep history of the computing industry here and the density of my
people on the ground still surprises me sometimes. It’s typical to encounter
programmers online only to later discover that they live a few miles away.
I love the variety of excellent food here. During my time in California I found
a real love of Korean cuisine, and of Oren’s pita, and of the amazing burritos
from the place down the road.
I love Dutch Crunch. There is no better sandwich bread.
I love the Sierra Nevada: the sharp peaks, bare white granite, and sheer
vertical relief. I have many happy memories of hikes, runs, and scrambles up and
down these mountains.
I love US 395, which can give any road a run for its money as the finest highway
California is where I’ve done most of my skiing, and where I started
backcountry skiing. I will remember so many fun ski trips with friends, and solo
missions, around Tahoe, Kirkwood, and Mammoth.
Skiing in California becomes magical during the long spring season. When the
crowds thin out, the days become sunny and warm, and you can cruise down
wide expanses of corn snow, then you have been blessed.
I was lucky enough to live through a few big snow years during my time here,
when we had great skiing through May, June, and into July.
I also love the hills closer to where I live, where I began trail running. I
love the freedom of running along grassy ridgelines with views for 30, 40, 50
miles in every direction.
I will fondly remember Mt. Diablo, Rancho San Antonio, Montara Mountain, and the
many other peaks, hills, and trails I enjoyed around the bay.
And I will remember Mission Peak, my longtime favorite. I love the vivid green
it takes on after winter rain and the bright gold during the dry summers. I love
the feeling of pushing myself hard up the hill, knowing that I can surely manage
it because I’ve done it dozens of times before, while watching the hawks and
paragliders spiral lazily on thermals overhead. And I love running down the
trail in the evening, always a little later than I intended, seeing the fog
slowly roll over the coastal hills while a vast web of lights starts to shine
across the valley below.