Leaving California
September 12, 2021

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 away.

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 in America.

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.