palm springs

West for the Afternoon

I have a Belgian Aunt-in-Law who lives in L.A. What brought her there was watching an old Hollywood movie on a rainy day in Europe. When a Gene Kelly type reached out his kitchen window and picked an orange off of a tree, she thought, “That is the life for me,” and eventually, she made it her life.  

My Western origin story began in Palm Desert in December, 2008. I was with my then-boyfriend and his friend from L.A., who was driving us to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Among much clutter, she had The 50 Best L.A. Hikes in her car. I didn’t move for another two and a half years, but living someplace where keeping a hiking book in your car made sense, that was the life for me. 

There’s outdoors to do in New York. I’ve even taken public transportation to go kayaking. But a trip to Mohonk or Breakneck Ridge is the whole day. What I wanted was to do an errand in the morning, not be sure what to do with my afternoon, look over to my passenger seat, see a guide book and go from there. 

Of course I don’t keep Run The Rockies: Classic Trail Runs in Colorado’s Front Range in my car. (I’m way too neurotic about time, wicking gear, and clutter.) But I could, and every time I go trail running as just one part of my day, I feel very happy to live in Colorado.