December is the first month of winter, and so it is the time when we officially start measuring the snow pack in California. As of January 1, things are not looking good: The rainfall is at 65% of average for Northern CA, 37% (Central CA), and 22% (Southern CA). The snowpack is at 24% of average (North), 33% (Central), and 23% (South). At first I was not too concerned about this awful dry spell we had in December. We had a decent November and it looked like the pattern was going to change to a wet January. However, now it looks like the ridge will be building back into the west coast in January as of next week, and that means we are headed for another dry spell. This is really bad news. Hopefully this time, it will not be a long one. We need to pray for much more snow and rain in California, and soon.

We headed up to Canada at Christmas to visit my family in Cranbrook BC. Usually we go to my mom’s in Rossland, which has the best ski hill in the world (I am biased), but this year we went to Cranbrook where my sister lives, and we skied in Kimberley instead. It was COLD! At the beginning of the week, the temperature was around -15 to -20 Celsius. That is about -5 Fahrenheit for my American friends. That is too cold to ski or do much of anything. However, my kids did go up for a couple rounds on the ski hill anyway, and it warmed up (slightly) later in the week.

As for all the waterfalls? Well, they were completely frozen of course. I was not surprised. Nonetheless, my wife and I drove to Fernie for one day, and we went on a snowshoe hike to Fairy Creek Falls, which I had not been to before.

There was about 4 inches of fresh snow, so we got out our snowshoes for the easy hike. We could have hiked in our boots, but there were some spots that were deeper, so I am glad we opted for the snowshoes. The hike starts off with a very steep hill to climb. My wife was not amused, and wondered what I was getting her into. I had no idea, but she did not believe me. I do not have Canadian maps on my GPS, so I really had no idea about the terrain, but from what I had read, I knew it had to be an easy hike, and only about 1 mile in length. It was actually 1.4 miles, and after the initial climb, the terrain leveled out and the rest of the hike was fairly easy.

It was very beautiful as well, hiking through the forest in the fresh snow. We read signs, however, that Fernie is in the process of developing this entire area and putting houses in here. This would be incredibly awful and it would ruin this hike entirely. Instead of hiking through a gorgeous forest, you will be hiking past many houses. Residents of Fernie should be very upset about this in my opinion.

Anyway, we finally came to the waterfall. It was very pretty, and it was not entirely frozen as I expected it to be. It was gorgeous in the snow, a true Fairyland, and very much living up to its real name, a real life Fairy Tale. It was a bit tricky getting right up to the bottom of the falls in the snow, as it was steep and slippery, but I did go up close to it. The best views, however, were from further back, up on the hillside (where I took this photo from).

On the way back, we saw a few hikers coming up the trail. None of them wearing snowshoes. They probably thought we were some weird Californians, but my answer to that is that we padded down the snow for them so they would not need snowshoes. They should have thanked us. Am I right?

P.S. If you are wondering about my title to this blog post, it is the name of an old song which I love, by Plumb. It has nothing to do with waterfalls, but look it up if you are interested in the song. You will like it.

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