22 February 2015

3° of Difference

I've lived my entire life in Henderson, NV. Growing up, we traveled quite a bit- my father's job had him on call 24/7, including weekends and holidays. And after he retired, he just liked taking family vacations. But even so, the majority of my life was spent at 36.03°N, in the Las Vegas Valley.

It was brown. That's the first thing to come to mind. From the desert floor to the mountain peaks, the most prominent feature of my hometown was the enormous variation we had of simply brown. Even things that should have luscious and green had a tinge of brown.

Winters were more windy than cold, but the summers...

Everything they tell you about a Vegas summer is true. They're hot, and they're dry. (And I love them.)

Reno, at 39°N (only three degrees further from the equator), is drastically different. For me, moving here? Well, call it a culture shock.

For one, the rain here is ridiculous. Although the difference between Henderson's annual rainfall and Reno's is negligible- only 0.47 inches- the reality of it is insane.

February Rainfall in Reno. (I don't think I have any memories of February showers in Vegas.)
And then there's the scenery.

Don't get me wrong. I think Vegas and the surrounding area is gorgeous- but to find anything resembling "nature" you'd have to venture out to Lake Mead, or Red Rock, or make the drive to Boulder City. In Reno, the Truckee River runs right through the Downtown area.

Literally. It's right there. It takes close to twenty minutes to walk from the university's campus to the riverbank. And that's if you're taking your time.

An unedited iPhone capture (taken while I was sitting on a rock in the middle of the river).

And, 180° the other way. (Heavily edited. For Instagram.)
And then there's the property my parents bought this year- four acres just outside of Lund, NV. It's halfway between Henderson and Reno and it's literally the middle of nowhere. I keep searching for Courage the Cowardly Dog.

Now that I'm out of the house, my parents visit just about every other weekend to work on it. They recently had a well dug and plumbing installed. Hooray for running water.

My dad's convinced that it's now perfectly livable. Sorry, dad, I'd beg to differ. The camper trailer that the old owners left behind (sans appliances) is not suitable for anything more than college students who can't afford a cabin (i.e., my friends and I).

A panoramic shot taken on a ridiculously windy day.

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