I was talking with some acquaintances the other day about Lake Tahoe and what makes it different from other mountain destinations. The point of differentiation that kept coming up was the ‘wow’ factor, that point when you see the lake and the Sierra range coming over Spooner Summit, which is truly awesome.
It made me think about the other place I’ve lived at – Chamonix – and I realized that it, too has that same factor. When you drive up the valley, as you come around a bend, you’re greeted with this immense vista of huge mountains and glaciers on either side. And our other favorite local escape, the Eastern Sierra, has the ‘wow’ factor in spades.
Knowing that I’ve had the good fortune to live and play in these glorious places makes me realize why I could never move back to a major metropolitan area or an exurb or suburban area.