As you might remember, I live in Paradise. The town of Paradise sits on a ridge overlooking vast and beautiful canyons on either side. This makes driving anywhere a pleasure. To do our "real" errands, a trip to Chico is essential, but the drive is so gorgeous that one really can't complain.
The most amazing thing, though, is to drive down the hill at the sunset hour. As you head down the ridge, the sky opens and spreads before you, revealing more than you ever thought you would see from one vantage point. On your right is the Butte Creek Canyon, and above the canyon are the birds. Always the hawks and turkey vultures, circling. When the sun sets, the down hill drive takes you straight through it, and on a good night, it is ridiculously breathtaking. Like "omg we need to pull over" breathtaking. Or "omg this world is so amazing and beautiful that my heart aches" breathtaking.
On the way down, there is a lookout spot where cars can park to watch the sunset or just look at the canyon below. A couple days ago, I drove down to the lookout (it's about 5 minutes from my house) with a thermos of hot chocolate to watch the sun set (4:45 pm!). though it was not filled with the electric purples and reds of late summer, it was soft and stunning nonetheless. My trusty co-pilot came with me and we took pictures, drank the cocoa, and watched the light fade.
Also, it's freezing here. I was barely warm enough in my parka and snowboots, yet homeboy refused to wear even a sweatshirt. Ah, the fire of youth.