Spoiled by more than 200 sunny days per year (nearly 300 if you count partially cloudy days), the weather is one of our city’s characteristics with which this native is most enamored. There’s a teasing joy found in posting winter-month Instagram selfies—perhaps at a sunny Sunday brunch sporting a T-shirt and sipping an icy IPA, or cruising around with the top down—and then tagging friends who live in places where winter is a thing. Sure, part of that joy stems from the fact that, come the dog days of August, those same friends will be tagging me in selfies during 74-degree days. But it really goes deeper than being a typical humble-bragging jerk.
Like many longtime locals, I’m a desert rat. Generally, that means celebrating the searing heat, the wide-open blue skies and the gorgeous desert landscape that so many snobby East Coasters see as little more than sweaty desolation. It is a mark of Vegas pride to say I didn’t own a car with working air conditioning until I was 26. To be clear, I’m not saying those summers were easy; but driving here sans the creature comforts of A/C was a rite of passage for many of my peers in the rugged Southwest.
Does that mean we desert rats hate the rain? Some do, but I actually enjoy the occasional, gentle desert soaking.
When I lived in the less developed parts of town, a brief downpour meant a hike or mountain bike ride through a nearby desert trail, the gorgeous aroma of wet sagebrush punctuating the crisp, clean air, desert blooms popping out almost before my eyes, and the ground crawling with life. Sweaty desolation? Not so much.
Sure, I’ll choose a sunny day over a rainy one most of the time. And I’ll take either over the howling spring winds that are sure to blow through the Valley in a few weeks. But a desert rain, especially during a drought (you did turn off your sprinklers, right?), is a lot more enjoyable than the insufferable “only happy when it rains” folks who flood my social media channels with virtual jumps for joy every time a drop falls. Them I can do without.