So I was all set to take a three-day snow-camping trip this weekend to Butte Lake at Lassen Volcanic National Park. I had experienced people to go with; I had my new snowhoes; I had my zero-degree sleeping bag. What I didn’t have was the ability to mentally process a foot of fresh snow and a seven-mile hike to camp with 35 to 40 pounds of gear plus snowshoes to heft all that way. Oh, and six-hour drive to the trailhead, during which time an active blizzard was in the forecast.

I woke up in the middle of the night with a gnawing pain in the gut that I usually associate with too much stress at work, and realized I worrying myself sick over this camp-out. Melissa’s advice was: go with your gut. I followed it and decided to bail on snowcamping.

I figured out why it was causing me so much stress: The forecast calls for a major snowstorm that will last through Friday. More than a foot is expected to accumulate. Back where I come from, a foot of fresh snow is a shut-down-the-city-for-two-days emergency. In the mountains of Northern California — one of the snowiest places on earth — a foot of fresh snow is as common as summer sunshine.

But try to tell that to my feeble brain, which is sending out all these panic signals.

So now I’ve got a three-day weekend free and of course it’s supposed to rain here all three days. I’ve still got an inordinate urge to go camping, just not in sub-freezing climes.