I’m going to try to maintain a smug attitude about this winter weather as long as I can before I become assimilated into the “OMG IT’S 30 DEGREES OMG IT’S SO COLD OMG” Portland crowd.
It’s currently 28° F outside. I was the first one out of the locker room at my yoga studio today; others were taking their time to layer up. I saw two women don long underwear before putting on their jeans. I left the studio wearing my fleece jacket and a decidedly pompous grin.
But I’m not smug about these winter roads. Winter weather creates road conditions out here that are completely different than those I used to sludge through in Minnesota. Ice lays down and clings to these roads with a desperate grip I’ve never seen in the northwoods. To boot, Portland and the area doesn’t salt. I discovered this two years ago when Jesse and I came out to visit and found ourselves in the worst snowstorm this area’s seen in 40 years. (My dad remembers that historic storm. Let’s see if I can get this story right: he and the high school debate team were busing back from a competition and got stuck in the snow-filled Columbia river gorge, where a cattle truck had overturned and cows were running amok along the blizzard-stricken highway.)
I used to keep two fifty-pound bags of rock salt in the trunk of my little Chevy Metro for ballast. Out here, people flock to the auto shop for snow tires and keep chains in the trunk. After that snowstorm in 2008, Subarus started popping up in many of the neighbors’ carports and garages, as we Outback drivers were the only people on our country road that were able to safely get out.
So now I must work to build a tolerance to the Chicken Little-esque weather reports on the news. Reports Fox 12 News:
Monday’s Arctic front brought 0.3 inches of snow and below-freezing temperatures to the region. Snow began falling in Portland after the evening commute and started sticking in some areas around 9 p.m. Monday.
Arctic front? It’s 28°. Practically T-shirt weather! But I think I’ll stick with my fleece jacket anyway. And maybe start knitting a new pair of gloves…