Everyone has preconceptions about parts of the country we don’t live in. California is full of surfer dudes and it never rains; the midwest has tornadoes, blizzard and cowboys; the Northeast is crowded, rude, and cockroachy; the southeast is hell on earth, hot, humid, sticky, and full of people who drink PBR; the desert southwest is an oven, sandy , and full of blondes ladies who like pumpkin spice lattes.
Ask people about the Pacific Northwest, and you will get things like Coffee, liberal nut jobs, trees and that it rains ALL the time.
Truth be told, those that live in these areas will tell you, for the most part (Though I think even the southeast people would at least nod at the ‘hell on earth’ description), that the preconceptions are not true. Believe it or not, it does NOT rain here in Seattle all the time…
Somewhere around the July 4th, usually the week after, the sun comes out and stays out, ALL the time. We get a few stretches of sunny and warm before this, but true north westerners know summer starts on or about July 11th. From then on, it is sunny and HOT.
Now remember, living in the Northern Latitudes means our daylight hours are longer than further south. The sun comes up between 5 and 530 AM and it stays light damn near till 10 PM in early July. The rain totals drop to zero during this time. For fair-weather hikers, cyclists and runners, there is no better place to be.
The views are unmatched anywhere
The gortex is stored away, and aside from work days, only shorts are worn. Here in the Northwest Shorts and sandals are considered suitable for any and all social events, including weddings, funerals, bar mitzvahs, opera, or ambassador’s receptions.
However, there is a downside. It starts getting HOT. Once it gets above 75, the A/Cs start working in the cars. However, most of us up here don’t have A/C in the house. With the long hours of sun, it just gets flat uncomfortable. In July and August, 80s and 90s start happening as well. We get downright cranky!
I start getting up early so I can ride before the heat hits. People start going to the mall just for the free A/C, and we start searching the skies looking for relief, just a bit of rain to cool things off.
Meanwhile, many of us understand it is a waste of money and resources to water our lawns, so we let them go dormant. (OK it also means I don’t have to mow either!) In the forests, the evergreen trees know this as the dry time. No water will fall, and they will get awful thirsty. By the end of August, you can feel their yearning for water.
As August drags on, there comes a day when relief is in sight. You look outside and there are clouds
Then, usually just in time for Labor Day, you look outside and see this!
There I was, in my office yesterday, and I could hear tress for a hundred miles all around sighing in relief. Then, there was this great slurping sound. Yep, trees, bushes, lawns, and shrubs opened their roots and took a long refreshing drink. They were thirstier than a WSU COUG at a dry wedding!
The rain continued off an on all day, and this morning the mist is still falling. Already the world outside looks healthier, greener and happier. I myself, still in shorts and sandals made the Starbucks run. I parked farther away so I could walk in the mist and let the skin drink in the liquid sunshine.
Now, don’t y’all fret. The rains will stop soon, and the sun will return. Our early fall is amazing. Cool crisp mornings, great sunrises and perfect temps. Somewhere near Halloween, steady rains will come, and I will look like this
But notice the smile. There is nowhere else I’d rather be!
Like the wind folks, and for those close by, enjoy the weather!!