Smokin Hot!!

I ALWAYS hesitate to complain about the heat in Seattle. I know there are some places in the states where our high temps are their lows. Also, people in Washington state, who like the heat, sometimes get cross when I complain.

“HEY!! I deal with cold, wet, dreary all winter!! I deserve a summer!” Has been expressed to me more than once.

But this first week of August has been flat nuts. And it’s NOT just because of the heat…

One of the things many people don’t realize is that the majority of the homes in western Washington do NOT have air conditioning. When you tell people from Arizona or Californian or, hell, Eastern Washington this, they just look at you weird! It just does NOT make sense.

But we only get super hot weather for 3 weeks a year or so, it’s simply not worth it. To put it in context, I am pretty damn sure very few houses in Hawaii have wood burning stoves.

This does mean, though, those three weeks that get hot can be pretty damn miserable! Fans help some, but in general they just blow around warm air. AND, for some reason, cats just don’t understand its hot! They still want to sit on your lap! Damn they get indignant when you (ok when I) say no to them!

There is one positive though, on days like this I have GREAT views of the mountains from the office! Mt Baker ALWAYS looks good in the morning..

Oh wait, that’s during a normal year! Here is the same view today.

People might be thinking “HEY, how can you be whining about the hot, when is so foggy??”

That aint fog, its SMOKE!

Yep, our neighbors to the north, British Columbia, are losing hundreds of square miles to wildfires. Then, of course,  winds just happen to be blowing FROM the north. Which means they are sending us more and more smoke every single day.

Not sure you believe me? Well there is nothing that says smokey air like a red sunrise.

For the record there is NO filter being used at all on these shots. Each and every day, the red sun has greeted me on the bike ride to work. OK YES it is kinda cool, but after a while, even cool stuff gets old…

So last weekend, Michelle and I decided hop a ferry and go across Puget Sound to Port Angeles, and then drive to the top of Hurricane Ridge hoping to get above the smoke.

On the sound, you could tell the smoke was still with us, even at sea level.

Once again though, smoke and sun, this time with help from the water and waves, did make some cool pictures.

Nothing to do with smoke, but very funny in a huge coincidence kind of way. When I was shooting photos, I caught this boat.

Turns out it belongs to a friend of mine and his wife! I had no idea! He just happened to be cruising by the ferry as we left….

Anyhow, leave we did and we headed across the sound.

When we got to the other side, we were welcomed by fog AND smoke. I only knew it was fog as the temps finally did dip. Our car said it was in the upper 50s the whole way to Port Angeles! Opening the car window, letting the cool air in was heaven! By the time we got to town, it was 65, but still nicer than it had been for the last week at our house!

We could still see the smoke, but made the turn to go up Hurricane Ridge. Its about a 17 drive and a gain of 5200 feet. In the past, the higher you drove the cooler it gets. Quite often I have gotten there when it is nice down below and I needed to put on a coat on top. Last year with both boys and Lola the wonder dog was the perfect example.

This year was different. Each mile we climbed, the temps rose. By the time we got to the top we were in the mid 80s! Now, you might remember I was hoping to get above the smoke…

I will let you decide how successful we were….

Yeah. It was hot, sticky and you could taste the smoke. After we ran into a Park Ranger wearing a mask to keep this crap out of her lungs we dove into the car and sped back to the water!

The breeze was cooler, the air fresher and the views much better down there.

Navy ship sporting some serious missile defense radar

Coast Guard

BC Ferry

And like all town, there is a bit of quirkiness. The local donut shop (which must be good, as the sign said “Sold Out, see you tomorrow”)

And of course local art.

When we got to town we were hungry for Lunch, and we stumbled upon the Kokopelli Grill! A place with decent views, excellent food, fantastic service, and a friend from home!

Yep, we enjoyed lunch so much, I made reservations for dinner before we left!

We then took a drive, walked the town (I got to visit the Local Bike Shop and get some waterproof cycling gloves (WINTER is coming!)), Michelle got a 90 minute massage at a local spa (No lie 90 minutes for $85!) (Skin Care Suites Spa) Michelle says it was WELL worth it!

Dinner was even better than lunch AND we had that bottle of wine!

The next morning found it foggier and cooler. No lie people I was in heaven. Even though I could smell the smoke at times, just having a bit of time to NOT swelter was amazing!

The smoke and the fog did mix to make for a rough ferry commute. This was the line of sight for the captain.

We traveled dead slow, there was a look out on the bow, and the ships horn was sounding every few minutes. It was spooky and fun at the same time…

As I type this, it is still smokey, and hot. We are on day 52 or 53 with no rain in Seattle, and we are hoping it will START to clear this weekend. I have been holding back on riding long rides so I don’t breath this crap. Hell its the 9th of the month and I have only 36 miles so far… If it were JUST hot or JUST smokey I might ride more.  But no way with both!

So here I sits! Fan going, Blog blogging and contemplating the Tillamookie strawberry Ice cream sandwiches calling me from the fridge. There is hope though, forecast says rain is possible Sunday, and it looks cooler next week. I may be able to maintain my bitchen cycling tan yet!

If you know a rain dance NOW would be the time to do it!

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2 Responses to Smokin Hot!!

  1. sarburch says:

    Crazy! I had considered spending the last week and a half in the Seattle area, but I decided to stay in Montana instead. Surprisingly, Montana was much cooler and had much less smoke than Washington. That’s rare. What in the heck is going on with all this crazy climate change? Oh wait, climate change doesn’t exist!! [Insert eye roll here.]

    • EXCELLENT eye roll insertion!! It does surprise me with Montana though. I heard they had some serious fires of their own going on.

      Funny thing, last week we were predicted to have a chance of hitting 100+ degrees. But the thought is the smoke blocked the heat a little.

      We’ll see if the wind and rain gods can come through this weekend!

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