I’ve lived long enough away from a snowy climate (almost 16 years!) that I can appreciate a little snow here in the winter. But there’s a definite window of appreciation, basically December into January. Once January winds down and spring is starting to make itself aware, I’m less inclined to dig a snowfall. Thankfully once we hit the end of January snowfalls are rare. Sure, we could get a dusting in February or even March, but “real snow” usually doesn’t happen, the sole exception in my fifteen years here was the snowstorm in February 2014.
And right now, spring is starting to make itself known. The last few days we’ve had mostly dry skies and temperatures between 55 and 60F. Sixty degrees! So balmy after a few months of “winter” temps. And I’ve seen some very early buds and bulbs, too.
I’ve been trying to enjoy this pseudo-spring as much as I can, which is hard with me working weekends and the short days of January. After work on Monday I decided to ride up to Mount Tabor, as it’s quick and relatively easy to do after work, even in January. (I get out of work at 3 pm, which helps!) All I needed to wear was a t-shirt with flannel over it. Many people were enjoying the top of Tabor as well, which was to be expected. Rather than deal with the throngs, I descended to the east side of Tabor, which offers the best view of Mount Hood to be found on this extinct volcano. Few people were in the east side picnic area, which was nice. I decided to read a book for awhile, while waiting for the sun to go down.
Oh Mount Hood, you still are magical to me after fifteen years of being in Portland. Sometimes I wonder why I’m still here, but all I need to do is wait for a clear day and look at you. And the best part of it all is that the view of Hood (and all the other mountains) is absolutely free.
And also to note: the east side picnic area is always shaded. Yet I sat here for over a half hour on a January day, reading a book in no more than a t-shirt and flannel. I started to get cool towards the end, sure and the descent down Tabor was chilly, but there’s not a lot of places in the US I could get away with this, this time of year.
Soon, I was done with being atop Tabor, so I descended down to the Montavilla neighborhood for pizza and beer. On the way home I got to watch the just-past-full-moon rise over the city. It was beautiful.
I know that the wet season still has a ways to go, and full-blown spring is at least a month away. But days like this keep me positive, and make me look forward to the future.