The thaw occurs.

32210084022_30447fc05c_oIt was bound to happen. Portland can’t stay that cold that long (usually). The much promised thaw began to happen, despite the snow’s best efforts to stick around until May.

It started with whimper on Tuesday. It started to rain (some areas got freezing rain) but the temp was in the mid-to-upper 30’s. There was still plenty of snow about, but when I walked to the pub in the neighborhood, I noticed that the sidewalks weren’t really icy, they were slushy.

32244931392_8eaea08bd6_oWednesday brought more rain and more above freezing temps. My street looked clear enough, so I decided to get out on the bike. That wasn’t the best idea, as most of the side roads still had their share of icy/slushy ruts. True, there was a lot more bare pavement showing, but it was still too treacherous to be fun. On the way home, I said screw it and rode the major streets since they were clean and traffic was lower. That mostly worked, though crossing the MAX tracks on N Interstate Ave was still sketchy, since there was still ice around it–and a car right on my back.

31598941943_6cc5dca858_oBut Thursday? Finally, the thaw has really happened. The temp rose into the mid-40’s over Wednesday night, and when I left the house Thursday afternoon it was a practically a tropical 50F/10C! Yeah, the south wind was stiff and I was heading south, and there were still a few random icy/slushy spots, but it was 90% fine. It was such a thrill to ride a bike in over a week, a bike ride where I didn’t feel like I might fall at any time.

And hopefully that’s the last of it for 2017. Never say never, but I don’t really want to see any more snow this year that isn’t on a distant mountaintop. (And if it does manage to snow again, hopefully it’s minor and quick.) I think this has become the view of most people in Portland. The snow was fun for the first couple days, and then when it became a chore to get around…

I really hate dissing snowy winters, so those of you who live in snowy winters and love it, I apologize. But there is a reason why many of us ended up here, and it’s because of the lack of snowy winters. And since snow is unusual here, the city doesn’t know how to deal with it. The strategy is to “let it melt”. When snow lasts for a day or two, that’s fine. But when it sticks around for over a week, it’s just not fun anymore.

Now maybe I can go camping next week!


2 thoughts on “The thaw occurs.

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  1. Such strange weather. A week of snow and ice in Portland and a record high of 45 in Duluth yesterday. That record goes back to 1900. We’re having temperatures that are 25-30 degrees above average.

    1. We’re warm here also – not record setting – but above average at 40F for the next several days. I just ordered nice warm mittens for cycling…

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