The never-ending summer

Every summer these past few years has been something. Back in 2020, we had the smoke-choked air in September, where the AQI was off the charts. Going outside for a half-hour was like smoking a full pack of Lucky Strikes. Last summer was the “ridiculous heat wave”, where Portland somehow hit a mind-boggling 116F/47C, a temperature one degree south of Tucson’s record–a city in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, not the “temperate” Pacific Northwest. This year had some smoke, but not as much as 2020. And we had some warm days too, even hitting 100F at least once, but no 116F.

So what has been this year’s summer predicament? It’s that summer just doesn’t want to go away. By now, we should have seen a significant rain or two, and the highs should be in the 60’s. But this October we’ve been at 80F/27C or above for more often than not. I can only remember a few days with “normal” temperatures, and we’ve only got a misery 1/10 of an inch of rain. Just the other day, on Saturday the 15, the temperature was 87F/31C!

I don’t mind sunny days and mild temps in October, but this is getting ridiculous. Riding in 87 degree heat in October is just no fun. And because summer keeps on sticking around, we haven’t had much in the way in fall foliage. I look at pictures I took the same time last year, and there was a lot more crimson and gold. A temperature dip and some rain will definitely trigger some fall foliage.

And you think with all this warmth and dry, I would have gone bike camping at least once. I have not. Since my jam-packed September winded down, I’ve only had a couple two-day windows that I could pull an overnight–even though I’m less busy, I still work two days a week and have a Wednesday class. Both times I had the window, I was not motivated to camp. If I had bike camped more this summer, I feel like I’d be more down to make it happen. But my last bike overnight avec tent was June. Plus, while the days are warm, they are short–sun goes down around 6:30 or so. There’s a lot of night to deal with, which can get lonely camping solo. Maybe I’ll still make it happen before November, but I don’t know.

Rain is finally on the forecast, and the first real autumnal front should hit around Friday and keep on raining through the weekend. Of course, I have my East Portland Cemeteries Ride on Saturday. I’m probably going to cancel it, and may try for the following weekend. I know, I know, we Portlanders are supposed to “bike through the rain.” Eventually that happens, but after the first few rains. Most people won’t do “fun rides” in the wet until they get a few damp commutes under their belt. I know that if I keep the ride on the schedule, inevitably everyone save a few hearty souls will cancel.

Hope the weather is OK in your part of the world!

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3 thoughts on “The never-ending summer

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  1. I’ve been reading about the weather up in the Pacific NW. Meanwhile, we had highs in the upper 70s and over an inch of rain over the weekend here in Phoenix. Something is definitely amiss.

  2. Thankfully the autumn back east is feeling typical. The worst case for you (to my mind) would be if the weather swings completely the other way, leaving an abbreviated winter. Autumn is by far my favorite season. I like high 60s with sun, dipping into the 40s at night. I tent camped with the kids last weekend, and it was great, even though we saw a low of 35. From that I can totally agree with the sunlight perspective, except that we hit a KOA (great option when just me and kids) which had site-wide trick-or-treating Saturday night. So the early sunset worked, and we got to sit around the fire eating way more candy than mom would permit. On a somewhat related note, I’m going to try out one of those “dawn simulators” (alarm clock that wakes you by filling the room with light. It’s supposed to be good for people with seasonal depression, but also seems like a good idea in general.
    – Wilson

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