Oh yeah, I know exactly where Guapo is. I keep meaning to go there. Maybe I'll have time to go tomorrow since I got the running out of the way today!
As for the running, well, I'm getting ready for a marathon, and I'm right at the heaviest part of training right now -- after next weekend I'm tapering off to be well rested for the race. There's absolutely no way I would be able to run that far if I hadn't been working my way up to it for the last three months. I'm not a machine, but voolala
is -- she actually runs marathons fast
. I'm just happy to finish.
I hope seeing the Columbia River Gorge doesn't drive people in Iowa to bitter jealousy.
Oh, it probably will. But Iowa has things that Oregon doesn't have, like blankets of white snow. And I've never seen a real thunderstorm here, either.
Snow is a curiousity. In the early 90s, it did snow, sometimes quite a bit. Memory is hazy on these things, but I remember at times having a full foot of snow for two weeks. But there hasn't been any real snow fall since 1995, I don't think. I don't know why.
As for thunderstorms, that is an even greater mystery. A mystery that seems to not even have gone investigated. Oregon has less thunderstorms than anywhere else I have been. I used to think that thunderstorms were a really rare event, almost like a natural disaster. And then I started going around the country, and realized that in many places, they are a nightly event. And I don't know why this is: the southwest desert, the rocky mountains, the great plains, the midwest, the deep south and New England, all of which have very different climates and topography, seem to get them all the time. But we might get two or three in a summer. I've asked several people who know a thing or two about science why, but I haven't got a definitive answer.
Well, it snowed this past winter -- I remember it because it was so anomalous, and so strange to see white snow against green. It didn't stay for very long, though.
I'm no climatologist, but it seems to me that a thunderstorm requires buildup and release of energy. During the rainy season here, there's no buildup and release -- it's more that the rain is sort of just always present, always misting over and around you. In Iowa, rain usually isn't like that. It's big drops pelting you, or nothing at all.
I remember that snow storm, because I was stuck in Seattle.
My snow memories might also be different, because I was actually living on top of a hill near Salem. I was 800 feet up, and had a colder microclimate, maybe. Also, I was a kid, so my memories might not be accurate.
We also had a good six inches or more of snow in February of 1995.
2006-05-08 05:59 am (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that it's the 'coastal influence'. All* our weather comes off the ocean, which is a moderator. East of the mountains there is some time for the atmosphere to destabilize, to heat up and gain a HUGE amount of energy, which has to go somewhere.
It's true for all cold-water coastal regions; all up and down the West Coast as far south as northern Mexico, all of the European coastline, etc.
In general, Oregon doesn't have "weather" like other places. We have air coming gently off the Pacific ocean from prevailing Westerlies. It gradually changes its character as it gets further from the ocean, but usually not in a dramatic matter.
For thunderstorms, you have to have air close to the ground that warms dramatically and then rises and cools dramatically. I guess because all of our air is coming off from the Pacific ocean, it is of an even enough temperature that there isn't a dramatic enough shift between the ground temperature and the higher air's temperature. At least, that is my theory.
2006-05-08 11:05 pm (UTC)
An (under-construction, roofed, windows, no sheetrock) apartment complex 100' from my bedroom was struck by lighting and burned to the ground in a rather spectacular fashion (e.g. 100+ foot flames) when I lived in the midwest.
I.... don't like thunderstorms as much as I used to.
Thought provoking pic (http://www.perceive1reality.com/pics/Apt_Fire.jpg)
2006-05-08 11:16 pm (UTC)
well, i hope no one was badly hurt ...
but lightning rods work wonders
and human beings have had a long history of loving things even if they were dangerous
2006-05-09 08:03 am (UTC)
Nobody at all was hurt, thankfully. Someone doing work did lose a vehicle which was parked nearby, but I'm guessing it was covered in the fire insurance.
Never saw a lot of lightning rods in Indiana. I know that none of the finished apartment buildings in that complex had them (inc. the one I actually resided in, which as a cause of much consternation!). My understanding is that the electrical system of most houses now functions as the lightning rod; hence why there is an 8' copper rod buried next to your house, with the ground of the electrical system running to it. Call me cynical, but I personally don't take a lot of comfort knowing that a massive surge of electricity is supposed to be routed along the same cables the supply power to my computers :~(
An irony of sorts was that the fire suppression system was finished; the plumber was scheduled to come out the very next morning (no joke!) to do the pressure test. So, a few days later....
And yeah, there is nothing quite like sipping cocoa when it seems like the world is falling apart around you. Provided that you are secure in the knowledge that the world is, in fact, not actually falling apart around you :~)
2006-05-07 03:46 pm (UTC)
I've noticed the aversion to driving very far by people out here, too. Jenn told an out-of-work friend about a job opening at her company. Her friend looked disgusted when she found out that she'd have to drive from Beaverton all the way to Vancouver. - firstname.lastname@example.org
2006-05-08 05:49 am (UTC)
It's not the driving... so much
As the time required to get accross the bridge.
Going from Beaverton to Vanc. means that you hit the two worst traffic spots in Oregon; the 26 tunnel, and the 205 or I5 bridge. Bad news.
Time no traffic? 30 min. Time with traffic? At least an hour. Time if there is a wreck? Two hours, easy. The REALLY annoying part is that it can be pretty random; one day it will take you an extra 45 minutes and you'll never know why.
That said, I would be stunned to hear an Oregonian tell me that they had a two hour commute; when I lived in SoCal, I stopped being fazed by people telling me that the drove from Palm Springs to LA every day. I like to think that makes Oregonians smarter ;~)
Dammit, you're reminding me of why I want to move there. And I was going to delay that so I could do some major travelling! Ack, decisions!
Wow, you win. We went to the beach here yesterday, but that picture you posted of where YOU went, totally owns Lake Michigan.
Incidentally, we also played Hail To The Thief in the car.
The beach sounds fun, though! When we're in L.A., you and I need to go to the beach.
2007-12-03 11:57 pm (UTC)