Saturday, December 20, 2008

the snow storm that actually appeared

For the past couple or few years, there have been predictions of winter storms that never appeared. I don't mean early predictions from, say, the summer where people are saying "oooh, this coming winter is going to be a cold one." Rather, the meteorologists and weather forecasters saying that a cold front is on the way and with it some snow and by the morning of ... and so on. Then nothing materializes.

It is important to understand that here in Portland, Oregon, snow has been a rare thing. I understand there was actually a minor bit of snow for a day last year; we missed it because we were in New York City & Brooklyn. There were shouts of winter storms fast approaching and time to bundle up and get out the chains and drip the pipes several times, but nothing appeared here in the Portland metro area. A little farther south, a little farther north, to the east and the west - but here in the land of Portlandia all was wet and just warm enough to not cause us any winter troubles.

This year it is different. And for the first time in many years, it looks like we may actually have a white Christmas. Or a gray one, depending on the temperatures and the level of melting and refreezing that happens between now and then. But the recent predictions of a snow storm truly arrived. I have not been out of the house yet today (still getting over the sickness -- and I'm trying to retain strength and continued climb to wellness since I'm working 12 hours tomorrow) - but I see the wind and the snow and the accumulation which looks to be a good five or so inches.

That is an amazing amount for us here in the little heat bowl of Portland.

So I'm hunkering in for the day. And I've plotted two routes to get to work tomorrow.

The good news is that the agency realized they had a Salem interpreter coming up here for a job and me going down to near Salem for a job, so they switched us. Yay! I don't know that I would have been able to make the drive in the early morning if the freezing rain materializes as well as the snow. But, with having the job here in town, I will get there. I have abandonded the driving option; I could probably do it with the studs and the chains - but it might be undue stress and more dangerous. I have to go over a couple minor hilly areas to get out of here and the neighborhood is pretty well snowed in. I imagine the main roads are more easily navigated - but I'd rather not tempt an accident.

So that leaves me with a couple of other options: walk to a bus to take to the Max train which stops just two blocks from the job site; and the bonus? There is a Starbucks between the train stop and the job site. The only potential drawback is waiting time in the wind and blowing snow and/or freezing rain/sleet - yuck. The buses are already running 20-30 minutes late; the Max is pretty much on time. And at 6:00 AM it shouldn't be crowded. (Normally it is only a 15 minute drive to the job; in the snow and sleet and via mass transit I need to allow a minimum of 90 minutes.) If worst comes to worst - I could walk. It's just under 5 miles and that is do-able. It would be very cold and, because of slick conditions, slower going than normal; but I could. I will get there tomorrow. I just figure if I'm going to be out in the cold, I'd rather be moving than standing waiting for a bus.

My best guess is that I will walk to the major street where I will catch the bus to the Max. I will walk towards the Max station and keep my eyes and ears open for the bus - but make that 1.5 mile walk if necessary...which may be faster than the bus is traveling.

The snow actually arrived this time and, right now, it's beautiful. From sunny Oaxaca to snowy Portland. "It's all good" as they say.

photograph by
Angel McCormick of Gresham, OR
(just a few miles east of home)
on the website
viewer's pics