Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sun, Snakes and Salmon

As a resident of the Pacific Northwest one of my duties is to perpetuate the myth that it rains all the time here. This story was invented to keep everyone from California from moving up here driving up the costs of housing and clogging our roads with SUVs. That tactic doesn't seem to have worked, so I'm adopting another technique; pointing out how darn nice it can be some days in this part of the world and showing how lovely it can be to get around here by bicycle. I'm pretty much figuring readers of this blog include a lot of people I wouldn't mind having for neighbors, so if you want to load up your Xtracycle or Bob trailer and move here, drop a note to:

kentp (at) bicyclealliance (dot) org

and I'll fill you in on the ins and outs of getting around this part of the world by foot and bike.

On Saturday, October 13th, 2007, my friend Mark Canizaro loads his bike on a bus in the Seattle morning fog and rolls east to find Issaquah bathed in warm sunlight. The pines and the cedars are still green, of course, but the cold nights and shortening days have cued the maples, dogwoods, oaks and others to color their leaves in shades of red and gold.

Our nominal goal today is the Black Diamond Bakery but our route is more meander than mission. Our bike tires ultimately spin out fifty-two miles on mostly quiet roads and leaf-strewn trails. Snakes enjoy the sun and salmon work their way up the Cedar river. Mark and I explore and eat and eventually wander home.

Soon the rains winter rains will begin in earnest. The salmon carcases and leaves will wash downstream, the snakes will sleep away the winter. Bike commuters, like Mark and myself, will layer wool under yellow rain jackets, turn on our lights for both the morning and evening commutes and tell lies like "there is no bad weather, only bad clothing."

But we'll remember there are days, days in October when the air is crisp and the light is golden, when it is hard to imagine why anyone would ever want to live anywhere else.


UltraRob said...

When the weather is good there, I'd love to live there. The company I work for has it's corporate offices in Everett. I've never had to go there although I've been in the area for other reasons.

I've heard horror stories for co-workers that have been there for meetings during the winter. We are used to bright sunny days and start complaining if we don't see the sun for 2 days.

Groups from Microsoft have contacted me a few times lately to see if I'd be interested in a job there. For now I plan on staying in sunny Colorado. An occasional visit to the area is good but I'm not ready to make the move.

Anonymous said...

After you have lived through a couple of years here (fellow Issaquah'an), then you really start to appreciate the good weather days. And even some years in August, start yearning for the rainy days. This is a wild, crazy place and last weekend is one we'll all remember for many months.

Anonymous said...

Relax. The rain is coming, along with some big wind. (Just after midnight tonight, so I'm told.)

Anonymous said...

Today the wind will blow at 30+mph and gust to over 50. I haven't figured out the good clothes to overcome that one.

Fortunately we'll be back to pleasant steady rainfall soon.

Dr. Logan said...

Wow.... that jacket is amaaaaazing...

When I lived in Sitka we only had a few sunny days during the summer, so we took advantage of them. I still have a hard time being inside when it's nice out, even though we're spoiled with sunny days where I live now.

Elmo said...

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Anonymous said...

i have a question about snakes
when i was 7 i was bit by a snake with very large fangs ive been reading about snakes and it turns out all snakes with fangs are venomous how come i was not effected by the poisond