It’s been a long winter, folks.
You may have noticed that I haven’t hit the ol’ blog since December, which is sad and embarrassing, but also a testament to how insane these past few months have been. Between entering the hardest quarter of grad school so far, going gluten-free for the months of January and February (could there be a darker time to separate yourself from one of life’s greatest joys?), and starting real training for this summer’s triathlon, I’m just trying to stay alive.
And the weather has not been any help.
This is our fifth Oregon winter, and our third in Portland. After last year’s winter-that-wasn’t, this year’s cold, dark, icy, rainy, snowy winter has been a doozy. How bad has it been? Well, Portland just set the record for rainiest February OF ALL TIME. And our fair city just clutched the third place title in the race for cities with the most depressing winters. I feel like I’m generally one to roll with the seasons and not wish any of them away, but I have never declared, “I’M SO SICK OF THIS WEATHER” so many times in my short life. It has been the battle cry of my cohort as we arrive at school each day, drenched from the rain, but also soaked with sweat from the lack of breathability in all that rain gear. (By the way, I arrive to school on rainy days in what I refer to as my “fisherman’s ensemble”- giant black rain pants, rain boots, rain jacket, and a nice white trash bag covering my very non-waterproof backpack.) There have been many tears, many soaked notebooks (it took a while to master the backpack trash bag wrap), and ultimately, a lot of TV watching because sometimes that’s all you can do.
And even though this has been the darkest winter in recollection, it’s still been really beautiful. Honestly, it’s hard for Oregon to have an ugly day. Perhaps it helps that green and gray are my colors of choice. It seems so long ago at this point, but we were graced with a full foot of snow back in January. I love snow with my whole heart, so that was about glorious as it gets around here. For those of you not super familiar with Portland, this is not a city that gets snow. This is not a city that is in any way prepared for snow. We’ve had many small snowfalls this winter, generally a dusting to an inch of snow, immediately followed by freezing rain, which turned the city into an ice rink full of car crashes. One night, we watched no less than 7 car crashes on one hill in less than 2 hours. So when we got a full foot of snow, everything essentially shut down for several days, and we wandered the snow-covered streets in total joy.
Aside from snow in the city, we’ve managed to take a few little outings to go snowshoeing around Mount Hood with friends.
We snowshoed around Trillium Lake, which has a delightful view of Mt. Hood on a clear day.
We ventured out to Tamawanas Falls to see a mostly frozen waterfall (you can see it in the summer here).
As beautiful as it is, all of this winter weather has been a bit of a bummer when it comes to triathlon training. While we’re generally pretty good about getting outside when it’s raining, there comes a point where you just can’t ride your bike. Like when the trail is covered in ice. Or trees. We’ve encountered a lot of scenes like the ones below. And I can only carry my bike over so many fallen trees before I give up and just turn around.
We managed to rock our ugly Christmas sweaters multiple times this winter, as we took a curling lesson (it’s so much harder than it looks) with some friends that called for festive attire.
And we snagged this classy photo at our small group Christmas fiesta. You’re welcome, internet.
Now that it’s March, I think we can say winter may be coming to an end (although there’s snow in the forecast for tonight, so who can say, really?). I’ve seen some flowers blooming, smelled some jasmine, and heard birds chirping in the mornings (and not just those terrifying crows that I’m assuming are going to stage an uprising at some point). And I’m back on that marvelous gluten train, so things are looking up. But spring, just know that we’re all ready for you.