As Oregonians on the west coast, we talk about rain all the time. A typical conversation with someone from outside the state goes something like this:
“How do you live with the rain? or “Does it rain as much as “they say?”
The quick answer to these questions is, “We have badass raincoats,” and “In winter, everything is wet all the time so we get out there and enjoy it.”
Because there are always sunshiny adventures to be had on a drizzly day.
Yup, it does rain pretty much every day from October 1 to April 30. But there are unpredictable breaks of dryness and always a week or two of amazingness. It’s these soft, sunny days that instill an enduring sense of hope and optimism.
By the way, those breaks of dry and amazing weather in winter are a “hope” and not a guarantee. So we are a culture that is always prepared. And we have acclimatized by collecting the right gear and adjusting our lifestyle to fit. More on that later in this blog.
Most Oregonians don’t mind the rain. How can that be?
Sure, we have exasperated moments of “Get me outta here!” But that’s typically only when you want for sunny weather and 72 degrees does not align with our schedule... .like during spring break.
Actually, the rain is more of a friend than an annoying inconvenience.
It brings nourishment to our massive Douglas Fir trees, sustaining our forest economy. And this lushness provides for deer, elk, wolves, and many other critters. It supplies our mountain tops with snow and fills our alpine lakes, which then flow down our rivers, supporting both our fishing and tourism industries. Imagine whitewater rafting and kayaking these beautiful rivers!
The rain is our friend and companion, and one of the most critical elements that make Western Oregon the beautiful place we call home.
Believe it or not, when the rain returns after a long summer, it’s like an old friend who has returned home from a long vacation.
As with any good friend, the reunion is kind and gentle. Lightly showing up for a few hours, then disappearing. Leaving hints in the middle of the night. So you wake up to the sweet, luscious smells of the earth.
September is amazing with beautiful sunny blue skies between these gentle bits of rain.
But by October, the honeymoon is over. The rainy winter season has arrived in its full glory.