The weather outside is frightful!

Those who know me well are aware that I have a rather low tolerance for Christmas songs… but there is one song that I not only enjoy, I collect! I confess to owning, as of this moment, 65 versions of the song “Let It Snow.” One of my holiday pleasures is playing my “Let It Snow” playlist softly in the background when friends are over — I enjoy watching to see how long it takes them to figure out that they are hearing the same song over and over. I have versions from such a wide array of genres that it can take a while for people to catch on.

Looking out my window today, the weather is indeed frightful. It’s not snowing — yet — although friends who live a thousand feet higher than me had a flurry this morning. It’s 40 degrees, raining, and very windy here. The sun will set, somewhere to the south and hidden by clouds, at 4:20 PM today. Welcome to Pacific Northwest almost-winter!

CFL and I saw a new movie last night, the world premier of a 48 minute documentary called “Out of the Mist” (the link will take you to the official trailer) about the Olympic wilderness. The film played to an over-packed house at our local college. So many people showed up, in fact, that they opened up a second theatre and had two simultaneous screenings! CFL has met and hiked with one of the people featured in the film, while a couple of their names were familiar to me. In the audience we saw lots of people whom we both know. This is, after all, a film about the beauties of “our own back yard!”

Most of the places shown in the film are far in the back country, well beyond where I have ever ventured. CFL was able to identify many of the locations (he can boast of having climbed Mt. Olympus, a feat I can only imagine). But although I haven’t seen the specific places shown, I’ve seen front-country places that are enough like them that I left the theatre homesick for our mountains… and impatient for next summer when I’ll be able to get up there again.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Ridge looked like this earlier today:

Hurricane Ridge 12/07 1:51 PM

There are 69 inches of snow on the ground, with, obviously, much more to come!

I do find it a challenge at times to stay active and upbeat this time of year. But this morning I decided to make the best of it and did 6 miles on my treadmill. Even though it’s a boring old treadmill, at the end of my run I did feel a sense of accomplishment and just a touch of runner’s high. That’s not so bad!

This evening CFL and I are going to our local homebrewing club’s holiday party, where you can bet we’ll all pass around our various masterpieces. And then we’ll bundle up and walk home — no matter how frightful the weather (well, unless it gets really frightful in which case we’ll call the designated driver whom we have waiting in the wings). Tomorrow we’re off to Seattle for our first beer festival, at which local commercial brewers will showcase their special winter/holiday beers. For that outing, we’ll park the car an hour-plus away and take the ferry and bus to and from our final destination.

Meanwhile, I’ve got a pot of veggie chili simmering for tonight’s party. Downstairs our “Beyond the Pale” IPA is quietly winding down its fermentation in the secondary fermenter, while our second iteration of “Up the Elwha ESB” is bubbling away at a mad 65-beats per minute pace in the primary fermenter. All is good.

How good is it? Here’s what Hurricane Ridge looked like an hour later, at 2:51 PM:

Hurricane Ridge 12/07 2:51 PM

Things are getting better! Surely summer can’t be too far behind…

How about you? What keeps you going in the dark cold days of December? What places do you dream about revisiting next summer when the world is once again warm and green?

10 responses to “The weather outside is frightful!

  1. I have to confess that I have been singing (mostly to myself since I haves horrid voice) Let It Snow for over a month. Our snow is no where as pretty as yours and melts in a day to two but it is enough for a hot toddy and a roaring fire. May all your beers be tasty this season and your toes toasty.

  2. So my first thought, looking at all that snow, is that ” Oh, time to ski!” I know you don’t ski, but if you’ve got a nordic area, cross country skiing is quite wonderful, though I’ve only done it a couple of times. I’ve not tried it, but even Mark’s been snowshoeing. If you can’t be in PS for the winter, then those might be great ways to indulge.

    • Colleen, Olympic is one of the very few national parks with a ski area. There is a little rope tow at the Ridge, but it’s mostly an area for cross country skiers. It should be opening soon.

      I’m not all that excited about skiing, but they also rent snowshoes up there and have guided snowshoe walks. I’d love to try that. If Mark can do it, so can I!

      • Downhill and cross-country are two entirely different things. Cross country’s a lot like just walking, but you can cover more territory than snowshoes. Here, we can’t rent cross-country because there are so few people and no groomed areas. But snowshoeing can be done anywhere.

  3. The last photo of Hurricane Ridge is breathtaking! What an interesting name! I can’t even begin to relate to the cold, and yet somehow I think I have missed out on not even having had the experience just once. It’s interesting, too, that as much as you love the Pacific Northwest you do struggle some with energy during the shorter days, less sunshine. I’m not exaggerating to say that I’m not sure I could really handle it. A friend of mine is thinking about moving north, after years of being in California, and it’s the one thing she’s almost afraid of. Everything else is calling her home. It’s a topic that fascinates me. I hope your homebrew group was fun for you tonight. I am pretty fascinated with that, too! 🙂

    • Debra, it’s called Hurricane Ridge because it’s often windy up there, and it can get stormy any time of the year.
      As a native Southern Californian, it can indeed get rough for me this time of year. But with proper clothing it’s not so bad… the first step out the door is usually the hardest.

  4. Jealous, jealous, jealous of all the places that get a real winter! This time of year is dark for me mostly because I miss living where there are four season. I miss the snow. The sledding… *sighs*
    I don’t like Christmas music at all. It drives me nutts. So far, I’ve done a great job of avoiding it by not listening to the radio or going into any store. Hooray, online shopping! Hahaha.
    Next summer, I’ll visit Halifax and get married! So exciting! 🙂

    • I do my best to stay out of the stores this time of year, too. It helps that the nearest actual mall is about 70 miles away…

      You have an exciting summer ahead of you. I’ll be waiting eagerly to hear all about it!

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