Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mercury Down: Baby it's cold outside in Bend

Posted By on Tue, Dec 8, 2009 at 6:13 PM

The whining has begun. It's too cold. We moved here expecting a milder climate. Our real estate agent said it seldom, if ever, got this cold in Bend. My car wouldn't start. The streets haven't been cleared of snow. What'd mean there's a City ordinance that I have to shovel my sidewalks? All the flights to Phoenix are booked.
Here we are with a hint of "real" winter and with it the realization that it can get pretty cold around here come December and January.
Now if you moved here from the upper Midwest, the Rockies or New England, In that case, you're taking it in stride thinking the weather is downright tropical compared the winters you went through when you lived elsewhere.
I lived elsewhere for one year before moving to Central Oregon That winter was spent running the cross-country ski school at Telemark Lodge in Cable, Wisconsin. Cable (population 150) is located in the northwestern part of the State in what many fondly call, "The Northwoods".
That winter in Cable, it didn't get above thirty below for thirty days and above freezing for ninety days.
Cars were plugged in at night so the batteries would work the next morning and the first few miles of any drive were always done on "square" tires that would slowly come into round.
But no matter how cold it got, we taught skiing every day. Our lessons were an hour in duration, divided into two half-hour segments. We'd get people on snow for a half hour then take them back into the lodge to warm up for a half hour before going back outside and finishing the last half hour of the lesson.
When we weren't teaching skiing we patrolled the trails checking people for frostnip. The precursor to frostbite, frostnip is obvious when white spots appear on exposed parts of the face (cheeks, nose) and on the tips of the ears.
Apart from checking ski tourers for frostnip we also looked for performance skier who were going at top speed gulping in the frigid air without any thing covering their mouths.
The problem with not filtering the air with a particle mask, facemask, balaclava helmet or scarf over the mouth could result in serious lung damage.
After a full winter in Wisconsin, three of us traveled back to our home base in California. Along the way we stopped to ascend Terry Peak, South Dakota's highest point. We climbed in tee shirts in twenty-degree temperatures that felt so mild after out frigid winter.
Later we skied the Sierra backcountry around Mammoth Lakes, California thinking it was too warm even though thermometers said it was in the thirties.
Speaking of Mammoth Lakes, I ran into a former resident at the gym on day two of this cold snap. "Why, "she mused, "are people bitching about this weather. It's nothing."
True, it'll be gone soon and the whining will stop. But to be honest, after thirty-five years of winter I'm in the mood for change. And while I won't whine loudly, I will be checking on-line for cheap fares to places where shorts, a tee-shirt, flip-flops and a cocktail with an umbrella in hand in are the uniform of the day.

  • Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by The Source Staff

Latest in Off Piste

  • Can't Wait for the Face-Kini Trend to Hit Bend

      More reasons to slap one of these on, according to The Indian Express is they are,"also extremely effective at repelling insects and jellyfish." Read about even racier Face-Kinis here: http://inventorspot.
    • Aug 20, 2012
  • A New Way to Protect That Gorgeous Mug of Yours

    Sick of the claustrophobic greasy cloud of sunscreen, fellow sun bunnies?  It drips into your eyes if you're active and sweating and sometimes has a pasty white sheen, but in Bend sun protection is mandatory.   The other problem is the way it makes you feel like you're being buried alive.
    • Aug 20, 2012
  • Bust a Love Move Today

    Long before Gay A. Bradshaw (one of Oregon’s own) put a name on them, trans-species relationships have continued to baffle, challenge, and warm the hearts of non-human animals and humanimals alike.
    • Aug 9, 2012
  • More »

© 2016 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation