Growing up in the Pacific Northwest my childhood memories consist of being outside constantly. Playing basketball, soccer and baseball or simply running rampant with friends exploring the woods behind our neighborhood. A lot of these memories contain grey skies and dreary wet days. Thats just the way it was growing up in a soggy temperate rainforest. None of this stopped us from going outside and in fact some of my most vivid memories as a kid are my brother and I racing makeshift wooden boats down drainage ditches in the pouring rain. There is a running joke with Seattleites, that you can spot an out-of-towner by the umbrella they carry. True Washingtonians have a good raincoat or simply don’t even realize it is raining because they are so use to it.
For years Becky has humored me by listening to these sad stories of having a moldy damp childhood. But without fail every time we return to the Northwest to visit family and friends it is in the middle of the summer during a picturesque day without a cloud in the brilliant blue sky. She has called bullshit on my waterlogged adolescence on numerous occasions.
After a show in the Portland area we had a day to play on the slopes of Mount Hood, the volcanic monster towering over the Columbia River. Wispy high cirrus clouds broke up the endless vistas and saturated blue horizon contrasting against the grey volcanic rock and pearly white glaciers of the mountain. Again Becky took an opportunity to poke holes in my stories of a tormented youth in the dismal climate of the Northwest.
The weather called for gale-force winds and torrential rainfall. I thought to myself, finally Becky will see what I endured during my childhood. Although not as bad as forecasted, the chilly inclement showers did forcefully at times make themselves known, but failed to dampen the atmosphere or spirits of the crowds and dirty hikers.