Portland, Oregon sits in a fascinating beautiful spot. It's at the end of a spectacular volcanic age gorge lined with hypnotic beautiful waterfalls All of those drain from the lower ranges of an old gorgeous volcano, lovely Mt. Hood..... which is invisible from the steep walls that mark the last descent from that mountain ending at the Columbia River's edge. Beyond this gorge lies all kinds of places: high desert, dry forest ranges, mammoth agriculture. ALL of that Oregon interior lands can get cold in the winter when frozen arctic air chooses to flow south. When that happens in the winter that high pressure arctic mass is sometimes drawn down through that gorge when conflicting air fronts meet. The same falls in January looks a bit different: Those winds have a name: the GORGE WINDS and they can blast into little meek mild damp Portland stiffly....especially since the Hills that sit on the West side of Portland take a little northward turn close to the center of town. With that being said about things EAST of Portland, consider things toward the west side. Portland, is only 70 miles from the temperate Pacific Ocean. It enjoys its mild climate mostly to that feature. Since average winter temps seldom drop below freezing, this city does not budget for a huge fleet of snow and ice removing equipment. These freezing events happen so rarely that schools and government simply close up for that day.........or REAL rarely, that week. Poor people working in private enterprise, retail, and the restaurant business must suffer through getting to work in sometimes VERY dangerous road conditions. This is one of those weeks. IF we lived in Boston, Minneapolis, Denver, Salt Lake City, (and I did live in Salt Lake City...I did learn to drive on snow and ice), the hum of city life would continue at a normal pace other than a few curmudgeons grumbling about having to chain up. HERE in Portland, people are NEVER ready for these events......TODAY for example, if I called Schwab Tire Company to try to get studded tires put on, I'd be told to come in Thursday........they're swamped. So. That's the scenario. The City's Transportation Dept has issued a request that no one leave home with a "plan" on how you'll get back in case your road has become impassable as our new snow event today is growing larger as the hours pass. The few trucks available for plowing or graveling can't keep up with what's covering the roads. I'm lucky I have no where I have to be. Rodger, on the other hand, is working under some crucial deadlines and is AT work. Will he make it home tonight? I don't know............ He has hills to climb to leave work...... It's 24 outside and our double windows are still letting in a bit of a draft. I'd best quit blabbering, go swap out a icing hummingbird feeder, and toss out some sunflower seeds for the little Nuthatches, Chickadees, Thrushes, Juncos, Siskins, Towhees and woodpeckers.....they're all having a tough time finding seed under the snow. I think I'll have a bit more of Melanie's wonderful warm tomato soup.