55 degrees and not snowing
It was positively balmy today. It will remain so, for a while anyway.
Earlier in the week, every state except Florida had snow on the ground. Western Washington was no exception. At least it wasn’t as bad as weather forecasters had hoped (or as bad as the northeastern U.S.). The GTS became a snow sculpture not once, but twice.
I think snow looks wonderful on Mount Baker, but here in the lowlands I’m quite happy with rain. Even though it’s theoretically more likely to snow in this neck of the woods, people don’t seem to deal with it any more intelligently than in Seattle or Portland.
Not visible in this picture is the Neon’s windshield, which had a little peephole scooped out of the snow. The headlights were completely covered, and the rear window was clear only because the snow on the roof seemed to have fallen off while the car was moving.
Late yesterday afternoon I realized I was sweating under my multiple layers. The temperature was 43°F and light drizzle fell as the sun set at 4:41 pm (YESSSSS!!!!!). I wanted to go to The Woods Coffee’s store at Railroad & Chestnut. The GTS needed exercise, so I took the long way through Fairhaven.
The GTS started right up and ran energetically in spite of being left outside in subfreezing temperatures for almost a week. It hasn’t had a garage in which to sleep for a couple years now, and seems unaffected by sitting out in the cold, snow and rain. It won’t idle in really cold temperatures until the engine has run for a minute or two, so I have to plan for an exit that allows holding the throttle open during that time. Luckily, I can see what’s coming on the street long before I hit the curb cut.
It had been raining harder earlier, so except for a few slushy clumps all the snow had been washed away. Under these conditions my biggest concern is the sand that gets spread on the pavement along with salt. The movement of traffic can sweep it into little piles that are every bit as slippery as wet leaves or oil.
Lucklily, the city of Bellingham groks the concept of street cleaning! There’s at least one street sweeper, and I expect it will be out soon to clean up the sand.
It was dark by the time I arrived downtown. I discovered the Washington Grocery Building’s upper floors are apartments, not offices. As you can guess, the coffee shop was jam-packed; there are other apartment buildings close by and the only other purveyor of 4-dollar espresso drinks in the immediate area is the Starbucks at Railroad & Holly.
I’d like to live closer to downtown, but so does everyone else, and rents reflect that. The foothill villa is cheap, well-maintained and well-managed. And I don’t wanna move again—four times in three years is enough. For now, anyway.
Today I once again realized I was sweating under one fewer layer than yesterday. It had stopped raining. I had errands to run. I can take the GTS.
It was nice to see other ‘Hamster scooterists thinking the same thing as I made my way downtown. There were half a dozen other bikes sharing the road at various points on the way to Big Box Retail Land. Heck, one just went by the window where I’m writing this (a powder-blue Kymco People, in case you were wondering).
As I emerged from my final errand, a light rain was falling. No big. I carry a towel in the under-seat pet cooker for drying the seat, and the M65 parka covers the tops of my legs. Add the windscreen and legshield, and once again I marvel at how wet I don’t get.