Monday, February 6, 2012

Half Days

We saw the sun this weekend.

The SUN! That warming thing in the sky!? WE SAW IT! It's REAL!
Once the low, thick ceiling of cloud has lifted off our tremendous city, the sky becomes immeasurably high. Instead of flat white, you look up and see a deep blue basin above you. You can see miles and miles and miles in all directions, the Cascades cut jagged blue and white lines into the horizon, Rainier rises rippled and immense to the South.

If you stay inside on a day like this in my city, it's a proven fact you'll lose a bit of your mind. Just a little piece. But it adds up.
The sunlight, saturated colors of the town made me realize how freakin sick I am of taking the same photos day after day: grey sky, wet street, coffee cup, shoe. Grey sky, wet street, bare branch against cloud, hey look, is that a cup of coffee? I'm tired of rain, tired of steam, tired of coziness, tired of dampness, tired of halfhearted cold, tired of documenting it. Give me some hot asphalt, neon Popsicles, sun dresses, sun burns,   daisies, cherries, mud, aurora borealis, slick black records spinning under a diamond. Give me stripes on a beach towel and burning white sand and blood caught on pale sandstone.

Just please don't let me take another picture of another coffee cup at another coffee shop on another drizzling day, and don't let me take another picture of the way headlights shine and splinter when I'm running the dog in another downpour.
On this sunny Saturday, I had to work at three and so did my friend Amber, so we went on a half day outing. We pounded everything we could into those morning hours: an early wake up, highway coffee, back roads, lost trails and downed trees.
Amber is leaving us, moving to Arizona where it never rains. Her final climbing day in the Pacific Northwest was suitably....cold. And wet. But filled with dogs, snow, rock and moss nonetheless.
There was deep snow at the base of Lost Boys wall off of exit 38, on the logging road near the fire Training academy. The first half of each climb was numbing cold and soaking wet. Climbing into the sunlight that hit the top of the crag was like hoisting yourself into heaven. The blood rushed back into my fingers and toes, sun glinted off the metal gear and pressed warmly against my face. Sun on my skin in February in Seattle felt like the enormous relief of drinking water after you've been running, thirsty, for hours.

And, as always, climbing with friends, there is nothing better.
My favorite shot of the day:
Someone did not behave herself:

And even half days get a suitable ending of Northwest malted hops. We also made a fantastic discovery: homemade potato chips at the North Bend Bar and Grill. All you intrepid Washington adventure types should try them as soon as possible. Except for those individuals who claim to dislike potato chips.
Would you look at that sun! I should have brought my real phone camera had no idea what to think of all that light.
(I love you a lot Amber, we'll miss you, but keep that guest room empty because I'll be down there soon to visit you in the desert. So very soon.)
Thanks Chris Joose for the photo

1 comment:

Sebby said...

For the record, that bridge is excellent to jump off in the summer, when it is actually sunny and warm all the time. But you know that...I'm just providing this service to your other readers.