Rain Shadow

When people talk about the Northwest,  they most often refer to to a 100 mile section from the coast to the Cascades. The Cascade Mountains run from northern California to southern British Columbia, separating the area into two distinct sections.  The western part has the cultural centers, coastal climate, and the majority of the population. The eastern part falls in the rain shadow and takes up most of the real estate and houses most of the Republicans.  West of the Cascades, people drive hybrids with bike racks. East of the mountains  people drive lifted pickup trucks with gun racks.   Growing up I spent time between the two areas and have both pickup and hybrid in me.

Months in the desert and the California sun had made me soft, or so my family claimed, and  after two weeks of constant fog and rain, I had to get out.  Leaving Washougal,  I drove east on highway 14,  a two lane scenic route through the Columbia River Gorge.  Each mile east of Stevenson equates to one and half less inches of annual precipitation.  I kept driving.  Like clockwork, the clouds  opened up around Underwood.  I drove farther.  At Lyle the clouds were gone,  exposing sun.  Sunglasses.

A break in the clouds.

An aspen grove.

Running from the rain.

Tim on a hike.


Some times a little change in weather is all you need, or sometimes it just whets the appetite.  A little is rarely enough.

Here are some more links,

Running up the hill (Picasa),

A Restless Transplant (Facebook).