05 September 2017

[liff] How Much Ash Fell In Portland Last Night? Olivia Will Tell Us

It's the most interesting-in-the-wrong-way weather I've ever seen, even less compelling than the surfiet of water and snow we had last winter here in Portland.

The historic fire in the Columbia Gorge, about 40 miles east of Portland, called the Eagle Creek Fire, has cast a pall over the environment where you understand the meaning of the word sepulchre, the gut-feel version of the word.

I work a third-shift job. And since I was inside most of the day and asleep the better part of it, I didn't see the ash from the fire that was supposed to be filtering down from the sky. I saw a few motes on my way into work, but not much of the ash fall. Then, in the daylight, I got out to the car to come home.

Ladies and gents', allow me to re-acquaint you with Olivia the VW:

Now, it's true that she does need a bit of a bath. Given the prevailing conditions, I think it would be prudent not to move forward with those plans until such a time as there's no crap falling out of the sky.

The need for a wash so stipulated, there's a coating of gray flakes which should be somewhat visible on the hull. Along the margins of the bonnet, in the places where there's the depression, there's a thicker margin of gray. This is a buildup of ash from a fire 40 miles away.

A closeup of the right front wheel cowling should bring it all home:

The grey and black speckles there, on the left side, are easily blown off with a huff of air from the lungs. I just blew on it and it flew off, as is obvious in the picture on the right.

Back in 2015 we were mired in smoke from a distant fire, way east of the Cascades which was forced down the gorge into town. This is much closer. And much worse. And I'm thankful I have no respiratory problems because that's hell right now for some people I know.

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