Blow Me Down

In the old Popeye the Sailor cartoons, he was given to exclaim “Well blow me down” (is this some sort of mysterious sailor talk for the unexpected? Maybe?)

Although this is a generally great place to live, there are a few extreme events that happen every now and again that might give one pause. Sometimes the wind blows quite hard, following along the mountains (which run north to south), and there is nothing to buffer it (like a mountain going in the other direction). So further north in the state this wind took a small grassfire and turned it into a conflagration that burned down a thousand homes. But here the only victims were trees (thankfully).

This was the first one I came across. I had been to the gym and when I was coming home, this tree had fallen across most of the road. The city showed up and cut it back to the sidewalk, then homeowner paid to have the branches removed, but the trunk is still here, waiting.

This is at my neighbors’ house, and the tree broke when no one was home (what is that saying about a tree falling in the forest when no one is listening?).

This is one of the city’s trees, and as it is not blocking traffic, it has not been removed yet.

There is a lot of this sort of thing to be seen still around town, just the half removed stumps of what were rather large beautiful trees. You can see the bit of damage on the roof of one house, caused when the tree toppled over.

High winds, drought and the occasional massive snowstorm are not mentioned in the tourist brochures for some reason, but it’s still a great place to live (just don’t tell anyone else).

Why here?

One of the perils of being named as a great place to live in various magazines (are they even still a thing?) and in some sort of poll, is that people wish to move here. As a long-term resident I am somewhat dismayed by the attention (and the increase in housing prices, cars on the road, people, etc.). But of course I do understand it. So how did I come to be here? It wasn’t my first choice. We drove through town after a visit to Grandma, and I couldn’t believe how much the town had grown (way back then). I said in my out loud voice “Look at all the new housing, what a horrible place. I would never want to live there”. So within six months we had packed up and moved here for M’s job. So the job was the reason to come, and I really did not pay enough attention to the other selling point, there is great scenery here.

The mountain is the current selling point, and and it’s why the town has grown I think. (There was originally a gold rush on the mountain that caused white people to move here, plus there is a bit of water and that equals civilization).

The mountain is beautiful, mysterious and ever changing according to the light.

This city park is amazingly popular with tourists, there are even a few hiking about in this picture.

This is the view for people who can’t afford to live in a house. The largest homeless shelter is nearby, and lots of people camp out along the creek (although this is technically illegal). Even at it’s least desirable, it’s still a great place to live. Even the pigeons on the wire are looking to the mountain.