Thursday, September 13, 2007

On the Road Again: Fog

And I awoke this morning to a world wrapped in clouds.

Much like the first frost signals the Autumnal gong for back east, so too does the first heavy fog indicate that the Seattle High Summer is at last coming to the end. Seattle summers are mild and blue-skied, a fact we forget when the weather sets in between September and May.

In any event, the morning commute was through fogbanks, ranging from thick cottony masses to a dull haze. At its worst the houses on the opposite side of the road were hulking shadows and the oncoming traffic a set of lights. Into the valley and the fog was above me, hanging at tree-top level, no more than a low cloud. Into a sunbreak, a glade of clear sky, then back again under a dull grey cloud cover.

This is our first frost, the time when the tropical shirts get put away and the heavier denim and flannel come out. When the road projects are being rushed to completion (drove through four such projects on the commute in). The change of seasons in advance of the true start of fall at the end of the month.

Of course, Seattle drivers, confronted with a new type of weather they have not seen for months, just can't handle it. The first fog, the first rain, the first snow, or the first sunny day is judged with shock and alarm, and extremely large traffic jams. Come to think of it, they react that way to the seconds and thirds of these events as well.

Ah well. More later,