This has all the hallmarks of a long hot summer. Start with the literal. Here in Oregon, the record for consecutive 90+ degrees was not broken, it was smashed...with authority. No rain here in Portland for over a month and though the city's beautiful parks still have greenery, the grass is turning brown. Maybe a thunder shower or two will stop by this evening, but things are dry and getting dryer.
Last week I drove up to one of my favorite little lakes on Mt. Hood to do a little fly fishing for the first time this year. The water temperature in the morning was well over 70 degrees and even at 7:30 in the morning, there was very little fish movement. Only a few half-hearted rises and no interest in a dry fly whatsoever. I managed to hook three in a two hour period, while landing only one. The other two came unbuttoned either because they only nibbled at my nymph or because I was deliberately taking it easy on them and opted for the quicker release. Either way, I went in early and called it a day before noon.
Hopefully things will straighten out before Fall arrives. August appears a real desert right now. We'll see what Central Oregon has to offer in a few weeks. The altitude might be just the ticket, because there are a few places with shreds of snow remaining. Even just looking at it might make the weather more endurable.
But while Portlanders have a difficult time with 90 degree weather, it's still nothing compared to a summer in Texas or Louisiana or any number of East Coast cities built on swamps. We get a bit of humidity now and then, but more often than not, the heat is not as intense and besides, this is Beervana, so we have ample opportunity to mitigate the issue in our favorite pubs. Air conditioning helps too.
The Presidential campaign too has sparked a few outrageous thoughts recently. Donald Trump is such a wonderful representative of the worst our culture has to offer. His values spill out of the convoluted musings he utters daily. To my refined educator's sense, he has no editor, his comments are unrehearsed, right off his expensive cuffs. The question persists: For whom does he speak? Could there be millions that share his racism, his misguided greed and his inflated sense of self-importance? Probably.
And in the other corner sits Bernie Sanders. Bernie has lit the fire under a simmering middle-class. I'd love to see them go toe to toe. That might heat up the air waves. A good bit more than the luke-warm lessers of evil we will have in the end.