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Portland Is Wet - And We Like It This Way

by Leslie Gabriel January 18, 2014

If you ask around about Portland, Oregon, there are a few typical reactions you will probably get, including, “It's weird”, “It's full of hipsters” and “It's wet”. 

The fact is all of these are true. And for those of us who live here, we like it this way. Yes, it rains frequently. According to U.S. Climate Data, the city receives an average of 43.1 inches in precipitation each year. That’s a pretty hefty amount of rainfall, but it gives us so much in return.

Lush Environments

Portland and the surrounding are is simply gorgeous. Yes, you may have to endure a consistent drizzle and gray skies to enjoy it, but in truth the wet and the dim light only make it more beautiful. Rich green ferns, moss and trees, popping out from dense forest loam and black, rain-slicked rocks – it’s enough to make you feel like you have been transported to a fantasy world.

Consider Forest Park, the pride and joy of Portland and one of the largest city parks in the country. While Forest Park is the most well known and the largest park in the city, almost every park is just as green and verdant. Without the rain, it would be far less beautiful.

International Rose Test Garden

Portland is home to the oldest continuously running rose test garden in the country. With over 550 varieties, it offers free admission to a fantastic display of roses year round (although for a portion of the year they are not blooming). The garden would not be possible without Portland’s ever-present rain.

Mushroom Hunting

If you have never tasted a Chanterelle mushroom, you are missing out. They are one of numerous mushroom varieties that you can find throughout mushroom season in Portland parks and in the national forests outside the city. As you can see from this video below, the hunting is not necessarily easy. The rewards, though, can be spectacular.

The Perks of Regular Rainfall

Most Portlanders will be the first to admit – after a fall, winter and cold early spring filled with rain, the wet can get a little tiring. Wet and cold are a nasty combination, and the gray skies begin to wear on your mood in the weeks leading up to summer. In the end, though, the positives outweigh the negatives.

Regular rainfall gives allows us to enjoy beauty not available to many. We trade constant sunshine for moss and waterfalls, rivers and roses. It’s not a perfect environment for everyone, but it is part of what makes Portland a unique place to live.

Portland is definitely “wet”. And hopefully, it always will be.

Leslie Gabriel
Leslie Gabriel


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