Northwesterners: Arctic chill 'part of the fun'

Northwesterners: Arctic chill 'part of the fun'

PORTLAND, Ore. - No matter where you go in Oregon or Southwest Washington, people are talking about the weather. And they're making the best of the blustery conditions.

Some jobs require their workers to be out in the cold, from gas station attendants to tree farm workers. So on days like this, "the hands and toes get real cold," said David Hein, a worker at a Christmas tree lot. And workers like Hein just grin, and prepare for it.

"A couple layers on top and bottom, and plenty of socks and a nice wool hat to keep the ears warm," Hein said. "And keep moving."

He said enjoying the shoppers' Christmas spirit helps him too.

Alexandrea Gonzales is one such shopper. "We're just thinking about Christmas, and taking it home to the kids," she said. "We're not worried about the cold."

Mike Long also is familiar with working in the elements. He's a window cleaner.

"We also do high-rise window cleaning and you definitely can't do that in the high winds," Long said.

KATU's cameras caught up with Long as he gassed up his business rig - after it had some trouble getting to Portland through the Columbia Gorge winds.

"I was goin' down Interstate 84, and I thought I had the ladders tied down," Long said, "but my 40-foot ladder come off the top of the van."

He was able to tie it back, with no accidents or property damage. It's all part of living in the Northwest, and working with the wind.

That's why no amount of cold or wind could keep holiday ale lovers indoors through Sunday in downtown Portland.

"We come down from Seattle every year just to do this," said Dave McKinstry, one of hundreds who braved near-freezing temperatures this weekend to go to Portland's Holiday Ale Festival.

They braved winter-like weather with only a tent for protection.

"That's part of the fun of the Holiday Ale Fest," McKinstry said. "Drinking beer outside, in a tent, in the wintertime, at night time. They light up the tree and it's gorgeous."

Whether Northwesterners are working in the cold to spread the holiday spirit, or getting into the cold to enjoy the holiday spirits, it seems they're ready for whatever this coming season has to offer.

How about you? Do you work outside? Are you ready for the winter?  Also, feel free to post your photos, commentary or videos to your Neighborhoods.