Welcome to the South Sound for the 115th U.S. Open at Chambers Bay Golf Course. If this is your first time in these parts, here are a few things you should know about the area and those of us who call it home.
You can’t see Seattle from University Place, but that’s all right because you can see Mount Rainier instead.
Still, many of us are a little afraid of The Mountain. If you venture out into East Pierce County, all those lahar evacuation route signs suggest why. We gaze lovingly at Rainier, but we know she has a fire in her belly.
There are a few places where, on a clear day and your eyesight is sharp, you can spot the snowy summit from around here. One of those places is on Bridgeport Way, driving down the hill near the intersection with Chambers Lane West. If you can spare the time, a road trip to see St. Helens close-up is very much worth the drive and braving I-5 traffic around Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Thousands of us work at the base, are related to someone stationed there or have a job that is heavily dependent on business with the base’s soldiers, airmen and their families. Many who served at JBLM have chosen to retire here, no doubt attracted by our miserable weather. (More about that later.)
In Washington (and Colorado), it is legal to walk into a state-licensed shop and buy marijuana for recreational use; Alaska joins the very small club in 2016. There are no such shops in University Place, but several in adjacent Tacoma. They even advertise in The News Tribune.
Edibles — candies and cookies that are laced with the active ingredient of THC — require special caution (just ask New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd). You may have difficulty hiking around Chambers Bay if you’ve overindulged.
Those are complete aberrations. The climate here is awful. Winters are horrible, and summers are even worse. Tell everyone that when you go home. We don’t want any more people here to share our misery.
But please, do enjoy this very brief, rare and unlikely to be repeated respite of halfway decent weather as you attend the U.S. Open. And we hope you visit again sometime.