We had a break today in the almost constant rain of the past week. Winter in the Pacific Northwest can be sloughy and messy at its worse, unless it snows. Then all bets are off. The landscape around here is hilly, some bigger than others, but not very flat. Snow and ice make it impossible to function. Oh sure, some folks have snow tires, and even studded ones if they are traveling to ski resorts or making regular trips across one of the big passes - but even those still require chains at the least threat of real snowfall.