If all of the signs and portents I’ve observed are any indication, it’s going to get damn cold here soon. We’re talking ass-puckering cold. I’ve heard the phrase 40-below used more than once. That’s -40°F, which is, interestingly enough, also -40°C. People out here actually put heaters in their cars because the gasoline freezes. THEIR GAS FREEZES! Of course, at the same time that I am actively dreading the coldest winter I’ve ever wintered, I am engaged in the act of burning off all of my personal protective blubber. It does afford me an opportunity to wear my scarves and sexy long coat. I’ll probably even strap in my hoodie-sweater for extra warmth. I’m good at being ready for the cold.
Pictured Here: Particularly Good at Scarves…
Maybe I’m being a little too literal in answer tonight’s prompt though. When the #AugustMoon13 lades asked me, “How do you intend to transition into the new season,” I think they were being a little bit more metaphoric. They can afford to be metaphoric out there in parts of the world that aren’t covered in permafrost and death. See, I moved deep into the mountains this year, and, if I’ve learned anything from Mountain Men, it’s that the only choice to survive out here is to shotgun a bear.
I don’t own a shot gun.
Actually, I’m looking forward to this fall. Cooler temperatures should be nice as I’m working towards my goal of climbing the Power-Line Trail at Mt Helena:
For Reference, My Dad (pictured here) is roughly 5’8”
It doesn’t look like much, but trust me, it’s a bitch of a climb. The Power-Line is the shortest trail on Mount Helena, but it is also the steepest. All 1300 feet of incline is at a steady angle, going up 1’ for every 3’ forward. This is literally my mountain to climb. I hope to eventually be able to do the Power-Line every evening after work. Probably while carrying extra weight. That, that’s a long term goal.
In the meantime, I’m working on the longer but smoother 1906 Trail. The 1906 trail is 3.2 miles long and climbs that at a steady climb for the 1100 feet it loops around the mountain. I’ve only made it about 1/3 of the way up the trail so far, but I’ve also only gone twice. Each time I’ve been out, I’ve managed to get a little higher up on the mountain. It’s a good progress that I’m hoping to really improve upon come fall. I’m actually a little hopeful to be able to get in a climb once a week or so this winter.
It’s a lot of work, but, I can tell you that when you are just part of the way up the hill, there are already some pretty awesome views:
The Moon over Helena from on Mt Helena
Other than that, I’m starting to look into what it really means to be living out here in winter. There are things I’m going to have to get my hands on before too much longer. Things like tire-chains and snow shoes. I don’t need these things because the snow out here is worse than back home, it’s not. The problem is, out here in the mountains, when it snows, it stays on the ground until summer. No one bothers with the plowing or the shoveling. It’s almost like they don’t even notice it.
Oh well, I’m from Missouri.
Our snow is closer to a sentient death-monster than a weather pattern.
Bring it on, Montana! I’m ready.1
1- I am not ready. I’m going to cry like a little baby and then cry more when my tears freeze to my face. Pray for me, society, pray for me.