Sunday, February 19, 2006

Brrrrrrrr.....

It has been an awfully strange winter in the northern Rockies. It was very cold in December, unseasonably warm in January and was spring-like just a week ago. Just last weekend I enjoyed a 'bluebird' day up at Snowbowl, with great temperatures and a bright, sunny sky. But it was -19F here two nights ago and -11 last night (at 9:00 AM this morning it was a balmy 0 degrees), causing Snowbowl to close the upper mountain (-50 wind chill) and putting a damper on outdoor activities for most people.
Today I was scheduled to travel about an hour and a half northeast of Missoula to a place called Holland Lake with my friend Phil Gardner for some cross country skiing and hiking. The lake sits in the Flathead National Forest and offers views of both the Swan and Mission mountain ranges...it is absolutely breathtaking (here is a photo). Unfortunately, the cold and wind forced us to cancel. It is very strange, as the sun is burning bright and there isn't a cloud in the sky, but the wind and temperatures can create danger, especially out on the ice, exposed, in the wilderness!
So instead I'll sit indoors and watch some more Olympic action...it's been exciting to watch so far.
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