As cliche as it may sound, this year is flying by. Mid March has suddenly appeared and we are enjoying the longer evenings that recently arrived with daylight saving time. Here in Montana, the warmest part of the day is just before the sun dips down behind the ridge, and even when the temps fall to zero outside, the warmth of sun on your face is incredible.
The coldest weather we’ve felt this winter was -10 but it didn’t last too long. We were warned that the windchill would bring the temp down to -30 but I must have missed that event. I was ready and waiting but nothing that hurtful appeared. The sub zero temperatures lingered for a while but even at -4 I could be outside in slippers and a T-shirt for a short period of time.
In fact, if I have to travel any distance on the highway I would prefer the temperature to stay closer to zero. Once the air heats up to about 15 degrees the moisture makes the highway slippery, and the windshield becomes filthy with mud. At least when it’s really cold out, the snow blows like sand and you have much better traction.
The views in the Bitterroot Valley are wonderful. The mountains are covered in snow and frozen rivers are beginning to thaw. We’re starting to see ducks return to the Valley, and every once in a while a Sand Hill Crane will be spotted in a rancher’s watering hole. Flathead lake is still frozen over and people are out recreating on the ice. Even with another storm coming, the break-up is near. I wish this cold weather would stay for much longer than it likely will.
I am currently packing to leave in two weeks, heading back to Alaska for another season of work. I’m thrilled to catch a little more winter in the Great White North. Although traveling has severely slowed down the process of developing our land, I feel satisfied that this type of hiccup is worthy of taking the front seat. By the time we come home to Montana in October, we will be on a tight time schedule to accomplish a few items that I really want to be done before the ground freezes.
Fingers crossed, although I can’t have everything my heart desires, getting a foundation poured would be a delight. Anything else beyond that would just be icing on the cake. Clearly, I don’t mind roughing it, but that one task opens the door to a handful of other very productive of tasks to follow suit.
Still, you won’t find me complaining. I feel like the best things take time, and I’m having too much fun to miss the summer in Alaska. In fact, the latest version of The Milepost is available on Amazon and I recommend that everyone purchase it and start planning a trip to Alaska. You won’t be sorry.
Preparation for this years drive to Alaska has been far more simple than the previous. Since we now have a physical address to reside at for the summer, I can order just about everything I need from Amazon (thank you sweet baby Jesus) and the overall need to bring as many supplies with us has diminished.
Miss Clyde got her passport papers updated by her Veterinarian and she is as healthy as a mini-horse can be. I am still day dreaming a shiny new 1 ton pickup with dual climate control, but alas, I am still not willing to commit to a payment so the ol’ diesel lives on.
I wont bore you with the rest of the details about packing, because there is really nothing exciting to share on that topic, I can however make note of a few things I am currently enjoying about this season:
- Snowshoes might the best invention known to man kind. Floating on snow that is 36″ deep makes life peachy. Trips around the property or to the mailbox is much easier when you have these fashion accessories.
- There has been a record snowfall and record length of sub-zero temperatures in Montana this year. Because of this, the wildlife has had a difficult time foraging for their food. Worry not, even if the deer don’t enjoy eating pine needles, there is a hefty amount of protein in them and they are doing quite well. These beauties are out and about daily, even with snow up to their bellies.
- As it turns out, the Ford skip loader does an excellent job of plowing snow. When we arrived home from a trip down south, it was -6 and we had plenty of work cut out for us, just to clear the driveway. This diesel took some coaxing to warm up but it did a fine job.
- Miss Clyde has had a great time in the snow, and really enjoys the colder weather. Most days I find her laying on a bed of ice, panting. I am pretty sure that she was made for this lifestyle.
Overall, I feel incredibly grateful to live in a place that has true seasons, and the kindest people around. You really can’t beat the views here, the sunsets are to die for and the wildlife is so entertaining to watch. To be honest, I have yet to find a place I enjoy more than Stevensville, Montana.
Cheers to living the good life.