On the heels of another snow storm, which left us a few more inches of white gold, comes the super cold. Our only heat source -the woodstove – is cranking out the heat. Luckily, we cut an extra cord this Fall as something was telling me that Winter might just kick our ass. More snow is coming for the weekend, so things will warm up around here. Honestly, there is something which I thoroughly enjoy about living in this extreme enviroment. Humans weren’t meant to live here. 200 years ago the only folks who dare live here were the Sheepeater Indians, every other tribe headed for lower elevations. How the Sheepeaters pulled it off, one will never know. I walk around in capilene, Patagonia Puff from head to toe, pack boots, two pairs of socks, a Buff, my 12 year old Simms beanie, sunglasses, gloves and gore-tex. The Sheepeaters didn’t have any of this gear. Some Native Tribes used aspen tree bark, with slits cut in for their eyes, to use as sunglasses. Ever been snow blind? Not fun. A bison blanket was the warmest layer which the Indians had. A bison’s energy use goes into overdrive at -30 F. They really dont get “cold” until then. So, a bison blanket was as good as it got back then.
Last evening was the Christmas Stroll here in West Yellowstone. Molly and I started out at the Totem, then on to Freeheel and finally landing at Madison Crossing. A client of mine was handing out spiced, or was it spiked, wine at FH & W. He loves the Missouri and fishes there with me each summer. While planning his trip for next season, we discussed when run-off might occur….run off. Wow. It feels so far away. The amount of snow which has fallen from the sky has some folks wondering when the rivers in Montana are going to drop and start fishing with consistency. While it is a long ways away, it is something to ponder. While still too early to even attempt a guess at run off, I would think that June will come with high water.