By Alkali Springs Correspondent
Until this morning, we thought that this column would be just about heat and wind. However, what had looked for two days like rain or even snow in the beautiful Bear Paws finally turned into at least a morning of rain to help green things up a tad and put a mild damper on fire danger. Good thing about this storm is that it was not accompanied by any wind and lightning. Just a good, old fashioned gentle rain. Hurrah!
Before that, it was again so hot as to make spending time in the mountains or out on the prairie most unpleasant. We are not heat-oriented in the first place, but when it is so hot at Camp Kiwanis that you can fry an egg on a stone in the middle of the parking lot without a fire, that is too hot for us. Last Saturday was just such a day. And then there were the weather folk who kept saying all day that things were going to change and bad weather was not far off. They were right. Trouble was that there were only a few drops of rain with a wind that blew the shingles right off the cabin. And it was such a hot wind that it offered no respite at all from the horrible heat of the day. Only thing we kept thinking as we watched it out of our dining room window was that we would be very fortunate if a tornado didn't scream down our coulee, at worst, or, a tad better, that the big evergreens bent in the wind would come crashing through our windows. Fortunately, neither happened and after the wind from hell, it did cool off for the night, but what a disappointment that there was no rain that day at all.
And even in the wind, it was so hot that the resident rabbit population really had a bad time of it. Three of them just sort of collapsed and sprawled out just below the bird feeder, looking as if they were dead to the world. In fact, the only way we knew that they were still alive was that every so often they seemed to twitch their ears opposite the way the wind was blowing. That and the fact that we had seen that behavior on hot days last summer made us realize that they were just really resting most comfortably during the hot windy day.
So when that weekend was over and we could get back to cooler weather, how good it was. Why, even if we got a foot of snow (not unheard of in August) that would be just great. Anything wet is great. We have definitely decided that we will not include cooking eggs on rocks at Kiwanis Camp as one of our most favorite things to do. Ever!
You probably noticed that the state has been sending an enormous crew of men out to repair the bridge at first crossing in Beaver Creek Park. Not only that, but they had a truck detour when coming out of Havre that sent all trucks heading for points like Beaver Creek, Clear Creek, Sucker Creek and Rocky Boy, heading west over the Beaver Creek Reservoir dam. Hopefully, they were supplying road maps to someone trying to get to somewhere like Clear Creek who would otherwise be fortunate to be able to find his way to where that sort of obscure trail finally comes to a highway at Fort Assinniboine. From Fort Assinniboine the traveler still trying to steer his truck to Clear Creek would have had to go all the way back to Chinook or Havre and try to go south from there. Confusing is the word and someone who, by hook or crook, did manage to get into that mess of a detour would have seen an hour's drive turn into a half a day, if lucky. Our free advise for the day is if you see a sign anywhere in the mountains that says "detour," know where that road goes before you venture even an inch down it.
Next week: a hike in Glacier, we hope!