I swear it feels like just yesterday that we were finally, after a very long and pleasant Indian summer, saying farewell to warm temperatures.
Edit: Having penned this last week and saving it for this week I couldn’t, but should have expected, that old man winter would flip us “the bird” one last time before scampering back to his arctic retreat. I would like to think his flippancy is directed at myself for penning such an article that would dare outline his delinquency in delivering us a true Montana winter. Anyhow, enjoy the read!
Fast-forward to this [last] week. It’s March, there’s some snow in the mountains, barely a flake in town, and the surrounding area looks like it would rather catch flame than sprout buds. This has easily been the mildest winter I have experienced in Montana during my ten years of residency. It’s very infrequent that you find anything besides blistering cold and frostbite in February.
All that aside, there is still hope that March and April will churn out a clutch of beastly blizzards that will carpet the Gallatin Valley with much needed snowfall. Seriously, I wouldn’t mind finding myself in waist-deep powder at least once this season. Hell, I’d settle for any precipitation at this point.
The only real advantage to the warmer weather during the winter months is that it allows greater access to a wider variety of outdoor activities. In fact, I have already enjoyed several mountain adventures sans winter gear. Additionally, it even makes simple quests like traversing to the beer store for a six-pack more enjoyable. Well, and more importantly, it’s a lot safer for the precious cargo, as there are few things more disappointing than losing an entire six pack of bottles to the malicious desires of an icy sidewalk (well unless you drink that swill known as Bud Light, in which case good riddance).
However, out at Fairy Lake it still looks like winter, even it feels much like spring. See photo below.
A month ago (February) I was lounging around outside in shorts and a T-shirt, and suddenly I was struck with the odd sensation of perspiration building on my brow. Well odd for February at least. Yup, I think it hit seventy degrees (well pretty close) that day. At times this Bozeman winter, if we can even call it that, had higher temperatures than Florida.
At any rate, I think I speak for all of Bozeman when I say that Old Man Winter needs to relinquish his throne, or at bare minimum give his snow-starved constituents a taste of the feast he set for the east. Pretty sure they wouldn’t mind. At any rate, here’s for hoping Spring and the subsequent Summer prove more fruitful. If nothing else it looks we will be able to bust out the tubes for an excessively early float down the Madison. Who’s with me?