Friday, April 13, 2007

Requiem For Winter

Get Out Your Mobile Condominium
grab your cell phone & put on your rainbow gear
(Photo by Tom Murphy - link, link)

.. A few years ago William Kittredge wrote an essay that was published in Owning It All and was reprinted in The Montanan. In it he does well by those of us that have chosen to live here. He also reminds us just why winter is so special.
". . . Winter protects Yellowstone from the hordes of recreational automobilists and bicyclists and tromping backpackers with their multicolored gear, all the cartoon tourists of summertime. You and me and the kids, and Uncle Ted in his Winnebago, and sister Sue whose eyes are blue, everybody in pursuit of a few sweet moments spent checking out a sacred remnant of what we persist in calling wilderness, even after the highways are built. Maybe two million visitors between mid-May and Labor Day.
And then the crowd goes home, leaving Indian summer for those who live in the northern Rockies year-round. Along about the middle of September the leaves go seriously into the business of turning brilliant color along the Firehole River and the other fishing waters. And the trouts, the wonderful slick-bodied trouts, rainbow and brown and cut-throat and brook, hungry again in the cooling streams and given to lifting ravenously to suck down an ephemeral bit of feather tied handsomely to a barbless hook."
.. Well, the fish are about to be shared with the world and the park will entertain whoever can afford to get here and pay the fees. The roads will be crowded, the construction delays will be frightful, the Old Faithful Visitor Center will be gone, and the concessionaires will be happy.
.. The few sunny days we had this week, and the thermometer approaching 40 F let us all know that winter is gone. Summer never really arrives in Yellowstone -- but it's nice to have the longest and most beautiful Spring in America. To the rest of the world we say: "Bring It On," winter's never that far away.
Yellowstone Openings & Closings: roads, facilities, ice cream shops, etc.
--------------------Did You Know?
There are more people hurt by bison than by bears each year in Yellowstone. Park regulations state that visitors must stay at least 25 yards away from bison or elk and 100 yards away from bears.