One extreme to another...
It feels like fall out there. Except for three or four hot days (maybe a couple more?),
it’s been a cool, wet summer. Great sleeping weather. Odd but nice to wake up wrapped in a sleeping bag in August in Minnesota. Normally it’s too hot even to think about sleeping bags, sweaters and jackets ‘til September or October.
I wonder what it was like during the summer of 1936, the height of the Great Depression, when temperatures hit 100 or better for days on end, and some 700 Minnesotans died (along with 5,000 across the drought-stricken nation), according to mprnews. org.
Must have been unbearable.
I was working in St. Charles in the summer of 1988, when it just would not rain. Precipitation averaged 1.40 inches around the state during June, and 6.61 inches from April through July, according to the Department of Natural Resources.
The average temperature from May through August was 69.7 degrees – almost two degrees hotter than the previous record, set in, yep, 1936.
It was Dust Bowl-ish. Black topsoil sprinkled what snow there was during the winter of 1988-89.
Seems like we go from one extreme to another, weather-wise.
‘Course, you can do that on purpose if you wish.
In 1983 I traveled with friends up to Logan Pass, at the top of scenic Glacier National Park in Montana.
It was fairly balmy in the “low” country (4,823 feet) at East Glacier Park, where we worked for the summer. But there’s a classic photo of our gang at the Pass (6,647 feet), shivering in our parkas, wearing boots and gloves and mittens and scarves and whatever we could scrounge, on July 15.
We were attending the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the Going to the Sun Road, a narrow, two-lane stretch at the top of the world where you should definitely not look down if you’re the driver. Or a faint-hearted passenger. We took the 90-mile circle drive on the way down and stopped at fabulous Lake McDonald Lodge, where dignitaries from the Sun Road event had also gathered.
There were the dignitaries. And there was us, looking like the cold, drenched, miserable puppies we were.
I casually stuck my hand out to introduce myself to a tall guy warming up at the big replace.
“Richard Johnson, Glacier Park Inc. laundry employee.”
He shook my hand.
“Ted Schwinden, Governor of Montana.”
My buddy Bruce – ’83 GPL roommate deluxe- teases me about that whenever the talk turns to Glacier.
Can’t wait to return to the mountains of Montana. That place is something else.
Meanwhile, we can continue to burrow under the covers as if it’s November, and dream about even bigger fish to fry.
“Richard Johnson, Dodge County Independent managing editor. How’s it goin’?”
“Bill Gates, Richest Person on Earth. Fine, thanks."