Sunday, October 13, 2019

Transition Season

It's allegedly fall, but it feels more like pre-winter here.  Recently the east side of the park received about three feet of snow in a winter storm! The tops of the mountains here on the west side are white; some trails are snow free and others are covered by about a foot at the higher elevations.  Here, fire season is over, not that it really began.

This time of year can be hard.  There are a lot of endings.  The helicopter flies away, and most of the employees leave.  This isn't a bad thing, just a change.  Meetings and conference calls replace smoke patrol and lookout projects.  There's more time available for hiking and to see friends, but the weather has taken a hard turn: no more shorts and tank tops, more rain and snow showers.  Some people I know even hauled snowshoes on a 12 mile trail just in case; they didn't end up needing them, but it's always possible.

I'm always cold during this time, my body not adjusted yet to the chillier temperatures.  It was 13 degrees at 8 am.  That's not terribly cold in January, but it is in early October.  "It's so cold," is often heard at work as we rush through our uninsulated building toward a room with a space heater.  N., a seasonal employee from California, bundles up like Nanook of the North his last week of work.  Not having brought a parka, he buys one from the thrift store before he flees for warmer climates.

It's time to take a step back, to move from being constantly alert to a slower pace, from being outside to being at a desk doing administrative work.  It's always an adjustment, but a necessary one.   Now it's also time to think about travel.  Arizona? Hawaii? I dream about warmer days, as summer turns into winter in the mountains.








10 comments:

  1. We seem to have transitioned straight from summer into winter!

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  2. We have been fortunate to have a long and colorful autumn, but the transition to the long white is coming. Your transitions are especially noticeable, with people leaving whom you have worked with and gotten to know and the job tasks changing so much. From reading your posts, I know you will find some good things in the new seasons, too. Keep sharing with us!

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    1. I'm trying to be positive about the long winter.

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  3. Hopefully the adjustment to the fall/winter life is a quick one and you get settled into the new routine and new temps quickly!

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  4. I always say that 50 degrees in October is cold but 50 degrees in May is downright pleasant. It's that first shock of adjustment for the body...and I had to laugh at your Californian (me also for 29 years) being so cold. After we moved to Texas my parents moved to Oregon; when we finally visited them for Christmas I thought I was going to freeze to death. Thin southern blood plus not having the proper jackets and hats and wool socks added up to me staying inside for 99% of the visit, LOL.

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    1. I know! It's so funny that it's the same temperature but it feels so cold at different times of the year!

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  5. All that snow already. Everyone keeps telling me we are in for a bad winter but I don't want to believe it. It would be nice to put my mud tires on the Jeep and trek through some snow.

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    1. I don't want to believe what they're saying about our winter too.

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