Here’s last Friday’s forecast pic:


…and it’s still just like that. Foggy, overcast, cold – highs in the 20s. Bleak. Sort of like Phil Connor’s later forecast – “It’s gonna be cold. It’s gonna be gray. And it’s gonna last you for the rest of your life.” It’s been like that for almost a week, and there doesn’t appear to be any end in sight.

Contrariwise, here’s the forecast for the same period for the summit of Big Mountain, just a few miles away:


I was up there on Saturday and Sunday, and I can assure you, it was just like that 🙂 Gorgeous, sunny, blue skies – wonderful soft bumps on the backside.

When I lived in Utah, an “inversion” meant that the Salt Lake Valley was full of gooey nastiness that you could taste on your tongue. When we’d drive down from Park City through Parley’s Canyon, we could see the layer of brown cloud, usually right around the East Canyon exit.

Here in NW Montana, an inversion has the same causes, but the effects are much different. The air doesn’t go bad, you can’t smell it – and it really doesn’t last anywhere near as long. Usually only a couple of weeks.

But the nice thing about an inversion is when one goes skiing – then the view from the top is amazing:


The world becomes an ocean of cloud, with mountain islands everywhere. And, since one is above the clouds – there aren’t any clouds above you. Wonderful.

And one can ski down the front side from the sunshine, into the clouds, into the clear area below – and then ride back up the lift in the other direction. Wonderful.

I’m sort of gray and overcast myself, today – it’s my 60th birthday. I’m having to type that over and over – SIXTY. SIXTIETH. 60.

When I was a kid – or a very young adult – I bought a science fiction anthology called “2020”. In it the editor offered to buy anyone a drink if they brought a copy of the book to a particular science fiction convention in the year 2020.

I remember thinking, at the time, that when 2020 rolled around, I’d be SIXTY YEARS OLD. It was unfathomable.

Well, it still is.

I’ve had 59 years to get used to the idea of being 60. You’d think that I would have adjusted by now. But, no, I reckon I kept thinking that something or Someone would intervene and keep it from happening :)So now, here I am, turning 60. And, right now, things are foggy all around me – nothing is clear. Nothing is normal.I’d like to think that I’m riding the lift up through the clouds, and that soon, I’ll break out into the blue skies and sunshine.But I’m afraid that, no, I’m skiing down at high speed through the clouds, and when I finally break through, I’ll be down in the overcast 🙂(*editor’s note – on Saturday, I was skiing fast down Big Ravine [where Ethel broke her shoulder last year] and hit 58.2 MPH. Walt at the club pointed out that I should have gone ahead and “skied my age” by hitting 59 MPH. So the next day, I hit 61.0. Maybe I should consider “downhill racer” as my new hobby 🙂

  1. Hinkmond Wong said:

    HBD, Jim!

    • Thanks, Hink!….Now it’s the day after so it’s Business As Usual Being Sixty 🙂

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