Thursday, June 01, 2023

Column: Enough snow has fallen … let's get into spring warmth

by Brad Fuqua & Western News
| March 4, 2009 11:00 PM

OK, the cabin fever is starting to get to me a little bit.

Although I’ve lived in cold climates in the past – including a chilly two years in Bismarck, N.D. – the time I lived in warm Arizona adds up to around 18 years. So, the transition to living this close to the Canadian border has been interesting.

Last week’s rain appeared to be melting the snow out in my front yard pretty well. Then on Thursday, I opened up the blinds to see heavy snowfall. I took off my glasses, rubbed my eyes, and took another look. Sure enough, it was snowing.

Now the snow really doesn’t bother me that much – which is good since I plan on staying around these parts. I just don’t like the bitter cold weather. Somehow, those sub-zero temperatures remind me that I’m aging.

When it hurts my nostrils to breathe, then the sunshine gods need to make an appearance and warm up things. Fortunately, I don’t remember it being really, really cold since sometime in December.

As far as the cabin fever, I like to get outside and enjoy this incredible scenery while getting exercise and walking the dog. It’s just nice to leave behind electronic devices – including the computer I’m typing on right now – and go enjoy mountains, trees and wildlife.

Since I don’t own a pair of snowshoes and my one experience with cross-country skiing ranks as one of the top 10 embarrassing moments of my life, I usually wait until it warms up a little before venturing outdoors for more than a few hours at a time.

This past weekend, the sun made an appearance and the snow that had been falling only two days earlier was a distant memory. The dog showed me his leash and my son actually said he’d go spend some time with the old man.

Not knowing where I’d end up – I just hopped in the car and headed toward Libby Dam. I was just looking for some spots close to the river that might not involve too much trekking through snow.

Just before reaching the dam, I happened upon Dunn Creek Flats. I noticed a car or two down below by the river and thought this might be a good spot to go on an adventure.

I parked the car and off we headed. No gloves or heavy coats were necessary – the weather seemed just right. Naturally, my 13-year-old son rarely wears the winter coat I spent good money on anyway.

He thinks he doesn’t look “cool” in a winter coat and instead throws on a sweatshirt. I questioned this point of view until I picked him up at school one afternoon and noticed pretty much none of the kids had winter coats on.

Anyway, we had a good walk, tossed some snowballs and enjoyed the river. I shot a photo of a man fishing from a boat in the river.

My son took a nasty spill on the ice but he popped right back up. If it had been me, I’m thinking I would’ve just spent a little time there on the ground reminiscing about life before pain.

As the snow melts and we get closer to spring, I’m looking forward to more exploring in our region. I’m told we could be getting more snow this week.

That’s OK, Kelly Morford sent me the baseball schedule on Monday and I’m already thinking about basking in the sun out at Lee Gehring Field. That should be good to get me through our last few stretches of winter weather.

(Brad Fuqua is managing editor of The Western News. He can be reached at )