Sunday, May 4, 2008

Mud Season

I've slacked a bit on my blog entries recently, but that probably has something to do with the time of year. Mid-April to mid-May is widely known as "mud season" here in Driggs, Idaho and Jackson, Wyoming. After long winters, this is the time of year that leaves you scratching your head. You can see from this photo that the Aspen trees haven't even started to "leaf out" yet, the latest it's been in my fourteen Teton Valley mud seasons.

Once the ski areas close (Jackson Hole in early April, Grand Targhee in mid-April), it's a long wait 'til summer. We don't really get Spring in the traditional sense. Instead, we endure a prolonged mix of snow, rain, partial sun, wind and mud. Not fun, unless you're a dog. Bridger doesn't mind because there are still plenty of snow banks for him.

To cope, many locals head to the desert southwest for a "spring break," even if it's just for a few days. Southern Utah, Arizona, the Baja, long as it's sunny and warm. Biking, hiking, golfing, boating, and generally lounging in shorts and sandals feels darn good after a long winter.

Seeing things bloom, enjoying blue sky, feeling the all gives a sense of promise that the same phenomena will eventually, possibly and somehow make their way north to Driggs. They always do, at least by June.

So, while Mother Nature takes her time, we wait impatiently. Snow has mostly melted off in the valley, and within a week or two the foothills will emerge. Leaves and flowers come first, and then it's an explosion of raging rivers, sunshine, long days, perfect temperatures, and a collective wish to make it last forever. I'll definitely keep you posted.

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