Since 2003, when I came back to Bozeman, Montana, one could always count on a winter wonderland each year. Fortunately, this year has been no different.
The same could not be said of the winter of 2021, however. In fact, before I knew it, the winter of 2021 was over. I don't think I even had a chance to go cross country skiing right here in Bozeman, last year.
So, this year, 2022, when New Year's Day appeared and it was gloriously sunny and bitterly cold, I knew I had to make a run down the Gallatin River canyon to see what I could; and, I wasn't disappointed.
My winter wonderland highlights were the Gallatin River canyon trail (shown at the top of this page), the Gallatin River just above Taylor Fork (near Yellowstone National Park), and, of course the Ousel Falls trail in Big Sky.
Needless to say, climate change came with a force to Bozeman in the summer of 2021. July, 2021 was so brutally hot and dry in southwest Montana that one couldn't be faulted with the idea that it may never rain again that summer...Fortunately, it did; and, August cooled down a bit.
Climate change is here, though; and, to be quite frank, I am afraid of what the immediate future may hold. Already I'm reading articles in scientific publications that are predicting snow-less winters in the American west...Good grief, that is freaky.
I can't imagine experiencing a winter in the Gallatin River canyon without snow. Can you? Look at this beauty...This is what we will be losing.
And forget fishing the rivers of southwest Montana. With no snow...There's no fishing.
So, I don't know about you; but, just knowing that we could lose the outdoors splendor around here has me thinking about drastically reducing my carbon footprint.
Already, an electric pickup truck and a revamped home energy system are on my to do list.
Hopefully there's enough personal, local, and global community action that together we can slow climate change down.
I am an engineer; so, I have to believe that it is possible to slow and possibly even reverse global warming; but, good grief, we have to get a lot of people on the same page to even have a chance of succeeding.
Going forward, and knowing human nature, I'll be treating each winter as possibly our last, however. I want to savor every moment in the snows of southwest Montana...They're just too beautiful to waste.