Every 8:45

Winter continues to hold us tightly in her icy grip, but that’s okay, guys. It’s what I wanted after 23 years in the climatologically-monotonous PNW where winters are one-note (wet) and summers are dry. All this snow and cold is simply making up for lost time.

When last I wrote, Tara and I were tentatively planning a weekend getaway to the state capital but keeping an eye on the weather. When the NWS issued a Winter Storm Watch the day before we were to leave, we decided to cancel our reservation. This proved to be a wise decision for two reasons:

  1. The watch was upgraded to a warning, and
  2. Tara got sick.

It ended up snowing all day that Saturday, and when all was said and done, we ended up with just over 6″ on the ground. A week later, we still have…almost 6″ on the ground. It hasn’t warmed much above freezing since. But it sure is beautiful out there – so much so, that on Sunday, we ended up going for a drive around Custer State Park. Approximately every 8 minutes and 45 seconds I gushed over the stunning scenery, which I’m sure drove Tara a little mad. But to her credit, she didn’t complain.

I secretly think she was enjoying it, too.

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We had to take one of the side roads off the main Wildlife Loop to find the buffalo herd, but there they were, in all their glory!

 

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No matter how many times we see bison, it never gets old.

After a busy week of work, I was ready for a break today, so I decided to head back to Sylvan Lake for a hike. I was questioning the wisdom of this decision a little when the temperature sensor on my car read 8 degrees as I passed through Hill City, but thanks to an inversion it was warmer the higher up I drove.  24 degrees in the parking lot. In a past life I might have found that frigid, but it almost felt balmy today.

The Needles Highway is closed every winter, but only to cars. So I strapped on my boots and hit the road by foot. It was 2.25 miles to Cathedral Spires, 4.5 miles round trip. Totally worth every step.

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Looking forward to a fun weekend! Sunday is our REO Speedwagon concert in Deadwood. Since our Broncos are actually playing pretty well these days and fun to watch, we’re going to head into town early so we can catch the game (2:00) before the show (8:00). I’m sure we can find plenty of other ways to kill time while we’re there.

We’re going to try again for Pierre next weekend. Barring, of course, more snow.

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17 thoughts on “Every 8:45

  1. “Climatologically-monotonous PNW” pissed me off. Yeah, it’s not the roller-coaster of the upper midwest, but subtlety does have a place in human experience, if you’re aware enough to handle it. Otherwise, things are totally groovy. Winter on, dude.

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    • No judgment here, just an observation. The climate is pretty monotonous there, but that’s a plus in terms of predictability and lack of extremes. I just crave more variety myself, and boy did I hit the jackpot here!

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  2. Mark, I’d be gushing over the scenery too, it’s STUNNING! Especially with all that fantastic white stuff dripped all over it. I’m with you, I’d love all that snow. I wish we’d get more here. True winter has been starting later and later each year, so I’m hoping that we get hit hard in the next couple of months. I got new snow boots this year and I can’t wait to use them!

    Gorgeous photos! I especially love the second one down (the gazebo), it looks like a painting! And the buffalo are AMAZING!!!!

    Have a fantastic weekend, my friend. And enjoy the REO Speedwagon concert!

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    • One of the first purchases I made after moving up here was a pair of snow boots. I hadn’t owned any in 30+ years and was completely lost when it came to buying them. Fortunately, I had a very helpful salesperson to guide me through the process. Hope you get lots of snow soon!

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  3. When I moved from RC to So California’s “subtle” seasons I initially loved the weather, but soon felt something was missing. After a few years I realized I was missing the time-line that the seasons had provided in my life. The CA natives couldn’t understand what I was talking about. So many memories of those years in RC are wrapped in what was happening in the weather. I still miss the real four seasons.🌷🌞🍁❄️

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    • I lived in Hawaii for nine years and there was a total lack of seasons there, so I get it! At least the PNW had two very distinct seasons. Weather has always been important to me and I missed having variety for so long it’s a novelty to me now.

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  4. Oh, the brutality of winter! Glad you are enjoying it, though. I remember the Needles tunnel! And yes, I don’t think bison could get old either.

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  5. I am enjoying your photos from the comforts of my home! I just can’t get out of the house for winter adventures. It’s too cold for me, and I am cranky. The whole process of layering up, warming the car, checking weather & road conditions, and then to be hit with a blast of air so cold that it hurts my face is just too much. I am in awe of people like you who enjoy winter so much! But your & Tara’s adventures make me think I’m missing out. Then I reconsider and realize it’s best to live vicariously through others until the snow melts….in April (??). Adventure on, stay warm!

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  6. It’s amazing how a covering of snow makes everything so beautiful. I could almost feel the cold while looking at these pictures. And gosh, buffalo are such cool animals. Holy cow! The Needles Eye Tunnel! I remember that!! You’re supposed to honk before you go through, right? Gosh, memories.

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