Montana Jones

Montana n: A state of the northwest United States bordering on Canada. Admitted as the 41st state in 1889. The fourth largest state in the union, it includes vast prairies and numerous majestic mountain ranges.
Syn: Treasure State, Big Sky Country, Last Best Place.

Jones n: slang. An addiction or very deep craving.

Friday, May 19, 2006

The seasons of Montana

Season: Spring
On the calendar: March 20 - June 20
Celebrated by: Everyone
Description: The season found between the Vernal Equinox and Summer Solstice.

Season: Summer
On the calendar: June 21 - September 22
Celebrated by: Everyone
Description: The season found between the Summer Solstice and the Autumnal Equinox.

Season: Autumn (Fall)
On the calendar: September 23 - December 21
Celebrated by: Everyone
Description: The season found between the Autumnal Equinox and the Winter Solstice.

Season: Winter
On the calendar: December 22 - March 19
Celebrated by: Everyone
Description: The season found between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox.

Season: Spring (Alternate I, also known as "best kept secret")
On the calendar: Late April through early June.
Celebrated by: Native Montanans
Description: The weather is fine and fair with a chance of rain. The landscape turns many wonderful shades of green. Daytime temperatures rise into the 50's and 60's prompting many locals to wear lighter cooler clothing and roll the windows down while driving. Gardening is a popular pastime.

Season: Spring (Alternate II, also known as "Not yet Summer".)
On the calendar: May and June
Celebrated by: Vacationers, tourists, first time visitors to Montana.
Description: While most southern states and many other regions of the country are enjoying warm summer like conditions, visitors to Montana are shocked to discover that Montana is not yet ready for them. Temperatures are still cool, mountain passes are still choked with snow, and tourist attractions and gift shops have not yet opened for business. Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park are poor vacation choices because roads are still closed and most attractions and campgrounds are under snow.

Season: Summer (Alternate I)
On the calendar: June through August
Celebrated by: Native Montanans
Description: The period when things get uncomfortably hot and dry in Montana.

Season: Summer (Alternate II, also known as "July and August".)
On the calendar: July and August
Celebrated by: Seasonal Montanans and vacationers.
Description: The only time of year when Montana is warm enough to tolerate.

Season: Winter (Alternate I, also know as "The real best kept secret".)
On the calendar: November through March
Celebrated by: Native Montanans
Description: The vacationers and seasonal residents have all fled to warmer climates leaving us with some peace and quiet to enjoy the frosty white beauty of the wonderful big sky country.

Season: Winter (Alternate II)
On the calendar: October through May
Celebrated by: Seasonal Montanans, curmudgeons, and those unfortunately trapped here.
Description: It is cold, dark, wet and miserable. The thermometer stays close to zero. You hardly ever see the sun. Shoveling snow is a wretched pain in the ass. And even on the best of days when the roads are plowed it is still treacherous and you take your life into your own hands trying to go anywhere. This state is unfit for human habitation.

Season: Hunting season
On the calendar: Varies. Typically September through November.
Celebrated by: Hunters.
Description: Rich hunters do it for sport, poor hunters do it for food. A good time to clean up your guns, buy some ammo, put on that orange vest and go tromping though the woods. Nothing satisfies like the kick of that rifle.

Season: Fishing season
On the calendar: Varies.
Celebrated by: Fishermen.
Description: Potentially a year-round season here in Montana. Fly fishing in the spring and summer, ice fishing in the winter. Anytime can be a good time to drop a line in the water. Many fishers tend to have personal seasons to match their own style such as ice fishing in the winter or only dropping a line on the hot lazy days of summer.

Season: Ski season
On the calendar: December through March
Celebrated by: Skiers
Description: Looked forward to by cross country, downhill and snowboarders alike. The snow is finally here.

Season: Rafting season
On the calendar: April through July
Celebrated by: Boaters and water lovers
Description: The rivers are high from spring runoff. The nice weather is finally here. Kayaks, canoes and rafts can be found drifting lazy rivers or charging through white water.

Season: Road Construction
On the calendar: Varies. Typically April through November
Celebrated by: Drivers
Description: Traveling from city to city is a necessity for many. Beware, the road crews are out in force. Be prepared for slowdowns, stopping and waiting, flaggers and lead vehicles, potholes, tar, dust and chipped windshields. To avoid futility many Montanans will put off washing their cars or repairing the cracked windshield until after Road Construction season is over.

Season: Tourist season
On the calendar: July and August
Celebrated by: Vacationers, hotel owners, shopkeepers.
Description: Time for sharing the unrivaled beauty of Montana with those not fortunate enough to live here. RV's will congest our roadways, cries of "Are we there yet? I gotta pee!" will rise from back seats everywhere. Tourists season comes to an abrupt end when schools resume session and families stop traveling.

Season: Mosquito season
On the calendar: Varies. Typically spring and early summer.
Celebrated by: Backpackers, hikers, campers, fishemen and outdoorsmen.
Description: Many northern states try to claim the mosquito as the state bird. Alaska and Minnesota appear to have particularly brutal flocks of them. Montana is also a contender on the 'worst mosquitoes anywhere' roster. Mosquito season is celebrated with stinging, itching, welts, deet, citronella and lots of slapping and clapping.

Season: Forest Fire season
On the calendar: July through September
Celebrated by: Campers, backpackers, firefighters and anyone living close to trees.
Description: Hot and dry weather combined with lightning strikes or idiots with matches can create havoc. Homes endangered, air thick with smoke, travel plans changed, vacationers and their money fleeing the state.

I've heard there are only three seasons in Montana:

Last Winter
This Winter
Next Winter

or two seasons:

Road Construction
and don't forget the two seasons of winter and July.

Actually that's a bunch of bunk here in the western part of the state...the recent winters here have been practically non-existant.
I know there will be many difficulties and challenges but I am determined to do it. If it does not succeed then it will be a lesson for me as well

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