February La-Dee-Blahs

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Above: Goat Lake in the Sawtooths, fall 2015.

It’s been another relatively dull month for this fella. That’s not to say it hasn’t been a wee bit stressful or busy at times, but there hasn’t been much going on that would qualify as “exciting” by most definitions. And really that’s just fine with me.

A few highlights:

The winter weather has sucked in Boise this year. Don’t get me wrong, I like snow and cold, I really do. But cold and snow in Boise is less enjoyable than in say, Missoula, Montana. For starters, folks know how to drive in the snow in Montana. Not so much in Boise. The near record-setting snowfall in the Treasure Valley also piled up and stuck around for a while in the form of hard packed snow and ice on all my normal running and biking routes, so I found myself staying inside more often than I normally do during a Boise winter. Sure, I could have gone and played in the mountains on the weekends with everyone else, but that gets expensive, and I’m just not all that into driving 45 minutes or more just to go skiing, and still be surrounded by the same people I see on the Boise streets during the week. Not saying that’s not fun, it’s just not my fun. So it’s a fair assessment to say I’m happy to see the snow gone for good on the streets and sidewalks around my neighborhood, and I’ve already started to hit the streets on my bicycle in the past few days.

I was able to get out of town for a week or so in mid-February to attend some leadership training in Missoula, and I made the most of that, making the rounds at some of my favorite restaurants in town, and just enjoying being back in Montana for a bit. I also took advantage of the long weekend to go visit the family in the Swan, and while the weather wasn’t really good for much other than staying inside and visiting, it was a nice few days. I even got to see some wolverine tracks crossing my parents place while I was there. Sad to say, conditions weren’t really good for photos, so my camera gear stayed packed away for the entire trip.

Grad school continues to eat up a lot of my time. It’s not really that difficult per se, as I’m taking it slow and easy with one online class per term, but it does require a lot of time and puts some stress on me mentally. Right now I’m closing in on the end of my second course, with ten more to follow over the next few years.

All told I’m pretty much over winter at this point, and I’m still behind the curve a little bit, trying to recover from last year’s burnout. The next few weeks look relatively slow, and I’m not seeing any travel on the horizon until April or later, which is good. Even over the winter I’ve been averaging a week or so on the road each month for work, which isn’t really great for “taking it easy” as I’d planned.

So, that’s that. Not much to report from the edge of the Great Basin, except that it’s been pretty dull and I’m curious what the next few months will bring… Hopefully some opportunities to get out and get better at mountain biking and the chance to get some photo hikes snuck in here and there. I’ve already put new tires on the bike, and got my eye on some new photo equipment to put to use this summer. Now to hang in there until summer rolls around.

Until next time…

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About Justin Vernon

Fire and Aviation Specialist (aka jack of all trades) for the US Forest Service, based in Boise, Idaho. I'm also an amateur photographer, wanna-be writer, tech aficionado, and a classic introvert who values quiet time as much as I do the mountains and people of the Pacific Northwest. All opinions voiced are mine alone and do not represent those of the US Forest Service.
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4 Responses to February La-Dee-Blahs

  1. Suzanne Vernon says:

    Wolverine tracks! Woohoo!

  2. Lynn says:

    So. Much. Snow! This is the kind of winter the old timers around here talk about.

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