Wednesday, September 13, 2017


Liquid courage
Central Montana's weather forecast indicates
that by Thursday we will cool off. Meaning
that for a few days our highs will hit the low
forties. With definite chances of a frost each
night. In addition the weather mavens predict
rain for at least two out of three days this week.
Given we're in the midst of a longterm drought
nothing could be better. Not only will a dose of
moisture replenish our local terra firma - it will
also clear out the smoke and hopefully enable
us to breathe some fresh air. It's amazing how
a splash of H2O can change one's outlook -
for both the good and the bad.
High and mighty
The disasters caused by hurricanes Harvey
and Irma are proof that too much of a good
thing can kill. Throughout history mankind
has suffered through the capricious results
of nature's wrath. Dramatic overages aside
the fact is water is the most important and
beneficial of our natural resources. Thus we
human beings are naturally attracted to water.
Many willfully gamble against the occasional
onslaught in order to live at the water's edge.
And as with any love/hate relationship, post
a disaster most go off the deep end again. In
the hope of keeping their heads above water.
Local hot spot
Yesterday our thermometer hit well into
the eighties. Knowing that autumn would
soon be upon us we packed a picnic and
rode out to Gigantic Warm Springs just
outside of town. Situated in the midst of
a working ranch this local oasis is what
many consider the largest warm spring in
the world. Over 50,000 gallons of water
a minute rises out of the ground at a steady
sixty eight degrees year round. Post paying
a nominal cash entry fee (in a can) one can
jump into the purest of watering holes. And
often as it was today, have it all to yourself.
Pure and simple
Here in central Montana we are blessed to
live above the Madison Acquifer - one of
the largest repositories of water in North
America. Lewistown's water bubbles up
from the earth just a few miles out of town.
Meaning that one turn of a faucet delivers
99.9% pure, unfiltered spring water that has
not seen the light of day until then. For years
it was free for the taking. Making Lewistown
a verdant oasis amidst arid surroundings. But
since the city started to charge - many now
no longer water their lawns and trees. Thus
in times such as these town can be BROWN!

Far and wide
There is nothing like a room with a view.
Especially if one overlooks the water. Our
last apartment in Chicago sat facing Lake
Michigan in all of it's glory. What better
way to start the day than watching dawn
over that inland ocean? In Minneapolis
our apartment fronted Lake Calhoun - the
largest of the lakes within the city proper.
And I'll never forget how much my parents
loved sitting perched above the Atlantic on
Ogunquit's Marginal Way. Little broadens
one's horizons more than a liquid expanse.
And doing so with a cocktail is DIVINE!
Backup plan
While the island of Manhattan is surrounded
by water, most consider it's circling tributaries
to be nuisances. In order to enter or exit - one
must cross a bridge, tunnel, or ferry. Thus the
occasional trip to the battery aside, the primary
liquid assets locals interact with are it's many
fountains. My favorite watering hole is Paley
Park - an intimate oasis on East Fifty Third
Street. There one can sit beneath a grove of
honey locust trees as a waterfall splashes down
it's rear expanse. Suddenly one forgets that they
live within a concrete jungle. And all due to the
magic and beauty of H2OHHHHHHHH.