Here Comes the Sun

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The sun has finally returned to Missoula, although unlike just about everyone else here I can’t say I’d gotten my fill of winter yet. I didn’t get much of a chance to enjoy the balmy temperatures and blazing bright desert (yes, technically) sun at first, having to work all day Saturday and then being stuck in a class on Sunday. But late on Sunday afternoon I noticed some neighbors out on their front porch, two houses down, and I decided to walk down and re-introduce myself. Before I knew it, I was ensconced in a lawn chair with a beer in my hand, looking forward to the BBQ they were cooking up. (Actually, I contributed a steak I had in the freezer. Sutton’s BBQ steak recipe: (1) Place on the grill still frozen. (2) Remove when cooked to desired level of doneness. (3) Eat. Turned out pretty well.)

Amy sort of got to enjoy the weather. On the one hand, she was outside in it. On the other, she was taking a wilderness first aid class, so she was having to diagnose imaginary head trauma and sucking chest wounds. Apparently the instruction was very dramatic, including little pumps the instructors used to spurt blood out of their fake wounds. One scenario was further enlivened by one instructor’s ability to hold and produce a surprising amount of fake vomit from his mouth.

Sorry if you were just eating breakfast.

Amy’s class is part of her last-second, desperate preparations for another field season. She leaves in just over a week. Actually, I leave with her: I’m now an official sworn USGS volunteer deputy (you can just continue to call me “deputy”) and will be piloting one of the government SUVs down to Arizona. It won’t make me rich (there’s just a piddling little per diem), but on the other hand Amy says we can use walkie talkies to talk back and forth between the vehicles, so it all evens out.

I’ll hang out for a few days to help set up camp, and then I’ll fly back to Missoula.

In other news, I quit drinking coffee (I took the week I went without it while sick and decided to run with it), and my hair is now long enough to comb. (Normally, I wouldn’t include such a trivial piece of information, but whenever we do our reader surveys, the one subject everyone always says they want to hear more about is Sutton’s hair.)