As a little boy, my parents introduced me to license plate “collecting.” Instead of spending endless hours bored in a back seat, I spent the time eagerly scanning oncoming traffic, hoping to catch sight of an elusive Hawaii or Washington DC plate. The habit has stuck with me, and even now I keep a casual eye out for license plates.
Of late, plates from our northern neighbors in canada have comprised the bulk of out of state sightings. Last visit I made to Logan Pass, the Canada plates were out in full force. Upon stepping from the car, I realized that people weren’t the only thing that’d come down from the north. A snippety wind shoved a burst of cold air into my face. Fog scooted by overhead, so low it threatened to snag the hat I wore and pluck it from my head.
Theoretically, this was a summer ski outing. The idea is that I get to enjoy summer weather, shorts, a t-shirt, and skis. The discomfort of summer heat is tempered by the snowpack beneath my feet. Even though there’s no powder snow, its a win-win situation. Except that something went wrong this time. An irony-laden little voice in my head teased me. “Summer, eh? I think the Canadians have brought winter south with them.”
Being over-prepared-nuts, my brother and I had taken the extra precaution of bringing gore-tex shell gear and fleeces. But the frigid northern wind that greeted us at Logan Pass was far chillier than we’d expected. We donned all our “prepared for the worst” clothes and took off up the snowfields at a good clip. Even so, it took a long time for us to warm up. But by afternoon, the weather had moderated slightly, and we forgot all about the cold. We each made a few runs up and down the snowfields at the base of Mt. Clements.
Following our ski outing, we took a short drive down the east side of the Going to The Sun Road, admiring the springtime scenery. But as evening approached, we grew hungry and turned for home.