Report from the Mountains

The other day El Nosibor was moved to walk a mile. A walk of a mile would do his aching lungs good, it would build character in his 70 year old soul, it would build heart muscle, leg muscle. It would pump much needed oxygen to the muscle with which he makes up his stories. And he had a more selfless reason for walking this mile. At the end of his journey he could start the pump that would irrigate his brother’s 80 acres of alfalfa. Sure, he could hop into his pickup truck and raise dust for that mile; but walking meant that he would not be pumping CO2 and carbon monoxide and other trash into the atmosphere by driving that mile. All-in-all, El was being really brio about this walk.


It was a very hot day, for Montana—going into the mid 80’s. And walking a mile on hot days is not pleasant. Still it is something El has done, even within the last couple of months in this his 70th year.

But in addition to the heat there was a dull haze hanging over the valley. This is Montana, and dull hazes are not suppose to linger over the valley in Montana. Or at least dull hazes of the magnitude of this particular one are not suppose to linger. Usually El can see Idaho, 70 miles away from his deck on a normal summer day. This other day was not a normal summer day. El could not distinguish Meadow Lake four miles away to the east. On this other day, Baldy Mountain that rose four miles to the west was just a vague shape, almost merging in the dull haze with the dully hazy not quite blue sky. Seeing Idaho was out of the question.

Where, one might puzzle, is this damned dull haze coming from. Well, it is coming from fires burning from Smither’s Landing BC to Redwood Landing, CA. It is coming from fires burning up the whole western North American Continent, including three fires between El’s deck and Idaho. Also, it is not just your average dull haze. It is a very unpleasant dull haze that smells like ashes, and that puts an ache in the lungs, and weakens the steps of even the most brio walk wanter. And as I say it is a dull haze on a hot day.

Well, El began his walk, gazing at this thick dull haze that blocked his view of lake, mountain, and Idaho. He walked about 200 yards.

Then El, said, “the hell with this shit. I’m not going to put my lungs, legs, and the dull thoughts of my brain through walking in this dull haze on a hot day. If I can’t see Idaho on a hot Montana day, it means it is too dangerous to be out in this shit, let alone walk a mile in it.”

So, El walked the 200 yards back to his pickup, fired it up, and drove the mile to start the pump to irrigate his brother’s alfalfa. Then he drove back to his house, parked the pickup, and went to take a breather on the couch. This process, of course, served to exacerbate the atrophy of muscle, mind, and heart, while farting carbon into the dull haze, which further limited views of Idaho.

So, El became part of the problem.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.