Opinion: Looking forward to snow

| September 23, 2020 8:00 AM

Ready or not, summer is coming to an end. No matter that smoke obscures our view of the mountains. No matter that the temperatures have remained in the 70’s and high pressure systems seem to dominate the weather scene.

Despite current weather patterns, a few frosty nights have turned most quaking aspen bright yellow along with many shrubs. Even the western larch are starting to turn gold—especially alongside dusty roads which seem to speed up the breakdown of chlorophyll. Some light rain is predicted for this coming weekend but what we need is a real groundsoaker to end the fire season. Winter is still months away, but I find myself looking forward to our snowpacked road with no dust and smooth surface. Not to mention less traffic.

This summer’s social calendar took a hit at Sondreson Hall but much of that was offset by private outdoor events. However, as it stands today the traditional community Thanksgiving dinner could not be held. At Thanksgiving, the Hall is packed with 80 to 100 people. Not possible to practice any kind of social distancing and of course you cannot eat with your mask on. The decision to cancel or not cancel is being postponed until the October NFLA meeting. I am not optimistic since social distancing is likely to be still required and unless things change drastically there will still be a 50 person limit on social gatherings. I think families should begin to make alternate plans.

The Fourth of July parade this year was a much smaller parade than usual but there was still a crowd. I think it is time for the community to celebrate the Fourth in a different way. The parade is no longer a vital event for either the Northern Lights or the Mercantile and is certainly not community based. Personally, I favor expanding and supporting the party at Dawn and Danny Jacobson’s, but I don’t know how they feel.

Before the Parade, the North Fork community used to have a potluck fish fry followed by games etc. in the afternoon.

This was followed by an all night dance with a midnight supper. First ones were at Kintla Ranch or the Quarter Circle MC Ranch. Both were operating dude ranches in the fifties. After the Community Hall was built in the mid-fifties, the fish fry was held there with the afternoon games at the nearby Mathison homestead (now Kummerfelt/Taylor) and then back to the Hall for the dance with Al Lewis calling and the Hunt Orchestra playing lively music.

We can no longer have a locally caught fish fry. The North Fork is catchand- release for trout so unless we eat whitefish or suckers that doesn’t seem likely. Thank goodness we have a great fisherman in Gary McDonough so we still have a fish fry even if the fish are imported from Gary’s out of state fishing pole to the North Fork.

As everywhere, change on the North Fork is inevitable. How we deal with change is up to us. ATVs and side-by-sides are just the latest change along with ever increasing bicycle use on the roads. Both groups are entitled to use public lands. How, where and how much are questions yet to be answered.

What do you think?

Larry Wilson's North Fork Views appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.