It has occurred to some of you, by now, that it is hot outside. This is the time of year in the mountain west when sentiments like “golly it’s hot” and “jee whiz it’s a scorcher” and “goddamn this fucking season I hope it burns in hell but then it would probably like that, wouldn’t it,” ease to the forefront of our minds. This is normal. Completely reasonable.
Summer in the west is good for like 10 days. When the last of the snow has retreated from all but the most stubborn mountaintops, usually some time early in July, the countdown begins. The heat is novel then. Spring is over, the wildflowers have bloomed and withered, and the rivers have eased into their banks for lazy floating and comfortable wading. High alpine trails are newly open and if you really feel like it you can probably still figure out how to go skiing.
But the honeymoon is short lived, and the summer marriage unhappy. Now, confronted with an indefinite forecast of 95 degree days and no breath of moisture it’s our plight to sit back, inhale woodsmoke, and try to nap until October. Here are a few tips for addressing heat and making it through until things look up.
Go To The Movies – The tried and true escape from any insufferably hot afternoon: head down to the multi-plex and catch a movie. The theater is usually held at a comfortable 38 deg F, so bring a blanket if you’re a cold person. Uncomfortable with paying $35 for a movie and crying in front of strangers when Happy Gilmore gets his grandmother’s house back*? Check out an independent theater. The Roxy in Missoula shows the good ones and has live theater and jokes and stuff, too. Also you can buy beer there. Go find one!
Go To The River – This is imperfect advice. You need a river, for starters, and one that doesn’t light on fire. Then you need something to do there, either a kayak, some sort of floating board/tube, or a bunch of beer. It helps to have done sit ups all winter, you lazy bum. Also melanin. You’ll enjoy the river more in direct proportion with how much melanin you have. Lacking float toys, abs, and melanin, I suppose you can always just bring more beer.
Pretend It’s Not Bad – Some people can do this. They either pretend that it’s not hot, or that they like the heat. These people are either liars or daemons. Only daemons like the heat. Do not trust these people.
Literally Run Away – Some people spend this time in the alpine. I hear it’s still cold above like 24,000′. And that the skiing is good in Portillo. And the mountain biking is good in Iceland. And it never gets hot in Bellingham. Just. Run. Away.
Go to Space – Like running away to Iceland, but better. It’s cold in space. Like, -273 deg C cold. God that sounds good right now. Buy the ticket, take the ride.