Every morning over the last couple of weeks my 3 year old daughter, Jessie, has started off the day with the question; “Where’s summer, Dad?” With the lingering winter, this is the same question most Montanans have been thinking in their heads. I have responded to her by saying that it is coming soon, or it is hiding underneath all the snow; she then starts dreaming about her favorite summer foods. Being a McKinnie who loves food she continues; “I miss watermelon, I miss cherries, and peaches… I love watermelon!” Usually she wraps up her thoughts about summer emphatically; “It’s hard to wait!”, and she then moves on to a full day of playing. While Jessie and Eliza happily play around the house, I am left sitting with my coffee still dreaming about summer BBQ’s, camping and floating down the river.
On the bright side, this winter has brought plenty of snowpack for river drainages around Montana and it made for an epic season at Discovery Ski Area. Locally, the Upper Clark Fork, the Jefferson and the Bitterroot drainages are currently sitting at, or above, 100% of their historical averages. This should equal healthy stream flows on our home rivers throughout the 2023 season. I am looking forward to “shredding this pow” a second time once all this moisture trickles into Rock Creek, the Big Hole and Clark Fork Rivers.
Even though the season has lingered it has been a memorable winter. I have enjoyed irreplaceable time spent with my daughters; fun road trips, plenty of outings for doughnuts and showing them some of my favorite Disney movies. It was a great season working and riding at Discovery Ski Area, just outside of Philipsburg. It was the best snowpack I have seen in the last five years and I was promoted to a Lift Foreman. The season was also highlighted by a getaway to Iowa. Even though it is not the most exotic destination it was a great spring break trip; enjoyed the first round of the March Madness Tournament, explored the Driftless Area of northeast Iowa, plenty of local microbrews and great food.
As our seasons slowly change, both Jessie and I anticipate the coming summer. I can’t wait to get back on the water with my family and all my new, and returning, clients and friends.