I am unable to tolerate air travel well. It is the disorientation and dizziness. I can always tell when it will happen. Somewhere at about 30,000 feet, I will look out the porthole and see, on the starboard side, several men in orange vests waving metal signs. This is about the time the Dramamine has begun to take hold. Then we bank into a turn, the men wave goodbye, and we go round about some flaring thunderhead and head in the general direction of Baffin Island. Invariably, somewhere at this juncture, the plane begins to gently sway, like a crib. But cribs are penitentiaries for children! Free the children! At this moment, the captain comes on the intercom and everybody looks at each other and wonder why he is hissing so badly, but actually, his voice is scrambled by the static from the thunderstorm and the orange flames of Aurora Borealis arching above. He tosses out some statistics - speed, time of arrival, the elevation, the cabin pressure, his hat size, the number of men bouncing off of the windshield, the depth of the frozen hydrogen accumulating on the wings - and then all of the sudden, the plane goes into a steep dive. Fortunately, it is about then that I have fallen asleep, and I do never get to see how we pull out of it.
I think of this because the summers are sort of like that plane ride, only on the ground. I wake up in the middle of the night and I do not know where I am. The next day I drive to the survey site and all the vegetation is gone, stripped by a hailstorm the night before. I call Amy on the walkie talkie and she does not know who I am. Tomorrow I am expecting there will be rare invisible tornadoes and we will find that all of our movements during the day were worked out by two men playing chess in the coffee shop in town, both of whom have criminal records.So, let it be that what that may be. What I mean is, a couple weeks ago we were experiencing this in Montana!
And then this!
The Castle Mountains and the Firehole River. As far as I can tell, I believe that is where we were.