Keep winter weather in mind

Literary Junction
Thursday, January 24, 2019
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As I am writing this, there is at least a half-foot of snow on the ground outside. The day before yesterday, there was practically none. It would seem winter has finally arrived in Big Horn County.

All county employees had Monday the 21st off to honor Martin Luther King Jr. and so I left my house to finish up my weekend job of cleaning the fishing access sites along the Bighorn River. I have been doing this for about five years now and still enjoy it very much. It puts me on the river weekly, which I love, not to mention it’s a little extra cash. 

Anyway, as I came to an intersection, I applied the brakes and promptly slid straight through to the other side. I already had my truck in four-wheel drive just so it would be easier to get around, but that made no difference at all. Luckily, there were no vehicles coming and I just proceeded on. I decided then, however, the fishing accesses could wait until a more suitable time.

On the news, they talked of numerous accidents all over Billings and along I-90. People in most cases had slid into ditches, power poles, fence posts, you name it. Remembering my experience earlier in the day, combined with the news on TV, it was obvious most of us were not ready to drive in these conditions yet this year.

We always joke about the fact that Montana drivers are usually dealing with adverse road conditions, especially in winter, and how the rest of the country would just not be able to cope. Anyone who has lived in Montana for a few winters also knows, however, that there’s a bit of a learning curve – or should I say “remembering” curve – involved with snowy conditions. 

Every year, we have to remember how to drive on snow, and the first snowstorm is always the roughest for accidents and fender benders caused by the slick roads. Usually, it happens November or December – sometimes even as early as October – but the point is we have normally already become accustomed to driving in the snow by this time. 

Now, all that to say this: The road conditions and weather have truly become more winter-like, and it appears this is here to stay for a while. These conditions require all of us to take extra care when driving and just being out in the weather. While we welcome everyone continuing to travel into the Big Horn County Library despite the weather, please remember to be safe as you do. Dress appropriately for the weather and give yourself extra time when driving on the roads. 

Quite honestly, I would rather the library were empty all day than to hear of somebody having an accident while on their way here. We at the Big Horn County Library would like to wish you all a warm and safe week.