Al Cashion: Environmental euphoria

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Al Cashion

“Seventy-five and sunny,” the Accuweather app on my Android reported one day last June.

A quick check through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration verified the report.

The gorgeous meteorologist on TV said the same the night before.

But, I don’t believe weather girls actually have to have degrees to talk about degrees; the gorgeous part is usually enough for ratings.

Therefore, I get my weather from people who don’t see the makeup department before telling me what coat I need for the day. Sometimes I’m not sure about their degrees, either.

Seventy-five degrees? Boring.

Anything above 20 is mundane until 95.

Extremes give you something to work with, a challenge to your existence.

Zero demands you fight for survival.

Blistering heat requires bristling backbone.

I like temperatures that assault you as you step out the door.

I want wind that steals your hat.

Give me weather that must be wrestled.

When the weather-man/woman/person says 75, calm with 20-percent chance of afternoon and evening showers, my zest gets zapped.

No challenge.

No contest.

I can experience the same inside my home and watch TV while I do it.

I don’t like “showers.”

Give me resolute rain that renders the fastest windshield wipers insignificant.

Rain that transforms gutters on gently sloped streets into white water violence.

Give me savage snow. I want snowflakes large and numerous so your voice is muted by white density, so your snow-shoveling neighbor is deluged by a roof slide because your warning call could not carry.

I like snow blowing sideways, white leviathans consuming Toyotas all over.

I like drifting snow beasts that dislodge tractor-trailers from their rightful lanes, throwing 20 tons helter skelter, leaving the Peterbilt driver disoriented.

Give me callous cold.

Precious moisture letting go of the lungs with carbon dioxide, then rising up the trachea and throat and finally expelling through the nostrils.

Traveling at 2 miles per hour, the 98-degree exhale meets 30-below ambient air, instantly freezing the H2O as it contacts the facial hair.

The man braving the elements attempts to speak to his workmate with an undisciplined jaw, finding it unresponsive to commands, suffering a substantially reduced temperature as his other outer extremities.

His co-worker hears vague mumbling through the 3-inch icicles adorning the mustache.

Equally cold, he understands his friend is signaling that it’s time for the warmth of coffee and the shelter of a truck left running all day, the reward well worth the cost of fuel.

Give me all the hot Hades can hurl.

I like punishing heat, harsh heat that turns steering wheels and bicycle seats into instruments of torture.

Heat that makes air dance over barren ground as though hell is doing the jitterbug. I like heat that makes cool white cotton shirts feel as though it were heavy, long sleeved black wool.

Heat with a branding iron searing the tonsils and throat to an unquenchable thirst, sucking moisture from the tongue as fast as chewing cotton balls. Heat that sours the stomach, dizzies the mind and drains the limbs.  

Unrelenting.

Unmerciful.

Unyielding and unforgiving.

Heat.

Weather such as this demands one feel alive and in the fray, experiencing the contest of life.

If man is fit to tame these atmospheric beasts, he’s fit to stick around.

Craig and Moffat County weather pleases me.

It’s one of the hundreds of beauties of this city and county, the full list being much too long to list here.

Craig is the garden spot of the known universe, the premier destination for elk hunters, the place listed by Intergalactic Traveler magazine as the extraterrestrial eco-tourist’s paramount destination.

We’re on the map, people.

Yep, this is my town, my weather, and I love it here.

I truly do.

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