|The Barn at Finley Point|
As our little plane was leaving Salt Lake City bound for Missoula, the pilot warbled over the PA system that there was good news; we would be able to land in Missoula and not have to divert to Helena because of the smoke. The whole possibility-of-diversion thing was news to us as it had never occurred to anyone that there was a possibility of not being able to land because of smoke from forest fires. But when we arrived, we could see what the big deal was. I grew up in Missoula and have never seen such dense smoke. You could smell it strongly in the jetway getting off the plane--and even right before landing we could barely see the ground under the plane. It was good to get our rental car and get out of town heading up to Polson.
Unfortunately there is nowhere you can go in Western Montana right now that isn't smokey. It isn't as bad in Polson as it is in Missoula, but you can't see the lake from our back deck, and at night all the street lights have a diffuse glow under them that looks like fog or fine snow. I can't imagine what it's like to live here day after day right now. The sun is a faint orange glow in the sky--a daily partial eclipse. It's kind of like a grey day in Seattle, but the light's a bit more sickly yellow/green. I think it would be very depressing for more than a week, and folks here have been dealing with it for much longer than that.
Getting to sleep is rough as Jessie is having difficulty breathing, and and I am worried about the air quality because I have done my normal night time routine of opening all the windows in the house. We don't have central A/C or any kind of whole-house fan system here in Montana so open windows are the only way to get any air circulation. The master bedroom (where my cousins are staying for the wedding) has a ceiling fan as does the livingroom, but otherwise we're pretty air-movement primitive up here.
Tomorrow is a day of fun at the lake (not in the water--it's way too cold for that!) and an evening of square dancing in the Barn at Finley Point.