fBy Mike Austreng, Editor
It’s been kind of a strange year for weather. Starting with a late spring – one that didn’t seem to exist – with a snow storm on April 14th that had us looking out our living room window knowing we should have had some miles on the bike by then, and wondering when winter was going to let go. Then May hit and it was like August should be, with really warm temperatures. June, July, August and even into September proved to be some of the hottest average temperatures on record, but it seemed like it rained about once or twice a week to keep things nice and green.
This past week the temps were still up near 90, but by the end of this week it’s going to seem cold with highs in the 60’s. Many trees are starting to turn colors, the deer are active (so be aware when you drive – deer are totally unpredictable). In a car or truck you’re not supposed to swerve to avoid a deer so you don’t over correct or end up in oncoming traffic. On a motorcycle you’re supposed to do what you can to avoid a collision.
Just a week ago we took a Saturday morning run up to our hunting land north of Blackduck with brother Don – we had to mow the lawn and check the woods and stands before the hunting season kicks off. All of that went off without a hitch (unless you consider a 25+ mile detour near Backes a hitch). On the way home, just south of Akeley we were number four in a string of traffic and witnessed a small deer at a dead run slam into the side of a Ford pickup truck (first in the line). Parts went flying, the deer went flying – it wasn’t dead yet, but we’re pretty sure it didn’t survive the impact. What it showed us is that there wasn’t anything that driver could do. The deer came out of nowhere and was running hard.
We’ve put over a quarter million miles on motorcycles and have had occasions when we came upon deer on the road, or very near the road, but never one running like that one was. It made us think about how bad (actually how good) the timing has to be to be struck by a running deer. It would seem like incredibly bad luck to be struck by a running deer while you’re going down the highway, but it happens – it happened just a few vehicles ahead of us.
As much as we dislike what follows fall, the color of the trees is something we can’t get enough of and really enjoy finding good tree color areas. There’s so much of it right in our area. During a recent run to the House on the Rock in Wisconsin we couldn’t help but look at the areas around the roads we traveled and wonder how beautiful those areas would be in about a month (or less).
There are river boat rides and train rides you can find that feature fall color areas. Wouldn’t it be nice if those leaves held on for a few more weeks than they do?
While on the topic of weather, how about the hurricanes headed for the east coast. One made landfall in the Carolinas area on Friday. While it was downgraded, it is still predicted to stall and dump a lot of rain over the next few days. Two more are following, but we haven’t seen if they are predicted to hit the same area. People were advised (maybe even ordered) to evacuate, but there are always those who figure they can ride out the strom. Some of those may end up losing their lives. One report we heard said there could be as much as 40 inches of rain in a short period. That means flooding. We’ll have to keep watching the news to see the reports.
It’s a bit strange to us that with the high cost of building materials there still seems to be a lot of construction going on in our area. New homes, new apartment buildings, remodeling – all keeping contractors pretty busy throughout the summer season. Initially we considered selling our home and building a new patio style home in the River Links development, but as we looked at costs we realized we’d have to borrow a lot more than we currently owe to build a smaller home. That wouldn’t make a lot of sense as we rapidly approach the age of retirement.
Maybe things will settle down and the cost of materials will lower, but not likely in the near future.
It’s nice to see new construction going on, it shows people have confidence in our area and want to spend a portion of their lives here. We’ll just stay where we’re at for a while – maybe we’ll paint a couple walls to make it feel new again.
Have A Good Week!