Almost exactly a month ago, Paul and I were in Yellowstone. On our first day in the park, we toured various geyser basins, fighting crowds and the heat to see the famed heated water features of the park.

After touring a few smaller places, we still had Old Faithful left to view. Instead of heading there in the early afternoon, however, we headed up toward Craig Pass, the road between Old Faithful and West Thumb for a picnic lunch.

The picnic area was set back in the woods, headed up the pass. There were plenty of people there, but unlike the geyser basins, it didn’t feel crowded. We enjoyed a nice picnic lunch in the shade – I even got out a sweatshirt, as even a few hundred feet in elevation going over the pass had cooled off the heat of the lower elevations. After lunch, we headed back to Old Faithful and the Upper Geyser Basin and enjoyed an excellent late afternoon walk around the geysers, the crowds of the earlier part of the day having dissipated at least a little.

I bring this up, because the day before yesterday, Craig Pass and the picnic area where a month ago we were watching a chipmunk dart around some downed trees closed for the winter season. Yes, it is already so cold and snowy in that part of the world that they are closing mountain passes – and unlike the snow in South Dakota last week, this is something planned that happens every year.

I guess this is when I should face the inevitable: winter is coming, and there is no way around it (barring a move to southern Florida). Of course, I could just pretend it isn’t coming, and complain about the temperature not getting to 70 today.

I think I’ll go with the latter.