High heat on Sunday, the first 100-degree day in at least two years, then thunderstorms today, including a terrific one that snuck up on us just before dark. On Sunday, sirocco-like winds blew for hours. Been a long time since I’ve felt such strong, hot winds, though I remember walking across a mall parking lot in the infamously hot Texas summer of 1980 against winds of that made it hard to stand up, heated past 100 F. This Sunday in Illinois wasn’t that intense. Today, the thunderstorms brought their own cooler wind, enough to knock over our heavy metal patio table, even with the umbrella folded up. It didn’t slide into the window, fortunately.
Just the time to go to the Yukon. I am, in fact, not making that trip, but my friend Ed is. He should be there by now. A few days ago, he sent me an e-mail that included: “Yeah, Vuntut is utter middle of nowhere. We helicopter in from Old Crow, set up a "bear fence" around the camp. Doesn't that sound encouraging? But these people have lived out here for a gazillion years, I figure they know what they're doing. And I've been in bear-infested places before.”
He’s going to a place so remote I had to look it up: Vuntut National Park, in extreme northwestern Yukon. The Parks Canada web site has this to say about the place: "There are no facilities or services of any kind in the park. Travelers must be entirely self-sufficient and able to handle any medical or wildlife related emergency on their own." Bear fences are probably a very good idea in Vuntut.