I'm kinda torn tonight. My weekend was nice, the weather better than pleasant, and looking ahead doesn't suck in the least. So why do I feel this bitter churn of conflict? It was something I read on My Mountain's Homepage this evening...the Marketing Department has posted a "Target Opening Date"...not a Headline per se, just a link at the bottom of a short list of links, but a Date all the same. Subtle to the casual observer, unseen by the disinterested, but right on target to one who doesn't want a date with my snowcat until after Thanksgiving.
Until I viewed said post, I was Master of the Universe...it resonated with my sunny outlook, and the world would wait for me to have my fill, basking in my endless Fall of warm treks to the Farmer's Market, pleasant days floating around San Francisco Bay in search of Halibut, and weekends with family dinners and a movie. That little link crashed that Dream World in a millisecond.
What to do? First, I looked to hard facts for solace...Remote Sensors, IP Weather Station Data, and Mountain Webcams provided the unvarnished data points. Delving into a few day's worth of NWS Forecast Discussions, armed with a fresh brain-full of up to the second data, calmed the choppy waters some, but the taste of churn will be with me for the duration now....even though the signs don't point to the Target Opening Day's Bullseye.
Mother Nature will have to join the Team if My Mountain is going to hit that target...It's just too warm...the Jetstream doesn't seem to care if it migrates south to it's Winter Home any time soon, and even the Dungeness Crabs are running behind schedule! Most of the Crab Reports on my Club's Fishing Report Page mention Soft Shelled Crabs being returned to the ocean to "Harden-Up" and fill out. This "Pacific Ocean Running Behind Schedule" meme has become a regular part of the Local Weathersphere these last five or so years...coinciding with the later openings of My Mountain. I've heard the same story from the Columbia River in the North, to the very tip of the Baja Peninsula.
This morning, I was blissfully writing a Fishing Report telling of our successful day of Halibut Fishing on a wonderfully calm San Francisco Bay, enjoying the afterglow of events and the Dungeness Crab Dinner SturgeUrge and I enjoyed afterwards. The Bay was ours alone to enjoy for two reasons.
The last storm to disappoint the Local TV Weatherfolks turned into a big wind and swell event with only trace amounts of precip ashore, but the wind's effects on the Sport Dungeness Crab Opener made any fisherman worth his salt stay safely in Port. The swell abated Monday enough for Sport Crabbers to head out under the Golden Gate Bridge to the Big Briny to set their traps for the season's first dungees...the seas were big enough Saturday and Sunday to discourage all but the most foolhardy, or those with big boats...25ft and up only!
It's November...Halibut Fishing is usually over by now...it's that Tardy Pacific Ocean thing again. The SturgeUrge is a big 17ft, so our crab came from the 99 Ranch Market in Richmond, two pounders with hard shells...the fish monger didn't know if the crabs were from Oregon or Washington, but they steamed up nicely and were sweet and delicious as all Dungeness are early-season. SturgeUrge did all the catching Monday..two Halibut and a Red Hot Striped Bass from the Bay that was so glassy that it reminded us of the "Greasy" conditions we see on Baja's Sea of Cortez (without the Tropical Humidity!)
OK...I'm feeling much better now. Writing and proofreading the above allowed me to slip back into my Master Of The Universe costume again...I'm warm inside again too. Warm like the temperature readings in the High Sierra over the past two nights...the Halibut will head back out of the Bay and into the ocean until next spring...My Mountain will open, and when it does I'll climb into my favorite BR350, set up the iPod, and crank up the cab heater...I'll get that nice warm all over feeling I always get when I start grooming for another season. Cue the Narrator from Steinbeck's "Cannery Row": "Once again, the World was spinning in greased grooves"
I'm pretty sure SturgeUrge and I will launch the SturgeUrge onto Tomales Bay at least one more time before I head back up the Hill to get after it. We'll chow down on the freshest steamed Dungeness Crab, with a side of San Francisco Sourdough...and wash it down with a nice fat chardonnay. That's when that good warm feeling inside will be impossible to ignore again.
The churn is just a wake-up call...I get to hit the snooze for a few more weeks.