Smoke in the air from wildfires


For over a month now, Montana and the Northwest have been blanketed in heavy smoke from the wildland fires that have been blazing and burning hundreds of thousands of acres.  We’d be the headliner if it weren’t for the disastrous hurricanes Harvey and Irma, in Texas and Florida, respectively.  Northern California’s having some wildfires, too, now.  The weather reports tell us how hazardous our air is to breathe every morning as we sit and wait for rain or snow…  We’ll be waiting for quite some time yet before precipitation reaches us.  The smoke is so thick in the air some days that visibility is limited to a mile or two.  It’s like a heavy fog, except it makes you cough, makes your eyes burn, and generally makes you fatigued and sick.  I’m really feeling it today.  I haven’t even looked outside yet to see if the smoke is bad today.  It has been lighter the last week or so, but there are heavy days and light days…

That’s what made Labor Day so special!  Lou and Leon and I were able to be outside bouldering all day with a light breeze and clear air to breathe!  It was truly a unique day!  I will always look back fondly on that day, re-savoring the memories and the experiences we had together, especially when I don’t feel good, like today.  I might muster the energy to climb at the gym today, or it might be a rest day altogether.

I feel sick today.  My sinuses are acting up, I have a cough, my eyes are burning, and I’m so tired – all from the smoke’s cumulative effects!  I’ve been taking naps in the afternoon with my BiPAP and they’re so refreshing because my BiPAP has a double air filter on it, so I actually get to breathe clean air when I sleep!!!  A lot of people with asthma and older people with respiratory compromise of some sort are having trouble with this smoke.  I actually slept until 0930-ish hrs this morning because I was enjoying the cool air from the window and the fresh air from my BiPAP so much!  I’m usually up at 0400 or 0500 hrs every morning, only occasionally sleeping in until 0600 hrs!  My BiPAP has a humidifier on it, too, so that’s great for rehydrating my respiratory system!  I’m really fortunate to have the “Cadillac” of BiPAP machines!!!  The photo shows my BiPAP filter compared to a new filter after a month of wildfires…and it’s inside!!!

I’d be outside climbing right now if I felt good enough to and if the smoke wasn’t too thick!  I’d have to find a partner to go climbing with me, but that’s a different issue.  Maybe I just need a rest day?  I’m sore today on top of being tired.  Sometimes, for unknown reasons our bodies just need a rest day.  I might just take one and save myself for tomorrow.  Perhaps I could go to the climbing gym in Bozeman tomorrow, since ours isn’t open on Sundays…

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