As I drove between the bluffs up the Mississippi River this morning I couldn’t help but get lost in the beauty all around me. There’s something about extreme cold (-32) that brings an extra sharpness and brightness to the landscape, especially as the sun first peeks out from under the horizon.

At one point I passed a spot where the river almost looked like it had open water and steam and fog were floating up from it. With the sun’s light just emerging it totally reminded me of another memory of cold weather.

In this case the temperature wasn’t nearly as cold as this morning, but it was unseasonably cold for the end of July in Wyoming. We were going for an early morning hike in Yellowstone and the cold air caused fog and steam to rise all around us from the geothermal activity. It was beautiful beyond words, so completely surreal.

Seeing the steam this morning brought that memory back and kept me warm all day long. Funny how one moment can remind me of another memory that has brought me so much joy!


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