This p'ticler mtn folk is 2 miles tops from the feet of the stunning Bitterroot Mountains, smack in the middle of the Bitterroot Valley and about 3200 feet above sea level in southwestern Montana. The pic below is Blodgett Canyon, which is pretty close to due west of me. I shot it from my balcony on 5-1-10.
HJM, we actually get almost no snow of note. The Bitterroot Valley is referred to as "the banana belt of Montana"; we have less rough weather of all kinds other than heat than any other place in the state. Hamilton in particular gets it easy; it'll snow all over Darby (10-ish miles south) and Stevensville (15-ish miles north) and we get a skiffle if anything. Only twice, I think, in my 6 years in MT have I seen more than 6 inches of snow down at a time.
And I'm descended from some Yateses myself; Capt. John Yates of Seattle (Cpt of the last wind-powered commercial shipping boat to sail!) and his wife Virginia were charter members of the Queen City Yacht Club and my maternal grandmother's parents. When Virginia, also known as my beloved great-grandmother "Tutu", passed in 1996, she was cremated and scattered off the QCYC's longest pier. My one maternal uncle used Yates instead of his father's Jones, and sadly Air Force Staff Sergeant Jeffrey Yates was killed in the line of duty, around early summer 1983 if I recall right, parachuting from his Search & Rescue plane into a typhoon to try to recover survivors, bodies, and parts from a bad crash in the south Pacific. He was thought to have hit a piece of wreckage and died on impact, as he was never heard from again after he jumped. I didn't know him well, but I've always considered him a hero for just being willing to jump out of a perfectly good airplane in a freakin' TYPHOON to try to save people no one was sure were even still alive.
I regret to advise that I am not a Yates but I am a direct descendant of the rocket scientist branch of the nut fam. I am a relative flat lander compared to most mountainous folks being at 3500 feet. Living a tad northerly makes for interesting yingyang weather; either flippin freezin or chinooking in the w*i*n*t*e*r but summers are very luvly.
dahlianut, I got the rocket scientist for a while by marriage; one of my stepfathers was a JPL scientist of some note. Unfortunately, since his claim to fame was being the guy who put the wrong punctuation (either a semicolon or a colon, needed one and used the other) in the coding that sent the Mars radar probe millions of miles off course decades ago when they first tried radar mapping, he didn't like to talk about rocket science. And since he liked bright kids even less than kids in general, it really honked him off when I was 11 and browsing his Scientific American magazine collection routinely. And that particular moment of scientific "Whoops!"-ery has crossed my life more than once--after remote course correction, the readings were printed out as alphanumeric data on those roller sheets dot-matrix printers used. I know this because I've had the breathtaking honor of not only seeing part of a complete copy but getting to very carefully hold that very old paper in my hand. I've met the artist who used those radar readings to create what turned out to be 90% accurate bronze globes of Mars, one for the Smithsonian and one for the lobby at JPL.
Never did know my uncle, but I do agree that jumping out of a perfectly good airplane into gale-force winds on the *hope* of finding survivors or even identifiable remains makes a hero pretty quickly.
Yates was DH step-father's surname, and it was given to him when his mother married Yates. But, being a family genealogist for more years than I care to reveal, I have also researched some of the Yates lines from MN, WI, NY & etc. I dearly loved DH's step-grandfather, he was the sweetest old man!
dahlianut, the radar readings are mentioned in the "awesome things you've touched" thread I started over in General Discussion :D
I'm not sure where exactly my Yateses were from although we did get a booklet from a distantly related genealogist indicating they were mostly of Germanic descent. I know I came by being a "Jones girl" of the second generation by way of my maternal grandfather, who came from Wyoming oilfield-worker stock originally hailing from Wales. Captain Yates was his wife's father. I don't actually know anything definite about my paternal descent; I have a name & face but there is a second possibility whose physical description is WAY closer to mine (short, dark, stocky) than the first (tall, thin, blonde). I'd never take a chance on disparaging my mom or her memory, which is the only reason I never took the fella whose name I have up on his offer to pay for half of a DNA test, and I don't actually know if he's even still with us because we were never close. The second possibility is a very common name combo, and someone I never met, so digging at my mom for identifying details would probably just end badly.
Ah, that's too bad, since genealogy is so much fun. Most of the Yates' I've come across are of English or Irish descent. The step-father had red hair and was short in stature (as was the step-grandfather).