The smoke from the Pole Creek fire is finally clearing out now that it’s 75 percent contained, skies are sunny and even the overnight lows are still in the summer range. But Indian summer could vanish at any moment in the high desert. The chimney’s been swept, propane tank is full, firewood is ordered for delivery next month. We’re ready for winter.

Mount Bachelor ski area, Bend, OR

Mt. Bachelor runs beckoned in this photo taken with my iPhone on April 8, 2011. It was an awesome powder day!

The final step, if I take it, must be completed by Sept. 30: weekday season pass at Mt. Bachelor. To buy or not to buy?