Following a day of dead heat, a brief but cooling rainfront came dark and thick as steel wool across the valley an hour or so before dusk last night. That girl and I scurried throughout the house opening windows to draw in the cooler after-rain air. I set a box fan on my workdesk near the window in the den and another at the window in the spare bedroom. I crawled into bed shortly after, leaving that girl to her normal hour or two without me.
I came awake suddenly, knowing something had occurred to bring me awake, but not sure exactly what “something” was responsible. Wind was crying through the screen of the window near my head. That girl rushed through the light of the hall and entered the darkness of the bedroom. “What was that sound?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” I answered.
“The wind knocked the fan onto the floor in the den and blew the screen out of the living room window,” she said. She left the room and patrolled most of the house, closing windows against the wind. “It was door to the other bedroom slamming,” I heard her say from the hall a bit later.
I quickly slipped back asleep with the wind moaning a little at my yet open window.
I came awake suddenly. That girl, now beside me in bed, asked: “What’s going on?”
“Earthquake,” I answered.
The entire bed trembled steadily. The blinds in the windows seemed sloshing back and forth though they actually made a rattling sound. A deep underlying rumble came from outside the house. The quake grasped and shook our house for several seconds.
“What do we do?” that girl asked once the shaking stopped.
“Not much we can do,” I answered. “Either that was very close to us or it was a big one somewhere else.”
“Maybe it was the West Coast.”
“If that was the West Coast,” I responded, “it just fell off.”
We felt two more aftershocks before I drifted off to sleep again.
Early this morning, Kevin stopped by with my paper. He told me his house shook so violently he got out of bed and ran for the front door. “I made it all the way to the front door and the house was still shaking,” he noted.
This morning, I looked online and found information. A magnitude 5.8 quake was recorded at 12:30 AM last night with an epicenter about 6 miles south of Lincoln, Montana. This places the quake almost directly under our cabin in woods.