It’s been almost a week into 2015 and life in the north has not disappointed. Here are some exciting highlights…
We had a Chinook on New Year’s day, evening actually. There was a really warm wind and within a few hours it went from -15C to +7C . The drastic temperature increase resulted in a drastic snow melt and then 10 hours later it dropped back down to -15C and turned everything to ice. Have no fear because then it started to snow, a lot, just so all the treacherous ice was well hidden.
After the impressive snowfall, I had to go for a snowshoe with my wing-girl Kobi. We took off on the trails behind our place (middle of nowhere) which are all uphill for what seems like forever. Not 10 minutes in I noticed Kobi lock onto something with her doggy radar. It was a small herd of elk. They ran into the woods once they heard me getting Kobi back under control (i.e. yelling at her). Fortunately I had her under control before she could be a real terror. That was exciting.
We carried on and then Kobi locked onto 2 grouse. She loves grouse. What dog wouldn’t love giant chickens that fly and travel in large flocks? When one flies away there are more to choose from. Don’t worry, no grouse were harmed, much to Kobi’s disappointment.
Eventually we arrived at the home stretch which is all downhill. Nothing feels as good as running downhill after walk-jogging for 2km uphill in fresh snow with snowshoes strapped to your feet. I have never felt so fast in my life. I’m sure I wasn’t fast, but I felt like Meb.
Then there was the full moon on the weekend which was amazing, but then it got really cold. Like -27C (-17F) not counting the windchill as who counts the windchill (probably smart people).
I had to go cross-country skiing the next day because it was just so bright and shiny out. If it was -30C or colder I may have reconsidered, but heck, it was only -27C (-32C with the windchill, but I’m not a smart person).
A word of caution here, do consider the windchill and don’t try to take too many photos documenting your adventures when it’s -27C out. It’s hard on fingers and gadget batteries. Although, recall I have prototyped a pretty awesome smart phone warmer (read here). I also keep the hand-warmer business in business as my hands are chronically cold from October to May.
The icing on the cake was the northern lights on Sunday night (and prior to 11PM). However, by the time I got all my cold weather gear on (snowsuit, toque, headlight, gloves, mittens and neck warmer) and camera tripod ready to go, they had settled down so no spectacular photos. Maybe next time.
How about you, do you consider windchill before venturing outside? Ever feel Meb fast? Does your dog like chasing things they’re not supposed to like large ungulates and flying chickens?