Showing posts from January, 2019

Ice cold wake-up call

What’s the difference between an adventure and emergency? I’d say, if no one gets hurt you’ve had an adventure and if no equipment gets damaged either, then you’ve had a damned good one.

With only a very slightly dented ski arm and a sprained wrist, I’d say we’ve just had a pretty, damned good adventure. And a reminder about complacency.

We have a broken down snow machine at our pals’ place about 50 miles away. “We’ll head down Wednesday, throw it on the sled, and tow it home,” we told them by email. “Won’t need any help. We’ll just say hi and be on our way,” we wrote, with the stupendous confidence of total idiots.

The trail’s good, what could go wrong, we thought? Again (see my last blog). Didn’t bother packing much of our emergency gear as we wanted an empty sled, left the dog on his chain with no extra food and set off with a flask of coffee and high hopes.

The trail was indeed superb, until about 10 miles from our pals’ place, at a known trouble spot. A network of sloughs and is…

The beautiful cold

People sometimes ask how we can live in the dark and the cold. Because of moments like this.

And this.
We have been sunk in a beautiful, magical, deep, deep cold for the past few weeks. We got as low as -42C here on our property and even colder in the valleys.

It seeps into the house through the nails on the door and hangs round us like stage smoke when we walk outside. Our water buckets begin to freeze overnight, our wash bowl is solid ice by morning.It bucks and pops when we put it on the woodstove to thaw.

We haven’t got down to -46C yet. I know when we have as the dry ice curls into the house when you open the door and billows across the floor in silent, slow-moving waves. But we don’t seem to see those temps in this spot, or not anymore, and perhaps I’m the only one disappointed by it.

There’s not a lot we can do when the thermometer falls this low. We try not to run our snowmachines for fear of breaking them. We would use Homer to haul our chainsaw in the dogsled and go to cu…