December 15, 2017

Winter is definitely here…and I’m lovin’ it!

I wanted to include a different picture with this post, but my camera froze up which tells me winter is definitely here. So you’re stuck with what you see…the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway’s old time rotary snow blower they use to clear the railway line through the White Pass summit every spring. It’s a thing of rare beauty to watch perform, let me tell you!

Now the snow blower part of the story I’ve got for you below hardly compares to that mighty old machine, but mine sure as heck puts a different spin on the issue…from a slightly different perspective of course.

Welcome to the minus 20’s and 30’s Celsius temperatures of winter in the Yukon! If we’re lucky we might even hit the -40’s this time around, and early indicators are rapidly shaping up to prove that to us…I can hardly wait! Here’s why, explained with a little tongue-in-cheek that I hope won’t leave it frozen to the roof of my mouth…

For us lucky folks who have chosen to settle ourselves into the geographical northern areas of Canada that freeze themselves solid in winter, there’s a whole bunch of advantages to being here in the winters.

Like for example: We get to stay IN-doors a lot more than you warm-blooded Southern folks do during these temperatures…but that’s only common sense to us because we know our blood needs to stay warm enough to keep circulating too – and it does that best indoors of course. Naturally when we do decide to hit the great frigid outdoors to gambol around a little, we tend to layer up in a whole bunch of warm stuff – we think fondly of long-johns as the normal starting point – and build up from there until we resemble those guys who walked around on the surface of the moon; and trust me, we move around and feel just about as agile as they looked in those funny suits of theirs too! Good fun, and very natural to us hardy northern types.

And then of course there’s the car-thing. We get to start ours and let them run at least 20 to 30 minutes ahead of any attempt to leave our driveways. That’s of course after we’ve cleared the snow off them first, so that the heavy layer of frost beneath gets exposed enough to have a chance of thawing sometime within those 30 minutes. Then it’s time to put the vehicle in gear and go thumping down our driveways and roads on our square wheels which confirms once again that winter is definitely her. You get used to that sensation pretty easy really, and it has the added advantage of rattling loose all the toast crumbs in your teeth so you can enjoy the rest of your breakfast on the go.

And snow clearing is a lot of fun too! I mean, who in their right mind could possibly object to getting suited up like I described earlier, and then walking ponderously over to the snow blower stashed under a tarp covered in snow? Then you clear that off and drag the tarp off to the side – and if you’re smart you’ll remember to place it where you’re NOT going to blow snow onto it, in hopes of being able to locate and use it again afterwards to re-cover your machine.

Then it’s simply a matter of checking and refilling fluid levels, playing with the unit for a half hour or so until it finally starts despite its unwillingness to, and then letting it drag you around the place until you’ve rediscovered your yard and hopefully the driveway leading into it. All the while of course allowing yourself to get thoroughly coated and  covered in wind driven blow-back snow that tends to make you resemble an automated snowman. It’s no big deal really, as long as you move slow enough not to work up so much sweat that your clothes and your carcass freeze solid, leaving you vertically marooned somewhere in your yard until spring break up.

Mind you, northern folks are pretty good about handling that sort of thing with a lot of class too if it happens inadvertently on your part. Odds are pretty good that somebody will be sure to find you eventually and make all necessary arrangements on your behalf, and place your already stiff carcass into a nifty pine – or maybe oak box, depends how much they liked you – and put you into a nice comfortable horizontal position in a nice warm hole. The hole is guaranteed to be warm, because naturally they can’t actually dig one until it does get warm. So as you can see, even under the worst scenario snow clearing can be a fun adventure – one way or another, you might say.

Okay – enough tall tales for today. Who knows what else might show up here tomorrow. That’s one of the advantages of being the kind of writer I am who never knows what his Muse might decide to tempt him with next time.

Yup, winter is definitely here and the winds have a bite to them, but stay tuned for fresh installments from my frozen fingers.

The comment form below is hereby officially declared open for your feedback to my musings. Please feel free to use it liberally.


  1. Sid & Terry says:

    How well we remember those days too Ken!!!
    But, they are just that… a distant memory… (that we keep in the back of our “memory bank”…)

    The “Semi-Southerners 🙂

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