Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Snow and doing outdoor stuff in the winter

Actually, although most dumb Americans seem to think Canada is a land of perpetual ice and snow, I grew up in a part of it that rarely saw more than an inch or two. Victoria is (was) a little island paradise and has a micro-climate that is supposed to be similar to the Mediterranean. (Well, having lived now for a few months in a real Mediterranean climate, I can say that this is something of an exaggeration). We would get snow for a couple of hours a year and it was such a rare thing that all work and school stopped so people could rush out and play in it as fast as they could before it melted.

Nevertheless, I have lived in places with a bit of snow: the NWT, Halifax. I learned to use snowshoes in high school gym class and yes, I've driven a dog sled... for about 50 meters. I did a bit of cross-country skiing (never down hill, people get killed doing that crazy stuff).

I've hunted ptarmigan in the winter and used a snare line to catch rabbits. (When you go check the snares in the morning, the bunnies have usually been dead for quite a while. You pick them up by the foot and they're stiff as boards. Bunnysicles. Haw.)

I've even ice-fished two miles out from shore on the Great Slave Lake.

And I miss it. I really do.

Snow and cold.


Maggie said...

Can always come back for a visit, y'know!

BillyHW said...

I think you've been to one too many Novus Ordos.

Anonymous said...


I grew up outside of Buffalo, where every night, when the TV station signed off, they'd play "O Canada" first, with pictures of The Falls, and then "The Star-Spangled Banner," with, er, pictures of The Falls.

I can recite "The Shooting of Dan McGrew" by heart.

In college, my major was History, my minor, are you ready?...Canadian Studies.

I once visited Ottawa, went to Parliament Hill and sat at the Cabinet table, in...Joe Clark's chair! (I'm giving away my age).

Canada's a swell place, but unless you're prepared for a life of the Nervous Ordish and none other, stay right where you are.