Winter Breathes In

Since the beginning of the New Year, it’s been blowing cold, with light flurries, and mostly cloudy skies. I’ve basically been hibernating with a few quick outings, here and there, for supplies and such. However, winter took a breath in today, and the skies cleared, with light winds.

I did have some resupplying to do, but I was able to complete that in time to get into the bush for a bit, and enjoy this wonderful break in the weather.

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As you can tell, the sun is still fairly low in the sky, but I could definitely feel it’s strength growing, now that the earth has started to tilt back towards it.

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As I mentioned above, we have had light flurries since the beginning of the year, but no big dumps of snow. These flurries do add up, but we only have about five or six inches of snow on the ground right now. Last year, there was no way I could walk in here, because the snow was way too deep.

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It’s minus 17 outside today, but I was feeling nice and warm in just a light jacket. This is partly because I’m now acclimated to colder temperatures by keeping the temperature inside my apartment at around 7 degrees Celsius for weeks now.

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Even though the snow is only five to six inches deep, it does provide quite a good workout walking in it, especially on a long, slow, uphill grade like this was.

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Looking back on my trail, through the undisturbed snow. No one had been in this way for quite some time.

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Those who read my blog regularly will know that this pipe designates a mine shaft, which is probably thousands of feet deep. This one is the LacNor mine shaft.

Once I was off road, the snow did get a bit deeper, maybe up to a foot in some places. I have tried snow shoes before, but that’s not for me. I’d rather just walk in snow that is not that deep, and avoid the two foot deep stuff altogether. Some people around here are using snow shoes now, but it’s more for novelty than anything else. The fact is, if you are cutting a new trail through deep snow, even with snowshoes on, it’s a real pain in the ass.

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Looking up at the top of Lacnor ridge, some of the trees are covered in thick white frost.

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Today is Friday, although I’m writing this post on Saturday. I like when the nice days come during the week, because it tends to be a bit more busy(I might see one other person 🙂 ) on the weekends. I guess it’s also because, when I think back to the days of being a working stiff, the weekends were all I had, and that was usually when the not so nice weather would hit.

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I’ve always felt out of place in populated areas, or around lots of people but, out here I feel free and very much at home. This is another shaft, it’s the service shaft for the LacNor mine.

I didn’t see very many animal tracks today. I guess they must all be hiding from the nasty winter we’ve been having. I can’t say that it has been as nasty as last year, but it has had its moments. Certainly snowfall has been a lot less this year. In fact, conditions right now are perfect for ice fishing, since there is not too much snow cover on the ice. Last year, with the heavy snow, a slushy layer developed between the top snow, and the ice, which made travel on the ice very difficult.

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Today, Saturday, we are back to the doldrums of clouds, wind, and snow, so I was very fortunate to be able to take advantage of Friday’s sunshine.

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A panorama of a section of LacNor ridge. This site is very scenic because of this ridge that runs right through the LacNor mine site. In the summer, I like to go up on top, but I don’t go up in the winters.

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Not exactly El Capitan but it would be a very slippy climb nonetheless. Even in summer, it’s a bit of a challenge getting up there.

LacNor ridge. The sound of silence.

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A jet streaks across the blue sky above. This camera is not an expensive camera, but it is very versatile. A ten thousand dollar DSLR camera could not take this picture, unless it was equipped with a hundred thousand dollar lens.

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Looking back on my tracks, as I head out.

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It wasn’t a long hike today, but I was very grateful to be able to get into the bush at a time of year when I usually can’t. Also, sunny days in the winter are a rare commodity, so being able to take advantage of that elusive sun is very uplifting.

Looks like I’m gonna need that bit of a lift in order to get me through the next onslaught of wintery weather. I’d like to ask those ‘all knowing’ weather guru’s, what happened to the ‘El Nino’ winter we were supposed to get? Not a complaint, just an observation.

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