This week has been a lot of work. As in work at the hospital. Even so, it also involved a good friend's birthday, and that MUST be celebrated! One friend and her husband own a snowmobile and a kamotiq (sled), and made the plans. Depending on weather, we would head out on Wednesday for a trip down the bay, on the frozen ice.
Within a few weeks of living up here in winter, you learn how to dress for the weather, and most of us have quite a collection of winter gear. The best trick is to start on the inside and work your way out in layers. Longjohns and undershirt, double up on the socks. Thick pants, longsleeved shirt, maybe even a sweater. High-quality jacket with a hood, ski-pants, toque, your thickest mitts, scarf or other face-covering, insulated water-proof boots. Basically, multiple layers or one really thick layer for EVERY piece of skin when you're going out on the land (into the country), especially if there's wind or if you're travelling fast (like on a snowmobile). The only thing I was missing was goggles. My friend with the snowmobile provided those. In the end, we're so well covered you wouldn't recognize us if you didn't know what we chose to wear. (That's one thing you get good at here, recognizing someone by their preferred jacket/hat/scarf or by their distinctive walk) One person who saw the pictures from our trip commented that we reminded him of Afghani ladies in their burkhas... you can't tell us apart. That made me laugh, because it's true. Here's a hint: I've got the bright blue toque and the goggles that reflect yellow/silver tones.
We started out near the pier (which right now is just a giant pile of ice and snow), a common point to start from onto the ice, and so has a well-worn snowmobile path over the rougher bits of snow.
Here we are just suited up, no hoods yet.
He's not in many pictures, but the guy on the far left is my friend's husband. He drove the snowmobile. He's got the best mitts I've seen yet, they're made of beaver fur and from everything I've heard are amazingly warm.
After riding for about 20 or 30 minutes (I wasn't about to pull my watch out) we stopped to stretch, and to enjoy some Tim Horton's coffee and hot chocolate... which may or may not have been spiked with Bailey's. Made for a good laugh when we went to drink our coffee and realized the face-mask was NOT made for drinking through. I pulled mine down under my chin right away... it was definitely time for a nice warming drink!
Of course, my friend's five-year-old daughter was bored by the long time we spent sitting/standing around with our hot drinks, so she got a chance to drive the snowmobile. That's her speeding past behind us.
Once we had downed the last drop, it was back on the sled. We saw a number of interesting piles of ice and snow, but there was one that made us stop:
One thing about pictures while bundled up, no-one can see your expression. So when they told me to pose I picked a random pose. There were a lot of cracks closer to the pile of snow, and slushy areas, so I didn't want to go right up against it or try to climb it. I'm standing about as close as I dare in this picture.
My friend (it was her birthday we were celebrating with a trip out) had no idea what to do either, and so she copied my pose.
We travelled a little farther, and found another interesting point to stop for pictures.
I really like this picture. My friend was trying to find a way to climb to one of the large snow-boulders. There were just SOOO many uncertain areas, that we knew it was safer not to try.
Such a gorgeous day to go out. This was the last picture I got before the battery couldn't handle the cold anymore. We spent almost 2 hours out on the ice. Then we went home and made taco soup. It's my current favorite soup... gotta get that recipe!