My walk home from a lunch date

Jeff and I try to meet for lunch at a restaurant once a week. Mostly this is for my benefit, I suspect. In the winter it is easy to squirrel myself away inside, and since I work at home, I can go days without seeing people. I love walking, but I do less of it the colder it gets, and when it is dark most of the day.

Here are some iPhone pics from my walk home from my lunch date today. I won’t adjust the brightness at all so these are as shot around 1pm at -20°C.

The river still is open in front of town! Jeff says people are now suspecting it won’t freeze and we may not even have an ice road this year? The theory has something to do with when and how it froze up and down stream which has left this section in front of town open, without even having ice on it. The current is still pretty swift. There is a trail for people across the river to journey into town, but it is a 4 hour walk!

 

Early December Updates

Christmas season is in full swing here in Dawson City! We kick it off with the Festival of Lights on December 1st. This is food, and a scavenger hunt for the children. The stores stay open late, and there are fireworks! It was so cold my iPhone turned itself almost instantly, so I’ll share a photo taken by another Dawson resident:

Christmas here is the season of bazaars and open houses. I helped man a booth for the Humane Society at a bazaar a couple of weeks ago. Today we went to the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Last Minute Christmas bazaar. Here’s our friend Eldria with some of her amazing fur hats, gloves, and moccasins with such intricate beadwork.

img_9448

It is really neat seeing all the fur products. Such skill and talent. We talked to another man who showed us wolf fur gloves and told us about how he got the wolf, and how the wolf almost got him. We also saw seal hats, some beaver, muskrat, lynx, fox, and rabbit. All harvested sustainably and humanely.img_9450

You just have no idea how much work goes into these products, from the trapline, to the hide cleaning and tanning, just as it has been for thousands of years.

At the Christmas bazaars, people also have tables to sell their crafts, natural remedy salves and ointments, herbs, preserves and jams, jewelry, and baking. This year I’ve been doing most of my Christmas shopping locally. I think it is important to support my community and my neighbours, and I feel it more the longer we’re here.

Last night we went to the Christmas Open House at the town museum. It’s a great event, with delicious food. We sat at a table with a few other people and talked about the weather, how the river hasn’t frozen yet, the 4 hour walk our neighbours across the river are taking to get into town across some areas that are frozen, past canoe trips and hikes, dog sledding and skijoring, history of the area, gold mining, and comparisons of life here to the “outside” (the rest of the world).

There is also a High Tea fundraiser today for the local paper, a coffee house/open mic event tonight put on by the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture. Tomorrow there are pet pictures with Santa for the Humane Society. So much to do, and you can’t do it all. There is always so much to do here! (See our event calendar!)

We got quite a bit of snow this week, despite the cold temperatures, and it was uncharacteristically windy so there are actual snow drifts! Jeff was away in Whitehorse all week. I was sending him snow updates every day because he was so eager to get home and get on his snowmobile.

Here he is earlier today getting his sled ready.

img_9451

I won’t adjust the lighting in these pictures so you can see how dull the light is when it is an overcast day. These were at noon in the back alley behind our house. Sunrise was 10:41am and the sunset today will be at 3:35pm.

img_9455

We’ve got a -40C coming up in the forecast for the next week. Can’t wait to experience the -40s! I shovelled for 90 minutes earlier this week, and it went down to -30C, which seems so weird because I’m used to it getting warmer to snow.

Living here, you know that things take time. For instance, we had a leak in the truck transmission, so it went to the shop for a repair and was deemed undriveable! Gasp! The necessary parts had to be shipped up here, so it was 10 days before we got it back. I can walk just about everywhere, although it takes more layers, effort, and prep time in the cold 🙂 But I am thinking about getting a second vehicle for times like this, and so either of us could go to the city on our own without leaving the other person without wheels. It would be nice too to not have to make arrangements with Jeff at work to get the truck every time I need to drive somewhere. Maybe I’m just feeling rich without that east coast house on our backs anymore.  😀

Another way how life differs. I have a partial tear of a rotator cuff tendon. I hurt it late last winter, and I just keep rehurting it, every time due to slipping on ice while holding something stationary, like a doorknob, or truck door handle. It means my arm has way less motion, and at times even just sneezing is like getting hit with an axe.  The Dr would like me to see a physiotherapist so we can decide on a treatment plan. However we live in a remote town. A physiotherapist comes 3-4 times a year to a big waiting list. There is another one who is private who comes more regularly, who the Dr. speaks highly of, but she won’t be coming until the end of January or maybe February. I was going to take a last minute trip to see her in the city this past week, but the rest of my work team was already out, so I stayed home to cover the work. With any luck, I’ll stop trying to rip my arm off so I can get this thing healed up!

Here’s a picture Jeff just sent from the edge of the cell signal, looking over Bonanza Creek:
img_0907

Pictures from the top of the Dome this afternoon

It’s a gorgeous day in the Klondike region today! While running some errands, Jeff drove us up the Dome Rd. to the Midnight Dome.img_9385

It was about -22C. Town is mostly in the shade these days (see above), but the sun was terrific up on the Dome! These photos were taken around 1pm.

img_9386

The road up is only plowed as far as people live, then the second half is rough, but there really isn’t enough snow to slow down a pick-up truck.

img_9395

The trees are covered in frost and snow. The heavier the limbs get with snow, the more they fold over.

img_9399

img_9400
img_9403

Winter is amazing when the sun isn’t warm enough to melt anything. Everything is beautiful.img_9424

img_9410

 

img_9420

Even the ground looks like frosted flakes!

img_9390

img_9396

img_9406-1

img_9407

img_9409

img_9422

img_9418

These were just iPhone pictures (before my iPhone shut itself off because it was too cold). Real camera next time, maybe!

Our new ice making hobby

I love ice. Not just winter ice, but ice in my drinks. Cold water just isn’t cold enough!

In Nova Scotia, we bought a fridge specifically for its ice making feature in the freezer. We didn’t move that fridge across the country, and now don’t even own a fridge (rental house), so we’ve had to go back to ice cube trays.

UNTIL I went to cash in my Air Miles and discovered this beauty:

danby-ice-maker

I cashed in a bunch of my miles, and they even offer free shipping!

This new addition to our family is a 2lb Danby Ice Maker (#). It is portable. You just pour in water, and in just ELEVEN minutes the first load of ice cubes appear in the dump tray. Every 11 minutes, more ice arrives until the basket is full. WOO HOO!

Life can not get any better!

Won’t be long now sunshine

My notes from our first winter here say that the river stopped flowing on November 17th last year, and the sun stopped hitting our house in the same week.

Today when I saw the sun’s glow in the ice fog hanging over town, I signed out of work so I could go for a walk. I don’t find walking in the dark nearly as enjoyable.

Here are a few shots from my iPhone that I was keeping warm in my mitten between shots:

img_9340

This pictures are all from 2:30 – 3:00 pm. You can see how low the sun is. Soon, it won’t clear the hills and we’ll be in the shade until January. Right now it is really only hitting town in the 2 o’clock hour.

Yesterday it got really mild for a few hours and everything started to melt. All is right with the world again and we’re back at -8. There is a frozen mist hanging over town all day today though – maybe from the Klondike River that is still flowing. Look at the frost that formed on the school fence today!

img_9341

img_9342

Neat eh? Here’s the view of the Yukon River. Really low, covered with mostly ice chunks, but still flowing pretty briskly.

img_9346

Here’s the view of the dyke walkway along the Yukon River, looking towards the sun.

img_9347

img_9352

I walked down and out onto the river bed. The river is so low at this time of the year, it is a long way from the shore.

img_9357

Back on the lower dyke trail.

img_9363

img_9364

I feel like my dad would have been pretty giddy walking around town with his camera today.

img_9367

img_9369

img_9370

Jeff spent the day up the Dempster skidooing with a friend. He reports that there isn’t much snow, but he still loves his Skidoo.

Today’s sunrise time was 9:34am and it set at 4:30pm.