Saturday, 28 December 2013

Alberta Clipper

We left on Friday 27 on our trek westward for another glorious season of skiing the mountains of British Columbia.  An early start from Terrace Bay. 

The weather was not ideal as the temperature was - 21 c though it did warm up throughout the day.  The phrase: Don't wish for something you would be sorry for.  Well the warm temps also brought in snow, which turned to wet snow with slippery conditions.
We heard about the Comfort Bakery in Vermilion Bay was an amazing place for good coffee and tasty lunch.  It was 2 p.m. and we are now hungry, frazzled and looking for some mojo and food.  "There it is, on the right" I pointed.  Only to find snow banks piled up at the front door. The parking lot was in hibernation til spring.  The sign said CLOSED.  Not funny.....
Treats from the cooler. Cold Spanakopita was the lunch special.  Tasty, but cold and no coffee.  Could be worse. (lunch could have been frozen solid)

 Freezing rain welcomed us in Manitoba as the temperature rose to a bomby -3c.  It was touch and go for a while.  Great driving Bob. The adrenalin was rushing through my body.  Bob kept seemingly calm.  The afternoon was much better as the roads were wet and bare. 
Trans Canada, Manitoba
Doubtingly we reached our destination for the first day....Steinbach, Manitoba.  Too tired for restaurant fare, we decided to munch on our stash from our over abundant surplus of Christmas leftovers and treats.  It was an early bedtime.

Good morning to more snow!  Blizzard would be a better choice of words.  An Alberta Clipper. (sounds like a prairie land yacht) Since I have no idea how this storm front is named, here is the Wikopedia explanation:
An Alberta clipper (also known as a Canadian Clipper) is a fast moving low pressure area which generally affects the central provinces of Canada and parts of the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions of the United States.[1] Most clippers occur between December and February, but can also occur occasionally in the month of November. Alberta clippers take their name from Alberta, Canada, the province from which they appear to descend, and from clipper ships of the 19th century, one of the fastest ships of that time.[2]

Sorry, Too nasty to get out and take photographs

The thermometer took a quick dive to -23 as we frantically loaded our Jeep for day two.  NASTY, ugly and "where did the road go?" as we limped our way out of Steinbach onto the Trans Canada Highway.  Bob could feel his eyeballs freeze as he stepped out of the Jeep to gas up.  Wind chill of -37 we are told.  A dry cold they say. I say "Frigid"

We crossed the Manitoba/Saskatchewan border after lunch.  They say "sunny Saskatchewan" for a reason. 
Sunny Saskatchewan, Who'da guessed?
As soon as we crossed....yes, the sun did appear and all was beautiful.  We could feel our bodies relax as the warmth of the sun heated the cabin of our Jeep.  My turn to drive again.  Did you know the speed limit in Saskatchewan is 110 kph?  Yes, time to make time. The prairie roads are long, flat and wide.  It would be so tempting to see how fast a car would go. 
One hour time change as we drive chasing the sun, we gained an hour of sunlight.  Our destination for day 2 was successful: Swift Current, Saskatchewan.

A hot shower, early bedtime and day three we will see Calgary in time for dinner with our good friends Stan and Liz.  Hugs first, as it has been two years since we saw Stan and  three years for  Liz.

Monday, 23 December 2013

The Great White North(west)

Koo Ko ko ko, Koo ko ko!  It's that time of year again when Bob and Doug McKenzie, true Canadian "Hosers" sing the 12 Days of Christmas.

Bob and I have our own version, tailored to living in Terrace Bay, Ontario.

BobCats 12 Days of Christmas: Terrace Bay style

On the first day of Christmas, My true love gave to me:
One Northern Snow Scoop.  (Yes, he did actually buy this for me....said it was my Christmas present.  You think?)
Just warming up the scoop!

On the second day of Christmas, My true love gave to me:
Two pairs of snowshoes. 

On the third day of Christmas, My true love gave to me:

                                                      Comfort Table (SUPER.!)
Comfort Table Bakery, Vermillion Bay
Three days of driving.  Day 1 Vermillion Bay for coffee and Steinbach, Manitoba for the night.,+ON&daddr=Steinbach,+MB,+Canada&hl=en&sll=47.901614,-90.791016&sspn=12.968869,27.224121&geocode=FQ1j6AIdSwTP-ilN6E5C1FNDTTFawRXg7UnWzQ%3BFUm08wIdj7g8-ikvVB7ZoTXAUjHbpLxe6uuZ8g&oq=Steinba&t=h&mra=ls&z=7

On the fourth day of Christmas, My true love gave to me:
Four dozen Biscotti. (chocolate, of course) O.K. he helped taste the broken ones. After the double bake, I let the biscotti cool in the oven overnight.  The next morning, I found Bob with his head in the oven. Caught you red handed!

Double Chocolate Biscotti

On the fifth day of Christmas, My true love gave to me: 
Five golden beers.  Really six....I had to taste one to see if it was still fresh.
5 o'clock....happy hour

On the sixth day of Christmas, My true love gave to me:

yummy breakfast

Six pounds of bacon. 
Brennen, our local butcher ordered us a pork belly.  We brined it in rosemary, salt and spices. Bob smoked it on the BarB Que for 3 hours with hickory chips.  Chef Bob cooked me up a yummy mouthwatering breakfast! 

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Seven wooly Touques.  Well, not really,  I knit the touqes, but he looks good wearing them.

On the eighth day of Christmas, My true love gave to me:
Eight days of Dog sitting.  Dexter,  you look like a Dingo, and run like a deer.  He is training us well.
He managed to train Bob and I to sit on the floor pretty!

On the nineth day of Christmas, My true love gave to me:
Nine pairs of ski socks.    It's bad luck to wash those lucky socks. See how long they last before washing.  Will Bob do the wiffy test? You need to wait until they walk out from under the bed by themselves.

On the tenth day of Christmas, My true love gave to me:
Ten pairs of hand warmers.  It's cold outside at 7,000 feet!

On the eleventh day of Christmas, My true love gave to me:
Eleven frigid days of winter.  Enough is enough.  -25+ is cold with or without sunshine! This ain't no steam bath.
Hydro Bay, Lake Superior

On the twelveth day of Christmas, My true love gave to me:
Twelve days to pack.    The count down is on.......Panno here come a couple of ski Bums.

And it all has to go in the bear barrel.....

Great White North, with Bob and Doug.

MERRY CHRISTMAS...see you on the slopes!