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.

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