My wife was laughing at me tonight as I wrote my bi-weekly Wood Buffalo Update, describing winter as fading away, like a gin soaked feline. The image of a confused, frightened cat slinking away came into my head as I pictured this bizarre season.
Here we are in the first week of March with temperatures well above zero and the street in front of our house almost completely barren of snow and ice. Just a few years ago at this time, we drove the winter road to Fort Chipewyan for that community's annual fishing derby. It was -35 with a biting wind, the coldest I had ever felt while holding a fishing pole, with spring nowhere in sight.
The unseasonably warm conditions blew in from the Vancouver Olympics and have just settled in for a good long visit. And as the sun beats down during the day, the condition of the winter road is going from bad to worse, soon to be impassable.
The four runners hoping to tie themselves to a dogsled and start their 280 kilometre journey up the winter road are understandably concerned as they have been training long and hard to make the impossible possible with the Dare2Dream project. The next few days will tell the tale, but the folks at Environment Canada are predicting record temperatures right through the weekend.
If the Winter Road Run was not at risk, I would be singing and dancing in praise of the early arrival of spring. This is one of those years when seeing the tulips rise cannot come soon enough.
March 1, 2010 - 191.8 pounds, 28.5% body fat