Thursday, November 28, 2013

A jog with the dog in the fog or a snowshoe? November in Canada confounds

November is a transitional month in Canada when fall has to find its way to winter. November just can't make up its mind from one day to the next. And we fiddle with what gear to break out, or put away.

One day you're jogging with the dog in the fog on an urban trail.
The next day, you're kayaking in the rain and running into a thin sheet of ice on a mountain lake.
 Then, wake up to over 20 centimetres (7 or 8 inches) of fresh snow.
This is November folly in Canada.

In the National Capital Region of Canada (Ottawa, Ontario/Gatineau, Quebec), cross-country skiing has already begun in Gatineau Park, Quebec.

November has finally made up its mind in Canada, it's winter!
Happy trails.
The BaffinPaddler

Monday, November 18, 2013

This is what November looks like

No need to rub your eyes. This is what November looks like on a cold mountain lake in the Laurentians in Quebec, Canada when it rains and the sun sets way too early. It is a little blury, surreal, and foggy. The only colour to be seen is my bright yellow kayak and my red PFD. Everything else is a shade of grey or black.

Then at the nose of my kayak I suddenly hear crunch, crunch, crunch as we break through a thin sheet of black ice that I couldn't even see covering the shallow bay of the lake and we grind to a stop. It surprises me.  It was 10 degrees Celsius (50F) with a light rain and hardly any wind. How could there be ice already, the air felt warm to me.
The water is so cold. It feels like a drink with too many ice cubes. It's my hands that notice. Not a good time of year to forget the gloves or mitts.
Yes, this is what November looks like . . . until the sun comes out.
Happy trails.
Stay warm, dry, and safe.
The BaffinPaddler