But....this is fun!
We are in the midst of a whiteout in an elevated area around Smithers, northern British Columbia, Canada. Hudson Bay Mountain---height: 1650 m/5413 ft---towers above the town giving its alpine designed Main Street the look of a Swiss Alps village.
Who has ever tasted and shared the warmth and camaraderie of hot spiced rum atop a craggy peak after a long climb in deep snow? We have. In Smithers. The trek was part of an annual neighbourly tradition during which smudging with smouldering sage detoxified our souls and squares of dark chocolate lingered decadently on our tongues.
Most important task? Flying strings of Tibetan prayer flags, unfurled and attached to nearby tree trunks. Each triangular piece of coloured cloth flapped in the wind carrying silent meditations towards heaven.
Two magnificent 1000 pound draft horses, the Percherons of French origin, pulled each large and loaded sled. Kids took over the first sleigh; adults and toddlers reserved the second---the latter arrangement removed any danger of errant snowballs or loose, icy branches flung with abandon. Suddenly, what to our wondering eyes should appear? A snowsuit clad adult carrying a flask of whiskey which he generously shared among us.
Of course, winter isn’t winter without gliding across the ice on blades or shooting a hockey puck in a net. Skating in a frigid zone (minus 15 degrees C) on an outside rink under a canopy of twinkling stars with a full moon showering dazzling diamonds across the snow provided the perfect combination for a Canadian winter. Skating easily with our grandsons, my husband looked as smooth on the ice as he did during his university hockey days.
While local black bears hibernate and moose wander the land in search of food, Smithers thrives under the cloak of Old Man Winter.
You are invited to sign up for my new e-letter, The H Word. I plan a dozen or so e-letters a year. Then you can follow website updates, news of my latest publications, and other tiny tidbits. And you can unsubscribe at any time.