Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Winter's Here!

Winter arrived today. And today I started my "training regime" to get ready for a hiking holiday in Chile next March.

Last night when we went to bed we noticed that it had started to snow. A really severe snowstorm was predicted; the temperature was falling. It was still snowing when we got up this morning, and with the cold north wind it was pretty nasty. M and I did not walk today.

But by 1 p.m. the wind had died down and the snow was just lazily drifting here and there, so I decided to go. My plan is to walk to the top of the hill every day with a backpack loaded with weights. I started today with just 5 lbs, and soon realized that was no challenge at all. Tomorrow I'll up it to 7 lbs, the next day to 9, etc. My goal is to be able to do that hike with a 20 lb backpack without puffing.

The lay of the land here is just perfect for this training exercise. Our place is at the low point on the road, which slopes up quite moderately for almost the whole 3/4 mile to the intersection. After the corner there's a little downward dip, and then the road begins to climb again for the next 1/2 mile, culminating in a really steep grade for the last 1/8 mile or so. This picture gives an idea what the last stretch is like. Of course, today there was snow and a north wind. (We're facing north in this picture.)

At this point I am puffing the last 1/8 mile. We'll see how long it takes to get into condition!

Of course if the road is mostly uphill on the way north, it's mostly downhill on the way back home, not like the proverbial walk to
school that your grandparents had: 3 miles, uphill both ways!

So here's the view once you've started back. This picture must have been taken in July, as you can see the yellow of the canola field.

The intersection is just at the point where there are trees on the right hand side. You can't see our place from here, as it is down the hill from there another 3/4 mile.

The harvest here was wonderful, with high yields, 70 to 80 bushels an acre for canola, when 60 is considered quite good; 90 bushels an acre for peas when 60 is normal. The wheat was also abundant, but not of high quality. Most of it will go for feed wheat, which, fortunately, is at a pretty reasonable price right now. So in spite of the disappointingly delayed harvest season (remember it wouldn't stop raining in September?) it all turned out well. Many reasons for thanksgiving!

The first snow in '08 was also on November 16. Other years we get it in October, but our area actually had lovely fall weather while we were away.

I like to hang the "icicle lights" on the peak of the house sometime in November, as we usually get a spell of good weather at some point in that month. I'm afraid that Monday was that day this year. Our high was +7, and the afternoon was lovely. I spent Monday cleaning the house, doing laundry and running errands. Oh well, that had to be done.


  1. Good luck on your walking....great exercise and to prepare you for next year.

  2. Thanks, Sandy. How's the weather your way?

  3. Wow, This sounds like a great trip! Have fun getting ready!
    We had a dusting of snow last night but gone today. The temperature, though, sure is heading down.
    I do prefer hikes that go up first!!! and THEN you know you can get home ;)
    Happy Thanksgiving!!!