Thursday, May 24, 2007

The 24th of May and we want to get away

There's the long standing tradition in Newfoundland of the 24th of May weekend sucking. People bravely venture forth to camp grounds only to get there and find snow on the ground. Or have it snow while they get there. Traditionally the weekend also suckers you in by giving you a nice Friday and then becoming cataclysmicly bad as the weekend progresses.

As was made clear earlier this week, I don't get outdoors people for the most part. I suspect this partially has to do with growing up hearing of people waste a perfectly good long weekend by freezing their ass off in a tent in the middle of nowhere.

Now, the 24th of May weekend has already come and gone. So why am I talking about it now? Because today is, obviously, the 24th of May. And apparently a touch of Newfoundland has come to Nunavut.

Yesterday was quite nice. The temperature hit 0C and it was sunny. In fact, if we weren't warmer than St. John's, we weren't far off the mark. I was starting to feel cocky, figuring that spring might finally be getting ready to happen.

Then I woke up this morning. It was -10C. With windchill it was -20. And there was blowing snow. Someone at work joked they should have gotten a snow day. It wasn't that bad, but really, do you want to look out your window on May 24 and see blowing snow out the window and -20 on your computer screen?

I appreciate that I'm in the Arctic and these things happen. It's supposed to be cold and all that. But there is no getting around the fact that -20 this late in May kind of sucks.

In some ways, the hardest part of dealing with the conditions up here isn't the -50 in February, because much of Canada is cold that month. It isn't the darkness because you actually do adapt. It's this time of the year, when you're getting pretty close to 24 hours of daylight, that place in Ontario are getting temperatures in the high 20s (a friend in Nebraska has been getting those temperatures since late March) and we're still getting temperatures well below 0. And there is plenty of snow on the ground and the bay remains frozen solid.

It just starts to wear you down a bit, I think. Still, I'll manage.

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