05 March 2014

The Never-Ending Winter (of our discontent)

Ah...Mother Nature.  You sure are angry...and you have every right to be so with our polluting your rivers, streams and lakes, ripping out your forests and clogging your skies with smog.  I can't say I blame you for giving us a smack-down this winter.  We deserve it.  

But, also know that some of us are trying to do better by you!  :-)

Winter brings with it cabin fever and the various ways people attempt to combat it.  Among them are watching marathons of shows online (I mean you, Parenthood) and going outside even when you shouldn't.  It means board games and candles burning over long conversations.  It also means getting...the...heck...out...of...town.

A couple of weeks ago, Dave and I did just that.  We went to one of our favourite haunts in Canada...the lovely mountain town of Canmore.  We love it there (in case you've missed any of my previous posts on the matter).  We took a week to be outdoors in the mountains in weather that didn't make our faces hurt because of how cold the air was.  We snowshoed and I tried cross-country skiing for the first time (read: FAIL) at the Canmore Nordic Centre.  We drank tea at our standby Communitea, at tented an event regarding outdoor winter safety and ate awesomeness at the Rocky Mountain Flatbread Company.  We spent time with friends in nearby Calgary and envisioned what a quiet little life in the mountains would be like.

The following weekend, we decided to follow up our adventures in Canmore with an overnight escape to Saskatoon.  Not only to get out of town, but also to celebrate Dave's birthday.  While Canmore greeted us with sunny skies, snow and temps just above or just below freezing, Saskatoon blasted us with -50C wind chills and a desire to do nothing but stoke our cabin fever even more.  We did our best by getting out and enjoying some great pub grub at the Yard & Flagon, downed a couple of great pints at Winston's English Pub & Grill, visited the year-round farmer's market and had a lovely brunch at the hot place in town - The Hollows.  Hey, when it's cold outside...we eat!  Gotta add layers somehow!

Speaking of layers, some of you might be wondering how we cope with the extreme cold up here.  Layers, layers, layers.  And more layers.  Here's my, ahem, style guide to coping with the cold.

A Great Toque  
Preferably one that covers your ears.  Dave is currently sporting an Arcteryx Toque I gifted him for Christmas and I routinely sport a double-layer thermal that once belonged to my dad.

Warm and Weatherproof Boots
Dave gets military issued boots that regularly do the trick, but when we are hiking, he is now sporting his birthday present on his feet...the amazing Zamberlan Vioz GT Gore-Tex trekking boot.  High and dry.  When out and about on my daily routines, I am wearing Tofino Sorels (yes...Tofino!).  Cozy, warm and very dry.  

Warm, Insulated, Windproof Coats
I love the gift I got for moving north.  A Patagonia Tres Parka.  It has been a lifesaver on many a cold night.  It's got a double-layer system with their waterproofing and wind-resistance built in.  It also includes a detachable hood.  I love it.  Dave is wearing an older double-layer system from Columbia he's had for years.  We are looking into an Arcteryx system in the future for him.

That's your outerwear.  Of course there are always the things you can't see like fleece-lined tights and leggings (read:  AWESOME) and heavy duty socks.  I have a collection of scarves appropriate for any occasion.

At the end of the day, though...it's all about keeping yourself warm!

Here's to hoping your winter weather keeps you in a cozy spirit and entices you to make some more hot chocolate.  You should check out this link for yummy goodness inspiration.

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