Monday, 1 December 2014

A chilly and snowy weekend

A proper winter storm came through south Alberta during the end of last week, dumping 50cm of snow in the Kananaskis valley where we keep our trailer. That's good for skiing, but it made getting to the trailer a bit tricky, We chose not to drive out on Friday, in the dark, as it was still snowing and the road conditions weren't great. So we drove out on Saturday lunchtime, with temperatures in the mid minus 20s. Fortunately the campground people had ploughed some of the roads around the site, but not the ones that gave us access to our trailer, so we had a fun time hiking though snow that was thigh deep for Olga and I in places. We could have lost Dan completely in some of the drifts! Rather than go skiing that afternoon, we hung around the trailer and had a go at clearing some pathways, and Olga (weighing less than me!) cleared the snow off the roof of the trailer. We found the plough man and got him to plough our access road, so I could get the truck close to the trailer, but not onto our campsite.  Maybe next weekend he'll plough me a parking space.
We have three electric heaters in the trailer to keep us warm, but they struggled against temperatures approaching -40 outside through Saturday night, and even the gas furnace in the trailer gave up and refused to light on Sunday morning, hopefully simply because it was too cold, something had probably frozen.  We had to drive to Nakiska at 9am as Lara had a lesson with a coach from her new racing club, and the temperature gauge in the car reported it was -37 outside. We didn't believe it at first, but it was insistent, and stayed like that for 15 minutes at least, so it must have been true. It felt like it.
Olga joined Lara on her skiiing lesson, while I took Dan and the dogs for a drive to get some petrol, as much to keep us warm as anything else - even with the sun coming up and the heaters on, it was still hovering around zero degrees inside the trailer. They had a very good lesson, and the coach thought Lara was a strong, confident skier, which is very encouraging.
The forecast for the next week is for it to warm up to a low of -8, which is much more comfortable. We might not be there next weekend, as we need time at home to put the Christmas decorations up, and prepare for Lara's birthday on 10th December.
I set off walking along the access road to the trailer but turned back, and went to find the plough man!

After it had been ploughed, I could get the truck close to the trailer

A rather blue photo of Olga clearing snow off the trailer roof

It really was -37 outside
Before we found the trailer

A Snow armchair

Snowshoes for Christmas perhaps?
The drive out along the Trans Canada Highway is spectacular

A Casino Night

It's 2am on a Monday morning and I'm in a Calgary casino... but I'm working, not
We have signed Lara up with a ski racing club this year, rather than traditional skiing
lessons. She'll still learn, but the focus will be towards speed and technique. As well as
paying for the lessons, the parents are expected to pitch in by volunteering to help with
fundraising. I'm gettig my volunteering stint out of the way tonight, at the casino. The
ski club provide enough volunteers to cover 36 shifts over the weekend, in the more menial
back-room jobs. I'm working in the count room, between 10.45pm and 3.30am. There are 6 of
us, my job is to input the counts of $100, $50, etc... into the computer. We've done one
count so far, and it was $82,000. And this is a quiet Sunday night! Now I'm back in the
Volunteer Lounge, waiting to be called back to the count room with my team, probably in an
hour or so.
In return the ski club will get a share of the casino takings over the next few months, and
this could amount to $60,000! More importantly, this takes care of my volunteering
requirement for the season, and I've seen what $82,000 looks like :-)