Well folks, we got hammered with an early taste of winter. With a 100 year snowfall record being broken in the past 24 hours, we are all participating in the same old conversation whenever winter decides to blast us with a taste of cold, "Why do we live here?"
I know we all love sitting on a beach basking in the warmth of the sun, but in my opinion you wouldn't appreciate it as much if you didn't have to spend 6 months enduring winter. To me the best part of living in Saskatchewan is the fact that we get the full experience of all the 4 seasons. We are living in a postcard world it is just that some days it is tough to see it!
So while you are grumbling at work and trying to find your winter jackets and gloves, I thought I would remind you of 5 reasons why Saskatchewan winter's don't suck.
1) The Quiet Forests
If you've ever ventured out into the dense bush or a hiking trail in the boreal forests the number one thing that will strike you is the stillness of it. The only sounds of animals may be the odd magpie or chickadee rustling in the bush or a deer stripping bark in the distance. The trees creek and moan against the cold and the sound of your feet scrunching in the snow echoes throughout the hostile landscape. The trees tower above you, heavy with snow as they sag under the weight of numerous snowfalls. Nothing makes you feel so insignificant yet so peaceful as a day trudging through untouched snow fields in Saskatchewan's boreal forest.
This little bugger enjoyed dive-bombing me as I hiked past
2) Bonfires in the Snow
Hotdogs and beers the perfect winter combo
Grab your friends, toss on your old winter gear, grab some whiskey and light a huge fire in the snow.
Growing up we often had massive bonfires with our neighbours, we would spend the whole day roasting hotdogs, eating marshmallows and enjoying the heat of a fire while we talked for hours. There is nothing quite like sitting around on hay bails in the middle of winter enjoying the dancing flames. It is almost like you are fighting back against the cold as you pile more and more wood on.
A tip - be careful to not melt your ski pants
Or enjoy the coziness of an ice-fishing shack!
3) Warm Winter Days
Who needs a jacket when you are working this hard?
I know the statement of a "Warm Winter Day" is a bit of an oxymoron but we all know there is such a thing. You know those days that creep up out of no where, when a week of -40C weather with the windchill lifts and you are left with a relatively warm -10C day. There is nothing quite like it. That feeling of being able to wear your lighter winter jacket and not needing to wear bulky mitts all day! Enduring lung-freezing temperatures is what makes these days even more special. You feel like a prisoner who has broken free!
That's a warm winter day smile
4) Standing Under the Stars
A fact of winter is that it gets dark early and stays dark longer. During the work week many of us wake up in the dark and go home in the dark. It can weigh on almost anyone - but what keeps me in high spirits during this time is by looking up.
We here in Saskatchewan take for granted that we can see celestial lights no matter where we are. There are a lot of people in this world who live with light polluted skies that never see the stars. One of my favourite things to do is to walk out onto the ice of a Saskatchewan lake at night well away from all the lights of cabins and look up at the stars. You will see things you never knew existed.
Northern Lights are also a perk!
5) The Hiking
Hiking in the cold.
As you know I love hiking. What you might not know is that I enjoy hiking in the winter more than I do in the summer. I love the challenge of it and the hostility of venturing out on a -30C day. Most of us never dream of hiking in the winter, but for those of us that do you understand why. Saskatchewan is a different world when it turns white. It's a world not meant for humans. Luckily for us we invented things like Gore-Tex and wool socks that allow us to experience this unforgiving landscape.
This winter, don't be afraid to toss on your winter boots and head out for the day. Trust me when I say that you will find more than just a cold nose.
Selfie at -40C
Why do you think Saskatchewan's winters don't suck? Share it in the comments!