Our winter stick house

Wednesday November 18th 2020

Well I guess we kind of moved into our winter home Sunday afternoon, and when I say kind of … on Sunday we had high very winds blowing off of Lake Huron with what Miss Laurie referred to as sideways rain. The kind of day that makes us remember why we go south for the winter!

Its Monday just before seven o’clock in the morning still dark outside the temperature is a whooping 3ºC right now, which also just happens to be todays high temperature as well, and with the a 37 kmph breeze coming from the west our wind chill factor is -3ºC. Well at least on the bright side, it has a quit that sideways rain.

I know, our original plan was to drive the coach to the house, then transfer our things, well with all the sideways rain and high wind we decided that was not going to be the best idea for a number of reasons. One reason being I had just finished washing the Coach on Friday and didn’t want to drive it down the mile of gravel road to get it all dirty again. So we made the decision to shuffle our items in to the winter house using the Sport-Trac, so I made a couple of trips Sunday with all the food items and a lot of the kitchen supplies.

Another issue that popped up Sunday was that the park lost electrical power at around one o’clock as did many places in the area because of the wind, so all in all it was just a real crappy day to be doing any moving. But we did spend Sunday night at the house in Goderich so we stayed nice and warm, and at the coach we just left the boiler on to protect it from any chance of freezing.

Monday was the day for winterizing of the coach, a task that I have never tackled before and the coach is a little more complex than most recreational vehicles. Now let’s throw in the fact there is no power in the park, good thing we have the generator on board to power up the air compressor to blow the lines out. Because the boiler system that heats the coach, also heats the hot water tank, it has to be the first thing to be shut down. Normally the first thing we do is to bypass the hot water heater, but with our system we had to flush antifreeze through the heat exchanger which preheats the water going into the water heater, that is one or the features of our unlimited hot water system, then add the clothes washer/dryer, it was certainly one of the more complex winterizing processes, oh ya did I mention the on-board pressure washer.

Tuesday morning I went back to the coach for another load of items, and to survey any damage at the park caused by this latest wind storm. Other than one shed that looked to have exploded from the wind, all was well, a few branches down and a few shingles off of some lakefront units, but all in all I’d say we got off reasonably unscathed. When I left the park in the afternoon there was still no power and the best outlook for power appears around midnight at best, before the power is restored … welcome to country living.

Now it’s Tuesday afternoon, and we have had a few scattered flurries all day, but the weather app on my phone keeps bringing up storm warnings. The first warning is about the category 5 hurricane that going to slam into Central America tonight … the second within two weeks … but I know this whole global warming thing is just another hoax.

The second warning was for snow squalls, for this area of Ontario, as this area is well known for a couple of snow events. One being lake effect snow which is caused by a cold wind blows across the warmer unfrozen lake and comes ashore with lots of snow. Now just to add to the experience it develops into what we loving refer to as streamers that are little bands of snow that can work their way hundreds of kilometres inland dumping large quanities of snow.

Now the fun driving event is traveling along a road and entering one of these streamers which are full of heavy snow causing total whiteout conditions. Always a favourite to be cruising along at speed into a total whiteout where you can’t even see the end of the hood on your vehicle.

This screenshot shows how Tuesday afternoon was a perfect day to create multiple streamers roaring off of Lake Huron. Miss Laurie ventured out for groceries around noon and I went out to pick up a new SD card for our new video camera that we had picked up for our snorkeling and diving in Mexico this winter … 😂 Well at least we were planning ahead, but as we have learned over the last three years, sometimes things just happen.

This is what we woke up to Wednesday morning, a winter wonderland. Oh it’s beautiful and pretty but I have had enough winter already, I don’t need to hear from all of our Canadian friends about being Canadian, I know I’m Canadian, I just don’t like the cold winters. We brag every where we go about the natural beauty of Canada, it’s unbeatable in the summer, but this is a reason we head south the end of October. I have spent sixty five years enjoying and enduring our Canadian winters, so I have done the winter sports thing, I have also worked through too many winters, battling traffic and bad road conditions and now we have spent the last three winters in the southern states and we find the sand easier to handle than the snow … just saying

In true Ontario fashion the temperatures will be going from Wednesdays high of 3ºC and jumping to a high of 12ºC Thursday and 13ºC on Friday before diving back to single digits on the weekend. Now please don’t go getting me wrong, we are glade to be tucked into a stick house for the winter, with the coronavirus totally out of control to our south, both in the United States and Mexico, it is a good thing to be here in the snow, with a government that is at least trying to keep us safe. This was not how we had envisioned spending our winter, but as always we will make the best, it has been and will remain difficult because of restrictions on gatherings, but until the vaccine is available to us (probably third quarter 2021) we must all do our part to keep it under control, it will never be contained, but if it can be kept controlled to reduce the deaths that is our priority.

As Always, be safe, stay well, and keep warm

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