The Adventures of The Roving Route #35
With the fear of -40 degree weather always looming over, you have to take advantage of nice days. Last week we had some incredible weather so we went on an adventure to feel "normal" for at least a few minutes. What usually is a simple and mundane task that many don't think much about (well... until Covid came around), took an entire day for us. We went grocery shopping! As we said, seems pretty unimpressive but then don’t forget the 4KM of snow-covered, unmarked deer trails we have to navigate to get to a temporary floating bridge connecting us to the edge of town.
Early this fall we did the walk to the temporary floating bridge the city installs yearly in about an hour each way. This time the snow, what felt like 50 pounds of extra clothes, safety gear, and snacks, slowed us down significantly and it took about twice as long each way! While our mailbox may be right beside the floating bridge, the grocery store is still quite a bit of a walk further. The grocery store is also super unique as it has boat docking during the summer (and fall for some of the adventurous folk)!
While we did not need to go into town to stock back up on food, it was a big item to check off our bucket list. It also means we are stocked up on milk again!!!! Woohoo got to celebrate the little wins in life right?
With the bridge connecting the island to mainland Kenora, it seems that Kenricians use the island for daily walks. At about halfway through our journey, we started to pick up footprints and even dog prints as the east side of the island starts to be used as a winter walking trail when the ice takes hold. The walk is gorgeous and if we lived in town, we would do the same!
Things we learned on our journey into town:
When you are used to only the sounds from nature and an occasional train rumbling by, cities are so much louder than you anticipate. Our first few minutes in town were some of the most stimulating minutes as our ears adjusted back to the sounds of the city.
After 6 weeks of walking through snow and having to lift your legs high for each step, it felt very strange to walk on sidewalks again. As both make you sore after long periods of walking, it's debatable which you prefer to hurt more, your knees or your hips.
Sleds were created for a reason! No wonder Santa uses one to get around the world. Dragging the 50+ pound grocery bags the length of the island was so much easier than the few minutes in town that we had to have them on our backs.
Even though this was just an adventure in our own back yard, it brought back a flood of memories from previous hikes around the world. We couldn't help but talk about how each one differed from another.
As yesterday was the shortest day of the year, we figured we would send out an ice report and a few more ice pictures. The ice has now become thick enough in many areas that snowmobiles can be heard every once in a while. The ice road has likely started to be plowed close to town but nothing at our end as of yet. We tested the ice thickness in only one spot this week but it was about 10 inches thick and the water was nice and refreshing! Click to watch.
Make sure to click on the photo to get the full 360 and zoom abilities. This was taken on the shortest day of the year at 3:30 PM. The sun dropped behind the Yacht club about 20 minutes after the photo. Unfortunately, our 360 camera couldn't handle the cold and died before the gorgeous colours could start to show through! Click on the image to find out where the sun sets during the winter and summer solstices. We had a total of 8 hours of sunlight yesterday which is just under half of what we have during the summer. As we never thought we would have a chance to see where the sun sets on the shortest day of the year, it was a unique experience that I guess we can thank Covid for.
Cheers from what seems to always be nighttime Lake of the Woods,
The Roving Route