The thing is, I'm not actually very far north at all. But this town is high up, compared to Vancouver. So it gets snow. And temperatures in the minus region of the thermometer. And that great dry cold that is so much more invigorating than Vancouver's sulky, rainy plus-10 days.
So here I am, midway through my week here, and it's been great. Back home there are worries. Like: how much money am I going to earn in the next few months? Can I go to school in the fall, or will my summer job be too long, and if so, what can I do about it? Stuff like that. But this small town has been a nice, wintery break from some of those worries, and a great chance to catch up with some friends. I've pretty much seen everyone I wanted to see, too. Not to mention the fact that I'm catching up on 37 years' worth of winter sports in one week: I've been snowmobiling, snowshoeing and today I went skiing (cross-country, not downhill. That's still a closed book to me). Venessa and the baby went into town to do some errands, so the dog and I walked across the road into the Meadows, I stepped into a pair of skis for the first time in about 10 years, and off we went for two hours. I did pretty well, too. In fact, I had grand ambitions to go back out this afternoon, but by the time I got back home, I was EXHAUSTED. Good thing I turned around on the trail when I did. I made myself a giant, healthy lunch and now I have a date with the couch for a while.
But the best winter sport I've tried so far? DOGSLEDDING. On Monday, Venessa & I went to Danny and Lorraine's place out in the hills behind town (off Hardscrabble Road, which is the best road name ever) and spent a day with this amazing couple and their 30 sled dogs. The most excitable, strong, friendly, curious and LOUD dogs I've ever met! We got to take out a team of 8 dogs while the other 22 or so bayed in excitement as we left and Danny & Lorraine kept a watchful eye on us (and their 8 furry babies) from a snowmobile. Venessa drove the sled out to the meadows while I sat on it, took pictures and acted as ballast. Then I drove them back home. Beautiful, exhilarating, snowy, cold, addicting. Then Venessa drove us back to her place on her snowmobile, a little faster than we'd driven on the way out. And I screamed like a little girl every time she opened up the throttle.