On Christmas Eve my son drove his family and me out to my daughter-in-law’s family for the holiday. They live in Blackfoot, Alberta and the drive took about three hours. It would normally be a quicker journey but we were slowed down by ice on the road part of the way there. Or, as Canadians like to say, it was “a bit slick”. We saw four cars and two trucks that had spun out and were stuck in the ditch or the median.
During our visit I checked on the thermometer that shows the outside temperature. This is what it looked like on Christmas Day.
Minus thirty Celsius is equivalent to minus twenty-two Fahrenheit.
Before we were to return, it snowed overnight. My son was undeterred by this and was confident that the family Jeep would keep us all safe and sound.My daughter-in-law had plugged in the car’s block heater overnight and the car started up with no trouble in the morning. As is customary here, it was left running for a good long while before we all got into it to drive home.
This is what it looks like when you drive through the Canadian prairies in winter.
We stopped to buy gas in Innisfree and I took a short video of the view.
As we passed Elk Island National Park, we saw a group of bison standing very still with snow on their backs. I wasn’t quick enough to take a photo of them, so you will have to take my word on that. We also saw cattle and horses outside in the cold, and I wondered why they weren’t inside in barns or stables, but I’m sure the ranchers know what they are doing.
We did experience some icy sections on the way home, and my son laughed each time I gasped. We went slow and steady through those parts, but there were some drivers who whizzed past us. They must have the secret to driving on ice that is hidden from the rest of us. I am happy that we got home safely.
I thought that this was probably as cold as it was going to get until I read the news last night. We are now expecting a polar vortex and the temperatures will dip as low as -40 to -55 Celsius with the wind chill. I am very thankful that we are all snug in our warm house. I’m getting my groceries delivered and I still haven’t seen every movie on Netflix, so I will be happy to hibernate for the next week or so.