The Distinctly Northern Signs of Spring

There are several distinctly northern signs of spring.  As the long-winter winds down the Yukon people enter an obvious state of outfit confusion.  As you drive through town you peer out to see an eclectic mix of people waiting to cross roadways: There is a man in shorts, and sandals next to a woman wearing a Canada Goose parka, mittens and mukluks.  It seems one is in denial that the season is changing while the other is just so ready to embrace warmer weather that he is willing to risk his toes!

As you continue through town you notice those who love gas-powered adventure remove their sleds from the back of their trucks, and replace them with their quads.   

Suddenly you need sunglasses when you are driving home from work. You haven’t needed them for months and they are buried under 18 hats and 14 pairs of gloves, but they are now essential as you are blinded by that light you have been longing for.

When you arrive home your house seems to be covered in tumbleweeds – rolling balls of dog fur. They creep into every corner imaginable.  You swear you just cleaned that carpet, but your socks now carry an extra layer, and your $600 vacuum just cannot keep up with the fur-shedding capacity of your K9 pals!

In an effort to avoid yet another trip around the house with a vacuum you head for the trails.  Then, you spot it.  On a sunny, south-facing hillside – a little beacon of hope. A crocus!  A striking, petite, purple beauty braving the still-cold ground protected only by her hairy legs.

While these are certainly good indications the transition of the seasons is in motion, it is the arrival of the glampers – those with rather glamorous campers (glampers) which is the true confirmation. You know the ones – those recreational vehicles which are worth roughly the same as my over-priced Yukon home, with just about the same square footage. Slowly – very slowly— they trickle into town, and admittedly you feel a little rage being stuck behind them.  They navigate their land-yachts back into civilization after a long journey up the highway which in previous months has been only really been utilized by the gallant truck drivers who keep us fed throughout the long, dark winter. Out of the blue it is the glampers who are occupying the highways, and before you know it the parking lot of Walmart contains roughly the same population of a small suburb! Unlike other parts of Canada where people long to see the shadow of a fictional rodent as an indication of the end of winter, in the Yukon we await the arrival of the glampers.

So after you load your quad into the back of your truck, and head for town wearing either a parka or shorts, sunglasses, and a layer of dog fur, remember to wave to the glampers; welcome them as they usher us into spring!

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