I knew it was going to be cold over night, but -47°C shattered the previous personal record by a few degrees.
It was extra-hard getting out of the covers on this extra-cold morning. Didn’t wake to reload the stove last night, so that can mean only one thing: fire is out.
The indoor thermometer reads 7°C, less than comfortable. The unused dog door has so much frost built up on it that it appears a small white dog is coming through.
After fracturing axe #1, I produced some kindling with axe #2. Warmth at last, glorious fire.
Hot coffee is next on the agenda. But instead of water, only a “pffffft” noise emitted from the tap. The well pipe was frozen like the Parliament of Canada.
Of course it froze. Very little snow this year to insulate the well and pipes. A heater should do the trick. While positioning an extension cord, it snaps in half. “Jebus!”
I got another one, taking care not to bend it. Plugged in the heater expecting the warming hum, but all that resonates is a spastic coughing noise (the last mumblings of my cheap heater). “Done in” by -47°C.
This day keeps getting better and better.
Well, I’ll have to go to town and borrow another one. Hop in the truck. “Thump,” seat is like a frozen moose carcass. “Wrrrrrrr” and then nothing.
I’ll have to jump it with the other auto. Surely two can’t have succumbed to the cold. It shows at least more electrical life but fails as well. I notice the digital clock numbers are jumbled and some appear upside down. “Spooky.”
Thank the Lord for the battery charger. Pinch the clip and the plastic protective handle shatters. Nice.
My ungloved hand was behaving like it belonged to someone else, but I finally put some life back into the battery. The engine comes to life with a shriek of death. The sound from the heater makes me wonder whether a squirrel had nested in the fan compartment.
The clutch doesn’t release upon removing my foot, and requires a tug to dislodge the transmission molasses. This truck is out of its element. Neither machine nor human is designed for this super cold.
To town and back on my square tires. The heat finally kicks in and — “tick” — a crack appears along the bottom of the windshield and right across. That’s neat. Never thought that would happen.
Finally back to the house. Heater #2 does the trick and the water’s back. The house temperature warms to at least double digits and all is calm.
What does one do one a day like this? Anything done inside. I spent the day Googling tropical holiday packages and images of wood stoves.
The longtime Yukoners will tell you, “It ain’t that cold” and how much colder it used to be (hmmm, global warming?). It’s also a dry cold (whatever that means). That’s like saying “at least it wasn’t a grizz” to someone who just survived a black bear mauling.
The one upside of character-building cold days like this is that your “zero” is reset on the cold tolerance scale. That -30°C becomes -20°C, -20°C becomes -10°C, and -10°C becomes your new 0°C. So, needless to say, I was ecstatic when highs of -30°C were forecast for the next week (typed sarcastically).