Coming back to Canada in January isn’t the greatest thing. We had to get accustomed with the temperatures over here: -21ºC when we arrived on Sunday evening, an average of -23ºC for the first week with a low of -34ºC on Wednesday morning and a high of -10ºC on Wednesday afternoon. When it gets that cold, there is not a lot to do, because everybody tends to stay inside. We followed everyone’s example and stayed in for a couple of evenings, shaking off a jet lag that persevered a little longer than last times.
While summers and less harsh winters are more inviting for outside activities, a Canadian winter also offers its opportunities. And so, on January 15th we went for another unforgettable day trip. Early in the morning we picked up Bernd (Yumi’s Austrian colleague) and met with Todd (another colleague of Yumi) and some of his family. We then drove north west for an hour to arrive at Last Mountain Lake. We didn’t stop there, but slowly drove our vehicles onto the lake until Todd’s family found the perfect stop to set up camp. While Yumi, Bernd and I were still adjusting to the feeling of standing on (and having driven on) a frozen lake, Todd’s family quickly started up the ice drill. Within ten minutes they had drilled enough holes for everyone to have their own. We all received a fishing rod with a worm on its hook, and opened up a chair next to our ice fishing hole.
To accommodate the lady on this journey, they had brought a tent and an electrical heater, so Yumi was sheltered from that icy morning wind. Bernd and I sat out in the open, backs to the wind, gloves only coming off to replace a frozen worm on our hook with a fresh one. We started to have doubts about the whole “temperatures haven’t gone above -10ºC all week, let’s sit on a frozen lake for a full day” plan. The morning was rather uneventful and our haul remained pretty meager.
We were nicely surprised and very impressed around lunchtime when one of the regulars opened up his pick-up truck and started to grill some smokies1 right then and there. After filling our bellies with something warm, we sat inside our car to heat up our toes for a while. In the afternoon the wind quieted down and it started to feel a little warmer. Then our smokie griller caught two fish in rapid succession. Almost half an hour later I had my first bite of the day. I reeled in my perch and was proudly displaying my catch when someone nearby caught a monster of a fish, eclipsing my moment of pride.
When I caught two more fish, Yumi decided to come outside as well. This turned out to be a wise decision, soon after she also caught her evening meal (two pieces as well). We started packing up around 3PM, to make sure we’d be home in time to taste what we’d caught. Todd’s family filleted and grilled our haul, which acted as a perfect appetizer before the wonderful dinner they had cooked for us.
- Hot dogs ↩