Cleaning Up After Father Winter

Spring in the Yukon – this is the time of year that I get anxious for the snow to be gone, and I put a lot of effort into making it disappear from places that I want to dry out and/or turn green as soon as possible.

Three weeks ago, on February 28th, I brought a Bobcat in to scrape all the packed snow off the driveway. My truck plow had been out of operation for the first few weeks of winter and by the time I fixed it, there was a layer than was packed too hard for it to dig into – the weight of the Bobcat was needed.

A Bobcat clearing snow and ice off my driveway

Having as little snow as possible on the driveway when the melt starts keeps the mud to a minimum, so this is a worthwhile investment of 80 bucks.

A Bobcat clearing snow and ice off my driveway

Once the house was in good shape, I had to go to Carcross to clean up the cabin. It’s in a bay just out of sight to the left of this photo, taken from the highway bridge.

The classic view of Carcross, Yukon from the highway bridge over the Nares River

I hadn’t done any shovelling at the cabin this winter – this is the year’s total being thrown off the deck.

Shovelling snow at Carcross, Yukon

A roof rake makes this job easy.

Raking snow off the cabin roof

But then the snow from the roof has to be thrown off the deck and sidewalks, too. Once I got it all done, I went into the now-warm cabin (I lit a fire as soon as I got there) and celebrated with a beer. Sitting on the couch enjoying the amazing view brought back a flood of good memories from the 7 years I lived in the cabin. That made me wonder if selling it is really the right thing to do, but I soon decided that it is.

Shovelling snow at Carcross, Yukon

On March 7th, the fruits of all of my hard work vanished under the heaviest snowfall of the winter. Cathy says that it’s my fault. Never challenge Father Winter to a duel – he always wins! :)

Snow Bear plow on an old Ford pickup

We got 5½ inches, according to the ruler. That’s not much by the standards of many areas, but we don’t get a lot of snow here. Much of Alaska, on the other hand, got buried in the white stuff this year!

5 1/2 inches of new snow

Back at it – the truck plow handles this light, fluffy snow beautifully.

Snow Bear plow on an old Ford pickup

With the driveway done, there are lots of places that need to be dealt with by hand…

Shovelling fresh snow from the deck

…or with the snowblower.

Snowblower

Monty and Kayla had a better plan for the day :)

Huskies sleeping in their doghouse

Even when daytime highs don’t go above freezing, there’s enough warmth to the sun now that any roads that get hit by the sun get wet. The spray freezes as soon as it hits the car, though, making quite a mess. Many people (most, probably) don’t bother taking their cars to the car wash this time of year, but I do. There are 3 car washes in Whitehorse, all doing a very good business. I’m very quick and can get mine done for $5 each (occasionally $6 when the ice on the car is especially thick).

Ice and mud coated car - Spring breakup

Yesterday morning, the temperature was -24°C (-11°F), but by the afternoon it was only a couple of degrees below freezing so I pulled the bike out into the sunshine and bolted on a couple of new pieces of chrome. One of those pieces was a thermometer, as I extend the riding season as far as possible at both ends and it’s important to know when it’s below freezing and ice might be expected on the road.

Getting the motorcycle ready for Spring riding

This was the weather forecast when I started writing this at 02:30. Starting tomorrow, daytime highs are above freezing every day for the first time since early November. Although +2 doesn’t do much to melt the snow and ice, the +6 day will. Rain is what it takes to get rid of the snow in a hurry, though, and some years we don’t get that rain in March or April.


Weather forecast for Whitehorse, Yukon

Comments

Cleaning Up After Father Winter — 2 Comments

  1. you should publish more articles like this and you will be famous. you have the talent to become a super star. your article is superb. keep it up.

  2. Wow, loved the article and some great images. Everybody here in the UK always moan about the horrible winters we have here in the UK, everybody in the UK should read this and they would realise that our winters are comparitively very mild.