Week of December 31st, 2017

Weekly Temperature
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Dec 31 Jan 1 Jan 2 Jan 3 Jan 4 Jan 5 Jan 6
High -13 -7 -6 -4 -11 -17 -17
Low -22 -20 -16 -13 -19 -25 -23

Happy New Years everyone!

It’s official. I managed to keep my 2017 resolution, and walk down Wasaga Beach every day for a year!

I missed a few days because of travel and work commitments, but several days I went twice (especially in the summer) so overall I’m confident I completed 365 beach walks in 2017.

I’ll standby for the forensic audits of my photographs as my geeky friends examine the meta data in the JPEG images! 🙂

You could be forgiven if you think this week’s pictures look like last week’s pictures. The weather has been pretty much the same for several weeks now. Lots of cold weather with bands of lake effect snow.

The temperatures this week won’t impress my friends in Sudbury, Timmins,  Thunder Bay, Manitoulin or Inuvik (I presently have no friends in Inuvik although I’d like to).

This is cold for Wasaga Beach here in the relative tropics of Southern Ontario. The wind chill walking down the beach is formidable. I’ve learned to dress in (many) layers and tolerate freezing toes and hands but it is still cold – especially on windy days.

Sunday, December 31st, 2017 – looking to the north from near 16th street
Monday, January 1st, 2018 – so as I started my walk near 18th street heading east today it was clear. But look at the cloud bands towards Christian Island / Midland.
Monday, January 1st, 2018 – Just a few minutes later the clouds and snow were upon me. It’s incredible how fast the weather can change from clear to near whiteout conditions. Hard to believe this is the same day
Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018 – Another cold day. Nothing to see here – moving on.
Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018 – Today was kind of cool – the bay was actually frozen because the wind was from the south. A little counter-intuitive, but this reduces the wave action and allows things to freeze up. What was notable about today was the sky. I’m not really sure the point of the snow fence in this picture – perhaps left over from a special event?
Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018 – A lonely picnic table near beach one just off the boardwalk. Blue Mountains in the distance. Volleyball poll in the right side of the picture.
Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018 – I snapped this on Shore Lane near 16th street a block from the beach. The beach is to the left and the snow coming off Georgian Bay creates snow drifts. This must have been a large snow blower that just passed through. The height of the drift ranged between 5 and 7 feet. The “cut” is clean to a height of 7 feet.
Thursday, January 4th, 2018 – I had to cut my walk short today and chicken out. It was just too cold and hard to see with the winds. The temperature was not too bad, but we had a fierce north wind.

On Friday things turned dangerously cold. Hwy 26 was closed  by the OPP because of drifting snow and whiteout conditions.

 

A promise is a promise, so I ventured down the beach from my usual parking spot at 18th street and tried to do my walk.

This was the first day I found myself wondering whether walking down the beach was wise. I got a little scared and found myself running down the beach because it was just too cold to walk and I was looking for an exit. Kind of insane I know. I just wasn’t dressed warm enough despite being dressed in the warmest clothes I had. You need goggles and a full facemask in weather like this. I only walked from 18th street to 16th street (these are long blocks). I “ticked the daily walk box” and turned around and walked back on Shore Lane.

On Shore Lane I came across a 3/4 tonne truck with a plow stuck in the snow while trying to clear a driveway. He was rocking his vehicle and gunning the engine. I wasn’t convinced he could see me because of blowing snow, so despite the cold I decided not to walk by him – I paused for a few minutes to watch. I had visions of the wheels catching and the truck lurching just as I walked by. He got free, rolled down his window, and said in a friendly way, “Nice Day for a Walk”. We kind of bonded :-). I could tell he was actually enjoying the interesting weather.

On the way back to our house I came across what looked like an accident, but it was a Honda Civic stuck in a snow drift crossing the road on Wasaga Sands near the water tower. A good Samaritan in an F-150 had already stopped to offer help and had a chain linked to the frame of the Civic and floormats under the wheels.

I stopped to offer help, but was told they had it under control. Just as well. I can’t stand smug F-150 owners making fun of my Toyota Tacoma. 🙂

Friday, January 5th, 2018 – This is taken right near 18th street – no zoom or anything – this is what the beach looked like. -19 C with just stupid winds of ~ 50 km / hr according to the weather network. At one point I saw the light of a snowmobile in the distance, but he turned around. This was by far the nastiest day so far.
Friday, January 5th, 2018 – I got off the beach at 16th street and walked back to my truck on Shore Lane. This picture taking looking west between 16th street and 18th street where I usually park.
Friday, January 5th, 2018 – This picture taken back at my truck. This is the municipal parking lot neat 18th street. Parking in the lot is just not an option even with my beloved 4WD. Thankfully the Wasaga Beach plow operators seem understand my problem and keep a small section of the lot plowed so I have a place to park off the road. In the summer this lot is often packed with cars heading down to beach three.
Saturday, January 6th, 2018 – Today was a clone of yesterday. -19 C when this picture was taken with strong northwest winds that made walking down the beach really tough. This picture taken at the west-side boardwalk near beach two.
Saturday, January 6th, 2018 – Looking toward beach one from the western boardwalk. Patches of blue sky come and go, but most of the time the sky is grey with snowsqualls from Georgian Bay.
Saturday, January 6th, 2018 – Looking west from the boardwalk. You can see the boardwalk is hard to walk on this time of year. In places the boardwalk is down to wood, but in other places you need to walk through snow drifts.

 

 

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