The third week of my daily walks down Wasaga Beach saw some welcome warm weather followed by an impressive ice storm.
It’s unusual to have so many warm days in January. I guess global warming is the new reality. By January 15th the snowmobile trails that cross the upper part of the beach were turning to mud.
There is still ice on the shore as you can see (to the left in the picture below).
I decided it was safe enough to venture out to the edge of ice to have a look given that last week was cold and the ice had retreated back close to the shore. Note all the slush and ice chunks floating in the picture below. This picture is taken looking towards blue mountain which is visible in the distance. You can kind of see why they call it blue mountain!
With warmer weather, the beach was challenging to walk on. This picture below was taken mid afternoon January 16th looking west. There was still ice on the beach a slick of water on top made footing treacherous. I made it the whole distance, but decided it was probably a bad idea. I need to survive the year without a sprained ankle if I’m going to keep this resolution after all.
January 17th was even worse. The schools were closed due to an ice storm. (I think our fourth day schools were closed from the start of the month). The picture below was taken from our front yard. You can see the ice on the driveway. Footing was even more treacherous and they were asking people to stay off the roads so I didn’t venture out on Tuesday.
I realized there would be some days when I couldn’t make it down the beach (such as when I was travelling for business or when there is extreme weather) so I decided I’d need to go twice some days to make up for the days I could not get down there. So my policy was revised to 365 walks down the beach in 2017, but not necessary a walk every single day.
We had some excitement due to the ice storm early morning on January 18th (Wednesday). I awoke a few times after midnight as our power was flickering off and on.
When the power failed for the second time around 1:00 AM, in the dark of night I could see what looked like reflections of flames on the ice outside our front yard. I was convinced our house was on fire, so I woke up Michelle and Jamie in a panic.
Turned out the issue was a block south of us. A downed hydro wire was arcing on Sunnidale lighting up the sky just south of Wasaga Sands. I got there just as emergency vehicles were arriving. They were crawling because the roads were treacherous. Nobody was hurt thankfully. We got power back a little after 4 AM. The pictures don’t to this justice, but in the black of night with no streetlights, the whole sky was lit up.
January 18th (below) following the adventure the night before was a little better. I managed to get down to the beach and walk my regular route although there was still a lot of freezing rain and ice.
January 19th and 20th (Sunday / Monday) conditions were about the same. The weather was warm and the beach had become pretty muddy. I set my camera up on a sign post near beach two and took the picture below with the camera delay setting.
I managed to walk down the beach every day for the balance of the week and made some evening trips as well to beach 6, but as you can see below the conditions were pretty horrible. Foggy and in places very muddy.