Saturday, February 5, 2011

Week 10: Winter Wonderland

.: December 19, 2010 :.

After work one evening early in December Spencer came out to the parking lot, got into the car, turned the key in the ignition, and muttered under his breath while the starter ground away without success. This was only the second time in almost nine years that the car hadn't started. Aside from the fact that it was cold and rainy this incident was particularly annoying, since it had come following what seemed to have been a series of small to medium to large repairs.

Forester to the rescue?
After Spencer took public transit home we started thinking about a replacement vehicle. Over the course of the next few days we considered a variety of makes and models and finally settled on the Subaru Forester. There were many reasons for our decision, not the least of which was its safety rating and all-wheel drive.

Fast forward about nine days: we indeed purchased the Forester and were delighted by how almost elegant the ride is. Of course that's measured in comparison to the old bucket of bolts, so perhaps we're overstating it. Regardless, we love it.

In the first week or so of having the car we were still undoubtedly looking through rose-coloured glasses. So when our region had its first real snow storm of the season, we were unphased. We even triumphantly declared that we were going to visit Twin Ponds, because our car could drive anywhere.

A beautiful sight
The drive there was a bit slow for the first half of the trip, but then traffic diminished and the weather cleared allowing us to reach the concession road in much better time than we had anticipated. On the way we remarked at the amount of snow that had fallen in the area, although we really had no idea what to expect at the property.

The concession road had been plowed in the morning and in the intervening hours more snow had accumulated making the roads a little unpredictable. Luckily for us the Forester handled the white-packed surface very well. After the familiar 8.2 km drive we arrived to see the driveway and the new gate decorated with snow. Lots and lots of snow. But that didn't matter, because we were driving a Forester!

Spencer cautiously turned off the concession road into the driveway and immediately stopped the car. He was concerned that the slope on the driveway presented a potential hazard - he didn't want the vehicle to slip into the newly installed gate. That was when we discovered that short of a Sherman tank it didn't matter what you were driving, you were going to get stuck.

The small detail Spencer had forgotten was that the snow plowed off the road had settled in the depression in the driveway causing an abnormally deep well of the white stuff. In short the Forester was (almost inextricably) stuck. And in true Urbanite fashion neither of us was wearing proper winter gear. In his high-top leather Converse Allstars and leather jacket Spencer trekked to the chalet to get the shovel we had (luckily) bought in September.

Peaceful ponds
Until this predicament he had never really appreciated how long the drive from the gate to the cabin is. That became readily apparent while trudging through 2-foot deep snow in running shoes, particularly at that moment when, while coming around the corner of the clearing, Spencer realized he'd left his keys in the car. Fortunately the shovel had been stored in the metal shed (we'd been too lazy to take it into the cabin), so after another long walk back Spencer spent the next 45 minutes digging the car out of the snow. It was also fortunate because Sim wanted to get a picture of the chalet under the unspoiled new snow.

Once that had been taken care of we and the dogs all trudged through the deep snow and made it to the cabin. Spencer (who had already seen it) waited for Sim to catch up. He wanted to see the look on her face as she experienced that virginal glimpse of the cabin under such pristine whiteness.

It was breathtakingly beautiful.

Actually getting across the deck and through the front door was a bit of a challenge, especially for Bubbles, who had some difficulty navigating through the accumulated snow on the deck. Once inside we didn't stay long. It was cold and Spencer's feet were all wet from the walks to and from the cabin and working to free the Forester. We did, however, have the opportunity to show Jasmine and Bandet the gorgeous snow on the ponds and get some pictures.

After a few minutes we locked the place up and headed through the deep snow back to the car, which we had left on the street side of the gate (we weren't about to risk getting stuck again).

Glad to be back in the car's coziness, we headed home yet again.


  1. So beautiful! It must have been so peaceful once you had gotten over the hassle of digging out the new car (does said car have a name?). I can only imagine how quiet and serene it must have been.

  2. Bubular looks so happy! Great snow pics. You guys are nuts for attempting an unplowed visit in December. I love the urbanite line ;) Sorry for the car death, but at least it led to bigger and better things. - Julie

  3. No name for the car... "The Forester" seems to by the standard reference. Clever, don't you think?

    Bubs was a happy boy especially while he was lying down. It's hard work when the snow goes up to your chest!