Canada – A Story in Weather

To say that our experiences on the road have been shaped by the weather would be an understatement. It’s barely June and we’ve already experienced a plethora of both severe and surprising weather. In Pender Harbour it was unseasonably sunny, there were Chinooks in Cremona which, by the time we got to Gravelbourg had turned into icy blasts. We experienced snow, rain, and t-shirt weather in the same week in April in New Brunswick, and the wind reminded us of it’s power on the Western tip of Prince Edward Island. But nothing has compared to our time so far in the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. The first few days after we arrived were beautiful, highs in the upper teens to low twenties and nights that never got too cold. After a crazy winter and spring, we were in heaven.

Then, as the week went on, it got hotter… and hotter… and hotter. And it stopped cooling down at night. Eventually the highs were in the low thirties and it was barely getting cooler than twenty overnight — so much for sleeping. (I’d mention the mosquitoes, but that merits a post of it’s own).

Everything came to a head on Friday. In the morning we biked to the Quinte Mohawk School to give a presentation to some members of their ‘Tech Squad’ video club. Even at ten o’clock in the morning it was hot. We arrived back at the bus by noon and were already drenched in sweat so we decided to go down to the lake to cool off. We spend about two hours in or around the water and we were feeling pretty fantastic, so we decided to grab some groceries from a nearby store before heading back to the bus.  The walk from the lake to the store and back to the bus couldn’t have been much more than a kilometer but we were already back to sweating — maybe even more than we had before. We decided to take a shower…. but the water would only come out hot. So instead, we spent the better part of half-an-hour dumping jugs of cold water on each other as a make-shift sort of way to clean up. I’d like to say this was the end of it. It was the evening, the sun was going down, but it still wasn’t cooling off. It took another dumping of cold water over our heads before we could even think about sleeping.

The other weather phenomenon that we’ve been experiencing here are thunder storms.  Back in Vancouver we very rarely get thunder storms or pouring rain — it’s usually just a constant drizzle, or mist that hangs in the air for months at a time. And they seem to come out of nowhere sometimes. Over the weekend, we experienced how quickly things could change.  We had decided to cool off by doing some reading in the grass by the lake. The sun was out, but there was a nice breeze off the water keeping us cool. All of a sudden we noticed some dark clouds looming over the horizon so we packed up our stuff and began the short (500m?) walk back to out bus. As we got closer to shelter we felt a few raindrops on our heads, then some more… by the time we were 25m or so away from the bus we were in a downpour. Then, no sooner had we gotten inside the bus, the rain stopped and the sun came out.

During one of the more intense thunder storms we did some sound recordings, and also made this little video of the view from inside our bus:

I should note that today is beautiful, bright and sunny with a cool breeze that made our 6km bike to the library even more enjoyable than usual.


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