The Greenwater Report for January 28, 2002

Greenwater Provincial Park - Monday, January 28, 2002 - by: Jerry Crawford


January 27th, 2002: It‚s bright and cold today; -26° when I got up this morning, after a low of -30. No clouds and no wind makes for pleasant weather despite the cold.




There are a lot of snowmobiles in the Park this weekend. With modern snowmobiling gear the cold doesn‚t mean much to them. Jack Woulfe tells me the new machines are very quiet, compared to the older ones, but some people pay two or three hundred dollars to have a special muffler installed. When they hit the throttle, the muffler gives out a blat like an angry moose. Maturity?



Yesterday was the Greenwater Ski Loppet. I walked over to the Cove to see how they were making out, and Shirley Baker, at the registration desk, said they had about ninety registered. Two busloads came from Regina, and many brought their own vehicles. I went over to the trailhead and got some pictures of the busses unloading, skiers sorting out equipment and waxing up, and heading out onto the trails. They sure were a fit looking bunch!


I talked to Shirley again in the afternoon. Many skiers had returned (some having gone twice around the longest trail, for about 50 kms!) and reported the trails very good considering the lack of snow. It was cold yesterday; likely never did get up as high as -20°, and there were some cases of frostbite on cheeks and fingers. From Steiestol Lake to the Trailhead is generally downhill, and skiers travel a bit faster, consequently generating more wind chill. One skier wore a cloth face mask. When he got back to the Cove, he brought it in to show them, it was frozen in the shape of his face, just like a plaster cast!



It was really wintery the early part of last week, early Wednesday morning the thermometer read -37°, and it was still -33° at 10 am. Don't think it got above -26° all day. At least there was no wind and the sun was out part of the time. That makes the cold easier to bear.




It started to snow lightly Thursday evening, and by Friday morning there was a couple of inches of fresh snow. Dang! It's not worthwhile starting the snow blower for two inches of fluffy stuff, so it was shovel time again. Not as if I need the exercise!



I walked down to the Marina to get a photo of the big pile of snow where they cleared some parking space, and while there I watched as the Park tractor scraped snow off the skating ice. The Greenwater Zamboni! We are building up to a fairly decent base of snow; everyone would love to see four or five feet of it, of course, but we are not complaining too loudly.



In our walks around the core area, we have seen dog-type tracks where we suspected there was no dog, and assumed it to be a coyote. Drobots have had a coyote snooping around under their bird feeder, likely looking for mice that might be scavenging for seeds, and yesterday morning Doreen gave me a holler. There was a beautiful coyote casually strolling down the path that runs along the lake, less than a hundred feet away. It stopped and left a deposit, then carried on. Of course, as soon as it was out of sight, I remembered I am supposed to be a photographer. It was the size of a German Shepherd, and its ears were not particularly large, making me wonder if it could be a small wolf. On the other hand, its tracks were much smaller than wolf tracks I had seen at the other house. There were tracks over to our deck, under the bird feeders; I had assumed them to be deer tracks, but in the deep snow I couldn't tell deer tracks from coyote tracks. Looks like we should have a camera in the bedroom, ready to shoot.
  Doreen & Jerry Crawford
Box 100, Chelan, SK S0E 0N0 (306) 278-3423