Wednesday, May 21, 2014

snowmobile races

My main purpose for the long weekend was to get a suntan.  Out on the ice, with pretty much 24 hours of daylight these days, the whole world is one big reflector, and it feels like over the weekend, everyone in town suddenly sprouted suntans. Or, in the case of some of my white friends, sunburns.  I figured checking out the Omingmak Frolics snowmobile races being held on the frozen Arctic ocean would be a good chance to get out, see some folks and catch some sun.

It's still cold though. It doesn't exactly feel like summer, or at least a southern summer. I mean, it's certainly warmer than -60, but it's still not above zero.  On this particular day, it's -14 and people are out in their light jackets. I tried to switch to my "lighter" winter coat (the winter coat I'd wear down south) but was tired of feeling cold in the biting wind and went back to my warm Canada goose parka. It's hard to turn down feeling warm.

Watching the snowmobile races sort of has the feel of watching a baseball game.  I don't have a vested interest in who is gonna win. I'm more here to enjoy the sights and be a little social...and eat.  Except instead of munching on peanuts and crackerjacks like at a baseball game, I'm chowing down on chili and bannock from the canteen to stay warm. Meanwhile, the crowd oohs and ahhs in admiration when the drivers race by on their snowmobiles, expertly leaning into the turns. Somehow, everyone knows which racer is which, even though they all look pretty much the same with their helmets and machines whizzing by in the blur.

Being out on the ice makes me crave Beavertails. I did grow up in Ottawa after all, where Beavertails and hot chocolate are every bit a part of the Canal skating experience. Lately though, these cravings have started to be replaced by cravings for Slush puppies, freezies, and other forms of sugary ice. Maybe I'm slowly becoming a Northerner, sucking freezies in the snow.

The snowmobile races give the town a great chance to hang out with friends and enjoy the outdoors after a long winter. The kids were pushing their bikes through the snow.  Out further in the bay, there was Brent kite skiing, gliding gliding over the ice with enough speed to maybe even give the snowmobilers a run for their money.