Snow storm – blizzard conditions

In anticipation of the snow (20 to 40 cm) to arrive tonight and tomorrow, I am suggesting two locations with fun after storm skiing. And in Nova Scotia, especially around Halifax, that means you have to get out soon, because it could all be gone in a few days with the rain that is sure to follow.    …So…

Early in January we had snow, snow and snow, and two days of wonderful cross country skiing.  We skied at Dollar Lake Provincial Park one day and at Pockwock Watershed the next.  Each of these locations is within an easy two hours or less of Halifax.  Each of these locations offers kilometers of varied trails through woods and along open, unploughed roads.  Trails are not groomed, but Pockwock, is popular enough that by the afternoon there will be tracks to follow.  If you like to break your own trail there are sure to be lots of untouched paths to explore and break trail too!  Dollar Lake Provincial Park is a bit farther from the city than Pockwock and has perhaps fewer trails, but the lake is closer and walking trails can be skied as well.

At the Pockwock Watershed streams and creeks add to the charm!

creek, pockwock watershed

Pockwock Watershed Skiing

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after-storm-waves

Storm waves_Nova ScotiaNova Scotia has an abundance of shoreline and after storms the waves are really something! A couple weeks ago we were traveling along Nova Scotia’s southshore where we stopped for a walk along a shore near Sandy Beach Road.  The rain was just about to end and the waves – just marvelous.

after storm waves in Nova ScotiaThe walk itself is pretty short.  In boots or during the summer you could walk much farther along the beach after crossing a stream from Moose Creek Pond.  Check out the map to find the spot.

Moose Creek Pond

Blizzard walk on Lake Banook

Lake Banook, Dartmought NSSidewalks were barely ploughed and lots of wind sent the snow into long drifts this Saturday making the windswept ice across Lake Banook was an excellent place to walk, more easily (We did see one couple, out enjoying the storm, using snow shoes to get around).  A weekend snow storm is a great time to see things from new perspectives and the chance to walk across the lake was too good to pass up.

Lake Banook, Dartmouth, NSLake Banook is an active place – winter and especially summer.  At least three canoe clubs and two rowing clubs are located along its shores.  Municipal parks with beaches dot the shores and there are walking paths too. National competitions such as the 2012 Canadian Sprint CanoeKayak Championships also take place here.   And of course, Lake Banook is part of the Shubenacadie Canal system.

A snowy walk home

Thrilled to walk home today and skip the slippery, snowy road.  Of course, I didn’t really skip the streets entirely – after all, I crossed the street at all my corners and the sidewalks were pretty snowy too.  It’s actually a bit like walking in sand – but I feel so much better on the sidewalk and I admit it – even a little bit smug; there’s no frustrating wait in traffic, no gripping the wheel waiting to see if the car slides through the stop sign!

And walking in a snow storm, everything seems a bit muted, as if the snow is muffling the sound.  The city sounds seem farther away and nature seems just a bit closer.  It’s great, I love my walk home!

winter storm walk in Halifax

Winter  storm across the province today.  It began sometime after lunch, and by mid-afternoon shopping centres were announcing closures by 4 pm.  The streets are treacherous.  And I am pleased, (very pleased) that I walk to (and from) work.  As the cars crept along the streets, I could stride (well maybe tromp is more accurate!) through the snow/slush.

Walking to and from work is not to everyone’s taste and it is not possible for everyone, but for me it is important.  In fact it was key in choosing where to live when we moved last year.  It grounds me, keeps me sane, and means I don’t have to drive in winter weather.

Nova Scotia Storm Day

School was cancelled today.  That makes 8 weeks in a row that school in our area has not been open five days in a row!  The weather services have been announcing the storm for a day at least…and here it is… this morning was fierce, but by mid-afternoon the snow had stopped and the freezing rain had not yet begun – the perfect time for a walk.  So off I went, snowshoes strapped to my feet in anticipation of the big drifts.  There were few drifts, since the wind had scoured the path, but the walk was fine.

Every walk brings it own special character and today for the first time, I provided directions to a snow-mobiler.  He wasn’t lost exactly, just looking for a particular spot.  I could direct him to the marker he had been given, but whether he found the road/path that is supposed to lead from there I can’t say.  At least he didn’t come back over the path we both were following.

These statellite images from the Environment Canada website show the progress of the storm today.

Before the storm hits:

goes_ecan_1070_100

And here is an outline of Nova Scotia to help you find us on the satellite image.  (Find the A for Annapolis Royal)

nova-scotia-outline_a Later in the day the storm has passed on:

goes_sigwx_1070_100