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Well, it was inevitable!

Gee, what is it you’re talking about Dave? Could it be that it’s the end of November and winter has finally arrived? Yup, you got me! However I must say that the onset of winter this year was a bit unexpected. Last Thursday the temperature was +10C and it was beautiful outside. By the next day the temperature has dropped to -6C and we had received 20cm of snow. That’s a bit of a 180 if I do say so myself! Buses were cancelled and so it was a rather quiet Friday at school with only a handful of kids in the building.

I must admit that the snow on the ground does add a little colour to what was becoming a rather blah landscape of browns and greys. Christmas (yes, the c word) is less than a month away so it was expected that some snow would fall-hence this week’s title. The forecast does call for the temps to rise back above 0 for the weekend, so we may lose some of the white stuff. I’m okay with all of it though, since at some point the boys and I can start going back up the mountain.

The end of November means that we are rapidly approaching the holiday season, and there are a scant three weeks left to go before the break. Perfect timing, as it’s starting to get to that “I need a rest” point to recharge the ole’ battery! Lots of things to do between now and then though, and I’m sure it will be very appreciated when we get there. Unfortunately due to my bout with the flu last week, I am very much behind in my marking and the next little while will be filled with the sound of shuffling papers.

This past weekend I tried to play catch up on missed projects from the previous week. My wife’s van received its winter tires, albeit a day and a pile of snow late. This weekend I’ll have to get up the outside lights, but thankfully my wife and the boys looked after the trees and decorations inside. Let’s hope those mild temps show up since it’s always a pain getting the lights hooked up when it’s freezing cold out.

It has once again been a very busy few days on the railway front, with my efforts again focussed on the Silver Mountain Historical Society. On Wednesday I had my planned meeting with Bonnie McNulty who is a regional advisor with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. There were no earth-shattering revelations, as Ms. McNulty is just an advisor who offers support and advice to people like me. However it was reassuring to know that our group is headed in the right direction and talking to the right people. Hopefully this will lead to some sort of historic designation for the railway and eventually the planned hiking trails that we are after.

A lot of my time has been taken up in planning the upcoming incorporation meeting on December 9th. I’m really glad there are people around me like Shelley Simon and Ellen McInnis who have been instrumental in getting everything organized and promoted. The agenda is nearing completion and I’ve started planning what the presentation will look like. It is still a week and a half away, but I know that time will quickly fly by. I’m pretty good right now, but I’m sure my anxiety level will go through the roof as the date gets closer. Try to stay calm!

On a related note, I happened to take a look at the Gunflint Lodge website today to see if they had anything about my February presentation. In October I was contacted by Sue Kerfoot to see if I was interested in doing a few talks about the railway for their winter programming. Of course I gladly accepted! So the lodge has created a weekend package around the talks, snowshoeing and skiing. Hopefully I can convince my wife to tag along; she can get a massage while I yap! I really enjoyed my last stay there and the accommodations and hospitality were great. You can check everything out on the Gunflint Lodge website (I’ll have to talk to them about the spelling of Leeblain though).

Gunflint Lodge, May 2011.

Gunflint Lodge cabin, May 2011.

Romantic cabin for one, May 2011.

Gunflint Lake, May 2011.

Anyway, time to wrap things up for now. More to say next week as usual. Until then…

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Posted by on November 27, 2012 in History, Miscellaneous, Research, Travel, Writing

 

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I had to open my big mouth didn’t I?

Remember last week how I wrote about being so sick I felt like crap? Yup, I had to say to say it and now karma has bitten me in the ass. I have not been this sick in a long, long time. I was actually starting to feel better as the week progressed, but then I got hammered on Saturday. My back was a bit sore all day (for no apparent reason); by the evening I was lying on the couch completely chilled to the bone. Sunday wasn’t too bad, but I woke up on Monday morning at 4 freezing once again. I went to work for the morning, but went home at lunch. My temperature was a lovely 103F!

Needless to say I am feeling marginally better today, but my head is still plugged up and I cannot breathe properly. Talk about the perfect storm of colds…head, chest and fever. I managed to get through the day at work with only a few shivers and sweats. Hopefully I’m feeling better by tomorrow as I’m out of the classroom for an e-Learning workshop.

So Sunday marked the one year anniversary of this blog; where has the time gone? It’s sort of interesting to look back and see what I had to say a year ago. It’s also amazing where this rant has taken me and the topics I’ve written about every week. I’m very thankful for the 4000+ views in the last year and the 49 people who’ve decided to follow me. We’ll see what the next year brings!

Anyway, the railway front has been very busy, mostly regarding the Silver Mountain Historical Society again. Last week I wrote about the launch of the society website, which went public on Friday. Personally, I feel it could be a bit better, but I guess it’s okay for now. Hopefully it will bring more publicity to our efforts and there’s always room for improvements in the future. Be sure to check it out! silvermountainhs.ca

On Saturday I “stopped by” the Silver Mountain Station to borrow some old photos so I could scan them (I say “stopped by” in jest as it is a 54km drive along twisty-turny Highway 588 to get there). I did grab the photos I was looking for, but I also had a chance to chat with proprietress and fellow society co-chair Shelley Simon. She was kind enough to give me a tour of the old station, especially the upstairs part which one does not normally see. The station has seen a few additions over the years, but it still retains much of its historic style.

After our walkabout, our conversation turned to the old station on North Lake. Shelley had some great photos of the original station from the 1970’s; it really made me wish I could have seen it.  It made me think of the replica station that was built on Addie Lake which I did have a chance to visit on many occasions. I kinda miss that building…it made me go digging through my old videos to find some footage that I had of it from 1997. Unfortunately it’s not a lot of footage, but I decided to post it to YouTube anyway.

North Lake Station, 1970’s.

North Lake Station, 1970’s.

North Lake Station, 1970’s.

North Lake Station, circa 1970’s.

Tomorrow I have my meeting with the Regional Advisor from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. I think I’m ready for this, but I have no idea where the discussion will take us and what will come of it. I am trying to be positive though, as any little thing will be a step in the right direction. I’ll report all the news next week.

Anyway, time to wrap things up as I’m still not 100%, but you know that already. Hopefully I’ll be back to snuff by next week. Until then…

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2012 in Hiking, Miscellaneous, Research, Writing

 

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