Spring in the Yukon

6:08 sunrise
21:48 sunset

There is nothing better than spring in the Yukon.

Except that there is nothing worse than spring in the Yukon.

Let me explain.  By the time spring officially arrives (March 20 this year) the Yukon is awash in all sorts of lovely light and outdoor activities are frequently enjoyed under the most spectacular of blue skies.  Cross-country skiing or snow-biking or even just walking on our local trails makes me think that I love winter when I do these things in March.  We accept, here in Whitehorse, that our spring is a little later than it is for folks south of 60 and that’s okay.  We don’t mind the snow sticking around….. to a point.  But only to a point and April 26th is considerably beyond it.

This April has been nothing short of shite when it comes to the weather.

For awhile, the snow biking was okay.  And by okay I mean that the trails have been fairly well-packed and as the days have gotten longer it has been easier to ride after work.  But only okay because we have also had several days of snow (which makes the trails slippery or unrideable until they get packed down again). In a desperate attempt to enjoy being outdoors on a really sunny Saturday last weekend, we went to Fish Lake. Usually an awesome, hard-packed highway along the lake was, this time, a morass of new snow with a crust on top.  We walked our bikes around for about half an hour before giving up.

And the road riding has not been any better.  While a couple of days have been acceptable (read: +5C and sunny) the majority of them have been closer to 0C, sometimes below, complete with grey skies or worse, snow.  My first attempt to ride on the road this year came on April 9th.  It wasn’t warm, but it was clear…. until I got on to the highway.  But heck, Sierra and I were already out there so we stayed…. through a sideways snowstorm and a road that quickly became a slushy mess.

Does this look fun?

 Fun-ny maybe, but it wasn’t fun.

Even this week, walking my bike through the snow and ice that is my driveway seems… well, wrong.

But at least, as I look to the weather forecast for the last few days of April (coldest night -14C, warmest day +4C), I can pat myself on the back for having made plans – waaaaaaaaaaay back last summer – to spend my birthday in San Francisco.  Tomorrow I leave Yukon “spring” for 10 days of sun, friends, bikes and wine in California.  And I can’t wait.  Perhaps when I return it will be summer.


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