I kissed Gord goodbye, and loved him even more that morning because he didn’t care if I was a Whiner.
I ran outside and hopped into the passenger side of Josh’s truck.
We arrived at the lake at 8:00 a.m., just as Josh had predicted. The wind was whipping across the lake and I immediately realized that I hadn’t dressed warmly enough.
I was wearing thermal underwear. I had snowboarding pants on (the label said they were good for -25 C). I was wearing a turtleneck and my ski jacket (-25 C for it, too). Layers. Every Canadian knows you need to dress in layers to stay warm. I had on a toque, and a scarf that covered everything except my eyes. I was wearing ski mittens – and big winter boots – both good for -30 C. But none of that mattered, because the wind was so cold, it felt like I was standing there in a swimsuit.
Josh was enthusiastically unpacking the truck. He had thermoses full of hot drinks and a huge cooler filled with food.
Josh started loading everything onto a little sled, so we could pull it to his ice fishing shack.
“How far is the shack, Josh?” I asked. I was starting to shiver from the cold. My voice sounded small.
“Only about 30 minutes, if we walk quickly,” he said.
Josh is 6’3” (193 cm). I am 5’2 ½” (161 cm). I would need to jog to keep up with him.
The bitter, cold wind was blowing from the north. I wished I had brought ski goggles to keep the blowing snow out of my eyes. I could feel the cold biting into my toes and the ends of my fingers. My eyebrows were starting to hurt from the cold. I pulled my toque farther down over my eyes. We would be walking into the wind.
“Okay, then. You all ready?” Josh grinned.
I nodded. I was afraid to say anything in case I started to cry.
“The snow’s a little deep. We’ve got a bit of a workout ahead of us.” Josh started off across the parking lot, pulling the sled behind him.
I followed. Nobody would call me a Whiner. I would bear my pain in silence.
Go to Part 4 – Laura gets stuck in the snow