Yukoners are unquestionably obsessed with light and weather. In a place where temperatures vary 75 degrees C over the year (138 F for those south of the border), and daylight swings from 5.5 to 21 hours, this isn’t that surprising. Normal small talk in Whitehorse is centered around the sun’s comings and goings and the migration of mercury – in an imaginary world of “Shit Yukoners Say” this would be the running joke.
I am no different than my neighbors in this regard; and if you are going to obsess over sunrises and sunsets, the Equinox and Solstice have inflated importance. Before moving to the Yukon, the changes of seasons meant nothing to me – now I find little ways of celebrating the comings and goings of my favorite ball of plasma.
This year, I celebrated Spring with a ride up Grey Mountain. Unfortunately, I don’t care enough about the sun to follow its every move. I had planned for a Wednesday night ride – assuming the 21st of March to be the first day of Spring. The Mr. informed me on Monday, that the vernal equinox was actually March 19th at 10:14 pm. I am choosing to ignore this fact.
I expected my ride to be a solo one, but was pleasantly surprised when I stopped at the local bike shop and found out that my friend Paula had just purchased a Surly Pugsley. I, in all my bountiful generosity, convinced the boys to build it up with some pink grips, thinking this would drive her crazy. Sadly (or gladly), she actually liked the hot pink accent; and agreed to join me on my ride.
Going up the Grey Mountain Road isn’t the most exciting ride, but it is beautiful. When planning my Spring celebration, I had visions of blue sky, bright sun and warm weather. Had I ridden on Monday – on the actual Equinox – this dream would have been realized. The weather was chilly, the sky was grey; but grey trumps black, and you can’t win them all.
Three months ago you needed a headlamp at 4:00 pm. Three months from now, you won’t need a headlamp at all. Right now, the sun gives you enough time to enjoy a long ride after work. The rest of the world might be green with Spring, but I have to admit, the big 12 hour sun is fun to watch gleaming off a snowy landscape. Only 3 more months until we are in the land of Midnight Sun; and 6 more months until it’s dark and freezing again. In between there’s lots to talk about.