Rule No. 1: In Winter, put on your scarf, hat and gloves...ALWAYS!
Friday morning a few weeks ago, my sister-in-law and I took a mini road trip in her car to break from the city and have a girls day out. I have been to Hudson before, a town about a 1-hour drive from downtown Montreal, but never in winter. You can imagine my surprise when I was faced with the scene below, the Lake of Two Mountains iced over and accessible on foot.
A ferry crosses this lake and takes you from the Town of Hudson to Oka. In the winter, as you can see, the lake transforms into a road made up of ice and snow, giving commuters the experience of literally driving over water. A lovely place to visit and most certainly worth a stop during any time of the year. In the distance you can see a snowplow coming from the Town of Oka and clearing the snow as it heads towards us, in the direction of Hudson. A witness to the solidity of the ice beneath.
The scene before us was so inviting that we stepped onto the ice and started to walk. We wanted to see how far we would get. The air was fresh, like being by the sea but with no sea about. I imagined what it would feel like to make it to the middle of the road, right in the middle of the lake? How far did we get? The photo below, taken looking back towards where we started off, Hudson, shows we didn't get far! We stood on water that's for sure but we only made it past a few feet from the shore. To the right you can see where the ferry spends its winter.
In the papers today I read that this month, February, is the coldest Montreal has ever seen. Well that bit of news didn't surprise me at all, but it did inspire my post today and reminded me of that beautiful Friday morning when we tried to cross the lake by foot. It was so bitter cold that we barely managed to take any pictures. A few seconds was the most we could handle with our gloves off. Fast forward two weeks later and the cold hasn't let up, quite a challenge for our little Smart ED. When we purchased our electric car we most definitely didn't expect to be facing one of our coldest winters ever. Driving along the highway on a normal day, in normal weather, a full charge can last for almost 110 kilometers. Facing our current winter conditions, the range drops drastically to 66 kilometers. Why the significant drop, well heating for one thing does drain a battery. Already to reach 66 kilometers the heating needs to be at a minimum, an acceptable condition to Mr. S, but not an ideal one by all means. You could, of course, get more range from the car in winter if you don't heat at all and kept the radio off. A situation just as bad in my opinion to the brutal cold temperatures facing you outside! We keep such drastic measures for what we like to call "emergency-emergency". With no garage in our apartment building where we could plug-in, each charge had to be carefully mapped out. I can remember of a couple of times, since December, hearing Mr. S saying in a slightly high-pitched voice "emergency-emergency". That was my cue; I wrapped my scarf tighter around my neck, pulled down my hat over my ears and put on my gloves. Mr. S did the same. Heating and radio off we headed home with no guarantee if we would make it in the end. I still remember the feeling of my teeth chattering as we drove over pothole after pothole, always at a constant speed to conserve power until finally we made it to where we could plug-in, close to home.
I did say it would be an adventure!