It hasn’t been above freezing for an entire week now. This isn’t so bad when you’re in the sun and the air is still… but is kind of sucky when it’s windy or sleeting. You know when the sun starts going down because you can feel it getting colder by the minute. It hasn’t been above the single-digits at night this week either. The creeks are frozen over except the very center strip and a few places where there are rapids or the current is fast. The ground is solid and the moss breaks when you walk on it. Every morning the landscape sparkles like diamonds in the frost.
Last night, it was -1F. Today, we needed to swap out the short, galvanized single-wall stove pipe for a longer and more efficient stainless double-wall, so we had to let the stove go cold. It was 20F in the tent this morning when we got up and the little propane heater could only get it above freezing (we don’t like to run that when we’re sleeping, or for more than an hour or so inside). Charlie’s water dish was frozen solid, so was the coffee pot. There was a layer of ice in all our water tanks. Our sodas were slushy. Our olive oil was opaque. Charlie had frost in her fur where my breath condensed on her while we were sleeping. Our breath was fogging so badly that we couldn’t see much with our headlamps while we were installing the new stove pipe (which, of course, had mechanical issues!).
But, once we got things all set up and the fire started again, it warmed right up to 70F in about an hour. It took two hours for my feet to thaw out and Charlie to venture out from under the covers :D
On a positive note, it should only get about 20 to 40 degrees colder from here on out. The locals say this is a mild winter so far, and reckon that it’ll probably only get to 40 below zero a few times. I’m so glad that our blueboard insulation order will be ready soon! It’s plenty warm enough when we have the fire going, but it’ll be nice to keep in some more of that warmth when the fire has to be out or if one of us accidentally sleeps through the 3 a.m. firebox feeding.