Saturday, January 19, 2008

Klondike Derby

My Great-Grandfather Jack Turner was a gold miner in the Klondike. He also served on the Yukon Executive Council or Legislative Council for a few years before it was temporarily disbanded by Ottawa in 1919. So, this weekend I went out to a local campground here in Springfield where scores of boy scouts were enjoying the Klondike Derby.

Here are some photographs I took. Well, the first photograph is from the Yukon Territory, and you can see my Grandma Nel in the arms of her father, my great-grandfather Jack Turner. That's the summer. In the winter in the Klondike the temperatures bounce around between -40 Celsius and -10 Celsius.

There is a photograph of myself studying for the course I teach on social welfare policy. This was on Friday evening when it was still pretty warm, about -7 Celsius. The other picture of me shows me early on Saturday morning, when it was about -18 Celsius. If you dress warmly (as I did), it's not a problem when the temperatures get down to such low temperatures, but it can be difficult to sleep in a tent. One problem is that the condensation from one's breath can form an ice crust on whatever blanket one has over one's face, and if one doesn't use a blanket or mask over one's face, then one's skin (nose and cheeks) get cold. Another problem is that water bottles freeze up solid, so it can be difficult to get a drink.

Anyway, that photo of me on Saturday morning shows that my skin is rather pink. It becomes so in cold, as blood seems to rush to the skin surface, perhaps to bring warmth to the skin cells and to prevent them from being destroyed by feezing.

The fourth image shows Matt, Mike, and Jack, three boy scouts who were camping for the Klondike derby.

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