November 28, 2006
I have always found waking up to a snow-covered Vancouver to be a wondrous feeling. It is a fleeting sense of appreciation for the natural cycle of the seasons, before the snow is tarnished by traffic and the reality of inconvenience kicks in. Fortunately, Vancouver usually enjoys mild winter compares to the rest of Canada, so snow just means shoveling the driveway and more time on the road.
All the norms were thrown out of the window on November 27, 2006. A severe snowstorm swept across the Lower Mainland overnight; the whole town was grinded to a halt the next morning. News trickled in of the chaotic road condition because the municipal governments were ill-prepared and several reservoirs were contaminated because of mudslide. One thing was clear – most employees and students would get the day off.
While the sensible thing to do was to rush to a supermarket and stock up on bottled water and food, I chose to take a walk with my girlfriend to English Bay. -10°C might seem too cold for comfort, but walking in the deep snow proved to be a good exercise and half way through Denman Street we were all warmed up.
A vast blanket of whiteness covered up English Bay. The sand, the logs, the grass… all the familiar objects had disappeared under the snow. The monotony was only broken up by the few people at the beach and the jackets they wore. The serenity in front of us belied the overpowering force of wind and snow of the night before.
To get a different look at the effect of the sub-zero temperature, we continued our walk to the Lost Lagoon at the other side of Stanley Park. The lake’s surface was partially frozen. A flock of ducks was swimming across the lake. Swans and doves sat idly on the frigid water. I felt like I was in the Arctic; instead I was just a ten-minute walk from my home.
Amazing it was to see this familiar place transformed into a winter wonderland, our empty stomachs discouraged us to linger around. Craving for hearty food, we embarked on another long walk to Stepho’s for its garlic prawns and roast lamb.