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Winter weather walks right past the window

So how many different kinds of winter have we had already in Prince George, and it’s only the middle of January?

Actually, how many kinds of winter have we had in the past couple of weeks?

I like to people-watch, and the CFIS studio at Quebec and Third is a great spot. We’re right down at street level, as opposed to being about 300 feet in the air (give or take 280) at the former location at Studio 2880.

So I get a chance to watch people going by. It’s been fun to watch how quickly the walking habits of people changed when the weather changed. A couple of weeks ago, there weren’t many people walking downtown, and those who were, were walking pretty fast because it was minus-30.

Fast forward about a week, and there are still few people walking downtown, but now they’re moving a lot slower. Amazing what a little bit of ice on the sidewalks will do, isn’t it?

Then we got back up above the freezing mark for a couple of days, and the snow started to melt. This caused a number of lakes to form on city streets. One that I have seen every winter as long as I can remember is the one that forms on the east side of Highway 97 at 22nd Avenue. It generally starts off stretching across the right turn lane and one of the through lanes, and just keeps growing. I have learned to avoid that corner until I can verify my little car will not be submerged trying to go through.

Before I forget, there was one other aspect of the varieties of winter we’ve had that made driving on side streets tricky at times. People in Prince George tend to park on the sides of the streets in residential areas. In the summer, this isn’t a problem (as long as you watch for pedestrians and small animals). In the winter, however, when you get people parking directly across from each other on a street already made narrower by the snow on the sides of the street, trying to get through some of these streets is like making your way through a minefield.

One thing that makes it easier is the polite attitude of most drivers. If there is a narrow spot in the road, one of the drivers will stop and pull over a little bit to allow the other driver to go through first.

Last week, I actually doubled up on that procedure. There were two vehicles coming the other way on a narrowed street. I was quite prepared to let both of them go by, so I pulled over a bit and saw the first one go by and give me a wave as they passed me.

I looked up, and the other vehicle was pulled over at their end of the narrow bit, waiting for me.

I went through, and gave them a wave as I passed.

It’s the polite thing to do.

You know, the Canadian thing.

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