Monday, November 7, 2011

Feels Dark and Cold

It's getting to be that time of the year where it feels dark and moving off of daylight savings time doesn't help much. Today, sunrise was at 9:00am and sunset was at 4:09pm with the maximum sun elevation of just under 10°. In this image from, the orange line shows the sun's path today (blue is Dec. 21 and black is June 21). So it is starting to feel like winter. Today around lunchtime, I walked to the local Toyota dealer and it actually started to feel cold by the time I arrived even though it was around 8°F. Maybe time to dig out the warmer coat and stop wearing the mesh running shoes. The road crews still haven't gotten around to clearing the snow on the sidewalks so lots of tromping through snow. When I finally got back to the university maintained roads after dropping the car off at my wife's school, I really appreciated the efforts the university crews do maintaining their roads and sidewalks. All of the sidewalks and walkways are completely clear with pea gravel for additional traction.

This map was made using a GPS enabled iPhone app called Walkmeter which automatically uploads to the Internet when completed. The disconnect in the path around 4.7 miles is where I drove the van from the dealer to my wife's school. The app generally works pretty well though last week the phone stopped working due to low temperature. It was -21°F and when I arrived at my destination, the phone claimed that the battery was dead. After warming the phone back up, it said 80% battery. I guess it want's to be carried in an inside pocket.


  1. I only have one word to say: brrrrrr.

  2. Moving off of Daylight Savings Time is always a jolt. I agree with Sonja, "brrrrr". Temperatures are much warmer here. Lots of rain, but this will pass. I'm still surprised when people complain about the winters here. That said, when it snows and I choose not to ride you may even catch a complaint from me, too. So, I guess it is all relative.

  3. RichardM:

    whenever we think we feel cold, all we have to do is think of you and your -21°F . I wished we could just keep standard time, or even perhaps move our clocks forward a couple of hours because I would rather have daylight at the end of the day, instead of in the morning. Do you think that the WalkMeter will work for Motorcycles ?

    Riding the Wet Coast

  4. I agree with everyone, brrrrr. 8˚ and you are still wearing your mesh running shoes. You sir, must have good circulation.

    I remember living in Creston, BC where we did not participate in Daylight Savings Time. It was nice not to have the change but it was weird that neighboring towns were an hour ahead for half the year.

  5. After a couple of days in the -20s, positive temperatures usually feel pretty warm so you can get used to anything. I think it was all of the tromping through the deep snow that made it feel cold. We have virtually no humidity (i.e. "It's a dry cold") and usually no wind.

    I wish that they would just abolish DST or AK should go back to four time zones like it used to be. At least then sunrise and sunset wouldn't be skewed.

    Walkmeter would work while on the bike but there are other applications that may work better for tracking rides.

    The running shoes are my normal footwear year around though I should dig out the wool socks. My problem yesterday is that my socks got wet...

  6. I know what cold is too, coming from Prince George area. I remember those very cold winters with lots of snow. Good for you to keep walking through it tho. I am officially now an Island wimp.

    I agree with you about daylight savings time, I hate it. Winter is so dreary. All it is here is just another shade of grey.

    Stay warm!

  7. And I thought it was cold when we lived in the UK - no comparison at all!

    Do Alaskans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder brought on from the lack of bright sunlight in Winter or do you get plenty of sun, but just intense cold?

  8. Geoff:
    Some do but most don't. Even way up north, the sun may not come up but it isn't really dark all the time either. Dawn and dusk are long due to the shallow angle of the sun. Most days are clear so when the sun is up, it seems pretty bright. But this is just my opinion.

    Many places have humidity and/or wind. That would make it feel a lot colder at comparable temperatures.

  9. Richard,

    Ugh. So, I know a lot of Minnesotans have moved up north, but I will not be one of them. The worst part of winter to me is the darkness. It's like living in a closet. Chin up, only a month and a half to the solstice... and then a couple more to days of decent length. Good luck, I do not envy you.

    Also, it's been thick with fog here for the last two days and that's enough. You must have guts of steel to live there.

    Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

  10. Stop wearing the mesh runners - why? It's practically balmy. Just add a pair of thin socks. :)

    Alaskans have such a different concept of temperature. Even the phone knows when it's time to get out of the cold! :D

  11. Brady:
    The darkness doesn't really bother me much mostly because it isn't that dark. We have a long dawn and dusk so even up north where the sun doesn't rise, it still gets light for a couple of hours per day.

    I finally broke down and bought some wool socks to wear with the running shoes. Much warmer. And I think it takes common sense and intelligence to know when to come in from the cold. So I know where I stand....

  12. I commend you for hiking through those temps. But as you say, you get used to it. What about getting those thin seal waterproof socks to go over whichever socks you want? Seal Skinz. Loved them while kayaking.