A little before 10am the sun rose behind clouds as if through sheer fabric curtains. A glaze of ice spread over the river in the night, and this morning the gray light of a northern dawn reflects onto boats along the shore. Yesterday’s wet tundra has become a hardened, walkable surface. But it doesn’t feel cold. The air is still, and I’m warm beneath the same ski jacket I wear on the slopes of Vermont. My rubber, felt-lined Kamik boots arrived in the mail yesterday, as did Amara’s winter gear. I scan the cold scene while feeling toasty warm.
Atmau isn’t desolate in winter. It’s actually more accessible as the river becomes an ice highway and the snow-covered delta becomes a snow-machine playground. School travel costs for sporting events drops. Transportation by plane is no longer required. Coaches drive athletes from village to village, using the fleet of district-owned Suburbans. One of the teachers says happily, “I can’t wait for winter. We’ll be able to ride in a warm truck!”
No one in the school is allowed to travel without winter clothing after October 1st. I’ve heard one person complain about the policy, having traveled when the temperatures were too warm for heavy parkas. But you never know if the weather will change, so the policy seems like a good idea. For example, our volleyball team left for a meet by boat Friday afternoon. Today being Sunday with the school closed, I haven’t heard if they’ve already returned. If not, they’ll probably have to come back by plane. [Update: Good news — the team got back home yesterday.]
Boat owners were caught off guard from the First Freeze. Temperatures are set to rise into the 40’s this week, long enough for them to get their boats out of the water. See pics below.
That’s the latest news from Atmau. : )