That’s my happy dance, after nailing the must-have fashion item for a beautiful week in Jackson Hole, with temperatures hovering at -20 C or -4 F for most of the week. This coat is one of the biggest rewards of my Time In Edmonton. In the city known as the Gateway to the North, in Edmonton, when they ask you if you have spent time up north, they mean even further north – like the Yukon or the Northwest Territories. Or Nunavut if you’re feeling post-1999, which I’m sure everybody is, whether they realize that was the year Nunavut officially separated from the Northwest Territories. In general, Canada is all about potential separation threats. Although after the second referendum regarding Quebec seceding to become a separate state (and almost certainly be gobbled up by the fresh water and maple syrup hungry country below the 49th parallel) any talk or action on separation this days is greeted by a national “Mehh” in the Great White North, and, as usual, a “Huh?” by anyone in any other country.
Where was I?
Oh, yes, the coat. I can’t tell you where you can find one – it was a gift. Perhaps if you go knocking on doors in the Northwest Territories – coats like this are hand-made. Someone who lived there once told me that the designs on the outside of the coat became an intrinsic part of your identity — since you need to wear a coat like this for at least 7 months a year. My coat keeps me warm even when it’s -37 C outside. I’d like you to know that is when Fahrenheit and Celsius are equivalent. After that, it just doesn’t matter – it is ridiculously cold. Square tires. Horizontal exhaust. White rabbits. Don’t get me started on all my “it’s so cold” punchlines.
But as I was saying. En route to Jackson Hole, I kept thinking, this pure wool coat is so heavy, why am I schlepping it through multiple airports (no direct flight from YVR) when I need the spare arm to check out the fragrance section in Duty Free? As soon as I landed in the hole in the Wyoming Rockies (as seen in Django Unchained: look for the ski resort in the background of the 1858 winter scenes) I knew I had chosen wisely.
And so with Fish Creek as my witness in the town of Wilson, Wyoming, believe me when I tell you: ensconced in my Eskimo coat, I am snug as a bug under a fur blanket in an igloo.