…hot! That was the west coast earlier this week. It was bad, but other places had it worse.

Before the heat

Temperatures in parts of BC were hotter than Vegas – ever! – and hotter than Miami and Houston – ever! Beyond the usual assumptions about ice and snow, Western Canada does get very warm in the summer, but the west coast of Vancouver Island isn’t one of those places. The heat was ridiculous, and very uncomfortably so. Even the breeze, when it got up, was too hot – a blast of heated air flowing into our home, through each room and out the front door and windows, to no good effect. Nothing worked to cool us down, and for over three days, it grew hotter and hotter. Finally, on Monday evening, at the same time the sun dropped below the tree line and the tide turned down on the inlet, a cool breeze started. Within a few minutes, word had gotten out, and people were gathering on balconies to enjoy the cool air and decreasing temperatures. What a blessed relief!

Too hot, no breeze, can’t stop to enjoy the view

On Tuesday, I stopped by a friend’s house to compare heat stories, and he told me about a bear that had been nosing about his smokehouse just up from the shore. It hasn’t been used in a while, but he thought perhaps the bear fancied the shade, even if there was nothing to eat? A bear in a smokehouse? I asked. Bears smoke? I left soon after, promising to come back when I was more sensible and less senseless due to heatstroke…

Sensible measures

As I drove home, a minute along the way, a bear wandered onto the road from my friend’s house, ambling from one side to the other, smiling and taking its own sweet time to stroll into the shade of the trees. Was this the smoking bear? It looked pretty contented. Maybe it was the nicotine? C’mon, bear, you know better than that.

The first cool morning after the heat

Anyway, a smoking hot few days has given way to more reasonable warm days, with temperatures we’d have considered pretty high until the events of last week. We’ll be back out and about on longer hikes with Scout, who is very happy that normal(ish) weather has resumed. She’s definitely a non-smoker. Sensible dog!

Yesterday morning – cool air and fog – just right!

My brain is too cooked to be able to get into it about climate change. Even after this week, with stories of wildfires ripping through communities, and an increase in unexpected deaths due to the heat, there are still some in denial. It was unpleasant where we are, but we were lucky, most likely due to our coastal location and lower temperature starting point. Long past time to acknowledge and act collectively to reduce the warming. Hey ho, let’s leave it there…

Thanks for reading, I hope you stay cool wherever you are, and have a wonderful weekend!

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I am a would be outdoorsman - that is if I had more time, skills and knowledge. When I can, I love being outdoors, just camping, hiking, snowboarding, xc skiing, snowshoeing, paddling a canoe or trying something new. What I lack in ability, I make up for in enthusiasm and having a go. I'd never really survive for long out there in the wild, but I enjoy pretending I could if I had to...

13 thoughts on “Smoking…”

  1. I remember that cool breeze moving in Adam! It was the leading edge of a weak frontal system.
    The sunset Sunday and Monday night turned pink due to forest fire activity. The flow was from south to north, which meant the forest fire particulate had to be coming from Washington State.
    Those bears are foraging for food. The heat must of wiped out the berry crop? That smoke house has remanent food odours I bet? You’ll be seeing more of them?


    1. That cool breeze will stay in the memory for some time! I’m glad it’s cooled off since last Monday, and I’d be happy it remains cool. I expect the bears would prefer to, too! After a slow bear spotting season, I’ve been enjoying all the sightings the last couple of weeks.
      I hope all is well with you! Getting very busy here, lots of visitors…


  2. Here in NY we had a high of 90 F. and thought it was pretty bad, can’t quite imagine how searing your own temps were, but I believe it. Looking at your photographs has a pleasant, cooling effect, this somewhat cooler one week down the line.


    1. Thanks, Walt! It cooled off and has stayed relatively cool, quite relieved about that. I feel for other locations getting the full wallop – borderline unliveable, and certainly concerning…
      I hope your river tops are cool and shady!


  3. I am glad you coped. I was worried as it came on, wondering just how hot it would get. Today I felt a cool breeze and went back to bed to get a relaxed sleep for an hour. It was wonderful. The heat made me very stupid at times, almost impossible to write a sentence. Now I am wondering about lightning storms. Also, I feel very sad for the village of Lytton, with temperatures of 49.6 then burning to the ground.


    1. Thanks, Jane – happy to hear you’re doing ok and a cool breeze provided some relief. I agree that it’s hard to string coherent thoughts together when the temperatures rise above acceptable, and I really feel for the folks in Lytton and surrounding areas. What a disaster…
      Take care!


  4. I could not believe how bad the hot weather was across our country last week, but I definitely knew it was time to panic when I began to see reports about the hot temperatures in Canada. Loved the photo of the boat you weren’t able to stop by and see if there was a for sale sign. I also saw the reports about the storms and flooding in Calgary and they are still trying to figure out who to blame for the flood damage here recently, but it appears everything that could go wrong did go wrong with the seven inches of rain. I am one of those people who never realized Canada experienced many heat waves and I’m glad to read that your cool breezes have returned. We were lucky to have two wonderful days before the heat and humidity returned. It certainly sounds like the bears are very active this year and if they are stopping by the smokehouse you better watch out for them next stopping by the balcony for a drink. Enjoy the cooler weather and looking forward to the matches this week and hopefully a few more goals by Kane in England’s win!


    1. Well, at least the football has been ok! Harry Kane for Everton? His price has just gone up again. Apparently, two teams are playing hockey, but I’ve managed to see none of it… just moved along!
      Heatwaves, floods, raging fires, a global pandemic, Benitez the new Everton manager – just waiting for the locusts to arrive or beer to run out. Or locusts arriving demanding beer.
      Stay hydrated and in the shade! Or out of the rain!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I find that the only way to escape excessive heat sometimes is to submerge oneself in water. “A bear walks into a smokehouse…” Sounds like the start of a joke. Happy belated Canada Day, too!


  6. As usual you had me chuckling as I read this, pc. The smoking theme was great. Here’s where I laughed the most, “Bears smoke?” Great story about your friend and the bear, also appreciated hearing about your heat wave. I was thinking about you that week when the PNW temperatures soared like never before. And I know well that relief when the first breeze comes through. Great post, my friend.


    1. Glad you enjoyed this one, Jet! After a slow start to bear-spotting season, we’re now seeing one or two most days. A cheeky young one sauntered past the office last week, happily lazy until a teen spotted it and leaned out of a window to take a video – then it scampered off pretty quickly!
      I hope temperatures aren’t too bad down your way, and things remain quiet on the wildfire front. The situation appears bad across the west once again, and we hope you’re both going to have a quiet summer, heatwave wise…

      Liked by 1 person

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