It’s about 4am and it’s cold. Really cold. Last year it was called the “Polar Vortex”. This year it’s being called the “Arctic Express”. I’m sure that next year it will be called something else by the media who, for some reason, feel they must come up with some cutesy new name for “winter”. Most creatures in North America know well enough to stay curled up in their dens and burrows but a small group of people are beginning to stir on a very chilly Saturday morning. Chilly is an understatement of course…it’s not just chilly…its cold…STUPID COLD! They don’t really want to leave the warmth of their cozy beds and may even grumble aloud “Ugg…what am I doing?” Although, in the time it takes to even verbalize such a thought, they know that the satisfaction of what they are about to do, outweighs the discomfort and even pain that they will endure this day. They are part of a team and there is a job to do. Lives depend on it.
At the same time, another group of people is beginning to stir. They too are enjoying the warmth of their beds while evaluating their own range of emotions. Some are excited for the day ahead, while others are downright terrified. This is a diverse group and all strangers to each other. Like the 42 year old housewife who is so nervous that she is shaking like a leaf. The 20 year old kid who thinks a lot of himself. The 53 year old guy who doesn’t want to go but his wife of the same age insisted that he do this with her. The 26 year old guy who just graduated from Police College, the two teenage sisters and their middle aged mom, and so on. Each one of them are trying to mentally visualize what the day will be like and although they have an idea what they will be doing, none of them are exactly sure what to expect.
Soon, these two groups of people will leave their homes from various places across Southern Ontario, drive 2-3 hours and all converge in the small town of Minden. Welcome to the ILR Winter Car Control School.