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Think warm thoughts
February 4, 2014 - Jordan Travis
The weekend before last, I decided I wasn't going to let single-digit temps keep me inside, so I drove out to Chippewa Hills pathway and took a snowshoe hike.
It was frigid, but the forest kept the wind at bay and the work of trudging through a foot and a half of powdery snow warmed me up in no time. At one point I was warm enough that I needed to unzip my jacket.
As I drove home, I tried not to get hypnotized by the snow blowing across Wolf Creek Road. It hit me then as I looked out over the snow-blown fields: in a few months, this will all be a distant memory.
Then I read my coworker's blog, ranting about the snow. Steve, I can offer you a few ways to get around this. Drink warm or warming beverages; a spiced tea at work, a glass of red wine at home or maybe a hot cup of sake. Wear slippers indoors. Use blankets when you're sitting around.
Getting outside helps, as nonsensical as that may seem. I'm tired of being cold all the time, and seeing endless white everywhere, but when the late afternoon sun shone through the trees Saturday I was astonished by how beautiful winter can be. Find ways to enjoy it, and keep moving to stay warm.
Although I must admit: even I hit my limit that day. I went to a nearby hill in an attempt to watch the sunset. It's the highest point around, and when I got there a cloud bank was blocking the sun and the wind was blowing very, very hard. I felt an odd sensation with each step, and started when I realized the cuffs of my jeans had frozen.
If the rest of winter were like the first few days of February (sunny and 20) I wouldn't mind. Otherwise, don't forget long underwear.
But aside from booze, hot tea and slippers, you need to think warm thoughts, Steve. Remember in July when the temperatures hit the high 90s, and again in August? We live in a psychotic state, weather-wise. Back in January, the temp hit -21 in Alpena. Consider that less than six months ago, it was 118 degrees warmer.
Remember those days? I do. I was out trout fishing in Pigeon River Country on one of them, and got so overheated that my hands started to shake. Wading in that river sure felt nice, and likely kept me from blacking out from heat exhaustion. Note to self: stay hydrated.
The point is, there's a good chance we'll have a few days this coming summer where it'll seem unbelievable that we were ever complaining about the cold. Seems like this happens every year. Then we can jump in the 65-degree waters of Lake Huron, and complain about how the lake is "freezing."
Heh, freezing. Right.
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