We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Wednesday, February 9. 2011
Winter is made for outdoor fun of the strenuous type. I call the cold "God's air conditioning." Time to do things that make you sweat like a pig when it's cold as hell.
When the kids were young, we focused on family skating, skiing and sledding. Wonderful times, and all of my kids have mastered these things while accumulating the scars and broken bones that are an essential part of a vigorous childhood. My family does vigor, avoids "relaxation" - our theory is that you can lie around and relax when you're dead.
I used to like a ten mile road run in the morning in 10 degrees, but I don't do that anymore even though I should. (I prefer my wake-up cigar and a large Dunkin.) My relatives and friends like Paddle, cross-country skiing, Frostbiting, snow-shoeing, and skiing of course. My elderly Mom still likes to get her cross-country skis on and go out in the woods and hills and fields for a couple of hours in 10 degrees (F). Never was a wimp. She does appreciate a hot toddy on her return, a warm fire, and somebody to listen to her tell what she saw ("I saw a Goshawk on the ridges and flushed a grouse out of the briars by the river. Bear tracks on the mountain trail.").
I told her we might find her dead frozen body someday halfway up Tim's Mountain, and she said that was OK with her.
What do you like to do for outdoor cold-weather fun?
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Nowadays, one thing I want to do in winter is to put on some warm stuff and go to New York and hike for miles with my camera. With stops at the occasional random pub to warm up.
Next little hike: Grand Central to Chinatown.
And, mind you, I am a country boy.
Are we talking cold or bitter cold? Big difference between 20 and 0.
I have to work in the cold so I don't recreate in it. Come to think of it, I don't play much outside at all.
Cold weather is tolerable....as long as there is no wind. Yesterday the high was 10, the wind was blowing 30 mph and it was snowing. I would question the common sense of anyone who was out in that just for fun.
A big advantage of cold weather is that there are no insects, especially the biting kind, and, properly dressed, it is arguably more comfortable than sweltering in the heat.
As for bitter cold, it is best to stay inside if you can.
I skiied in Vermont one day with Mrs. BD when it was 10 below. Work up a good sweat on the way down, and the sweat would freeze on the way up. Best thing about that day: slopes were almost empty of people.
Work on the property in the cold rain - W. Oregon
X-country skiing when back home - Montana
When I was youngster in Michigan, ice skating.
In my more adult life, I actually enjoyed shoveling snow, and I still do if it's not so deep that i have to worry about my back.
Mostly I enjoy walking the dog for 10 minutes and drinking tea and honey afterward.
1. Vacationing in the Caribbean.
2. Shooting squirrels at the bird feeder.
Paddle...absolutely the most fun to be had when the temps are low.
Downhill skiing would be a distant second. In our neck of the woods the runs are too short and the hills are too icy. If I'm going to blow out my knees it sure as hell isn't going to be on 500 feet of vertical...though in my "yoot" I couldn't get enough of it.
Added bonus of contributing to global warming with the propane heaters cranking it out on a snowy day.
Do you live in my neighborhood (Central PA), Browndog? Same here... I can't get all worked up over the 500' hill we have here, especially after some of the real mountains I've skied.
But to answer the main topic, downhill skiing is my #1, and the faster the better!
Downhill skiing, but my current situation only allows a few (10-12) days of that per winter. Walking is pretty much the only other elective cold weather activity I engage in. I do this with the dog and wander about as much as time allows. Had a nice wander around the snowpack just this AM. A regular Jeremiah Johnson, I am.
Don't mind moving snow from here to there when necessary provided it doesn't get too onerous as per this past January.
I put the skates aside permanently probably 6 or so years ago. I keep telling myself I may try cross country or snow shoeing. I see those intrepid souls climbing ski-slopes while I ride the lift and always say I'd like to do that but never do. For the time being I keep my hard cardio exercise very controlled (i.e, indoor) for the most part.
BTW, where is that photo from? I have a similar one from Smuggler's Notch in VT.
The past several years the winter outdoor activity has been the same as the other three seasons, taking the ever-eager dog out and about for a minimum of two hours daily, five on weekends. We cover a lot of ground in fields, fencerows, and in the woods, and it's hard traveling in the snow.
This past week has been just hateful, with an extremely slick ice coating over a crust on the snow. Mr Enthusiasm at least has toenails to keep him going, I have to resort to cleats on the boots and taking my ice chipper to use as a staff. Dog can walk on the crust, mostly, while my weight breaks through. Does wonders for the knees and joints.
Only when it is below 10 degrees and very windy will the dog reluctantly head for home in less than an hour.
We are the only ones in those fields, except for the coyotes, deer, and an occasional fox, judging by the tracks in the snow.
Your questions were inconsistent.
First it was about winter, then it was about cold weather.
Here in coastal California, we have the former but not much of the latter.
My favorite winter outdoor activities are sunbathing (it was 80 degress Sunday here in San Jose) and walking in the redwood forests watching the creeks and waterfalls.
I've done and enjoy all the usual outdoors stuff in the cold. My absolute favorite of all time was snowmobiling in West Yellowstone. Don't go into the park, go West up into the mountains. Go do it before it's made illegal.
A day of snowmobiling is one of the most vigorous workouts I've ever experienced.
Here in the Nevada desert, Wednesday Night Trap League, the the after-shoot tailgating and single malt scotch. No snow, rarely does it rain, but we're in the exposed foothills north of Las Vegas and the wind is cold and stiff.
I live in Brooklyn. There is no better feeling than walking the dogs through Prospect Park in the early morning. They are allowed to be off the leash until 9:00 AM. One of the truly civilized aspects of modern New York living.
We move briskly, but as we walk, we run into other dog owners. I stop, and let the dogs frolic in the snow for a few minutes with their new friends.
Used to take long runs when training for marathons when young. These days like a 3-6 mile walk w the mutt around the beach, photographing birds and giving her the chance to socialize with the other dogs. I like it best below 15 degrees tho as there aren't so many people.
Used to Frostbite, then ran the races from the committee boat/shack (whatever they used that day). Don't ski because there is something unsettling about sliding down a mountain on the edge of control. I don't own snow shoes and cross country skiing seems a rather dull way to spend time.
I do some four wheeling occasionally with my ATV along the old logging trail, over the ridge and into Yale Forest in Union. Other than that, I try as much as possible to stay inside something warm - house or truck.
I do get a kick out of driving around in snow storms though. Nothing like taking a big heavy truck and tooling around with the wind howling and the snow blowing.
And can someone tell me what "paddle" is? I tried looking it up (as far as the ADD inspired 2-page google limit allowed), and all I got was "canoeing/kayaking," which I do, or "spanking," which I cough... cough. Ahem.
So what the heck is it?
It's a winter game, a doubles game. Very demanding and sweat-producing, no matter how cold it is.
Thanks, Bird Dog. Sounds like fun, and if I read you correctly, it's actually played outdoors in your parts? Do they plow the courts or what?
Punch in "platformtennis.org into the ol' googleator.
You'll see it's played on a raised court (set up in the fashion of a Tennis court, but smaller) wrapped in chicken wire (about 12ft high).
The courts are made of metal planking (in most instances) and have a very gritty epoxy surface (it just eats tennis shoes alive).
The courts need to be shoveled (which is a workout in and of itself) and then are kept dry whilst playing by propane heater that circulate air under the courts.
BD is correct, it's a great workout and one can be a sweaty mess by the end of play.
Thanks, Browndog. Now that looks really fun! Quite different from the "downsized tennis" I imagined. A quote from their site:
"With the re-emergence of paddle tennis on the West Coast (basically, a down-sized game of tennis,) this has many people confused."
Yeah, no kidding! But now I've got to find me some of this "platform tennis!"
When you live in places that are cold and dark in the winter - you need to kind ways to enjoy the outdoors and get off the couch. If god gives you lemons make lemonaid - (or snow cones from snow)
With today's new fangled fabrics - there is no reason for anyone not to be outside.
I also have skied - on windy 10 degree (or less) days and generally been outside excersising when most thought it was not fit for man nor beast. The key is to pony up and buy the good high tech stuff. Tight fit Under Armour is a godsend. Wind block fleece is divine. Goretex is great.
Also with skiing a helmet is a big help - and you model should be wearing one. I am not a safety Nazi - and I resisted at first - but I wouldn't be without one now. They add a considerable amount of warmth on a cold day - and vent well in the warm. They have the added benefit of protecting my big mellon.
Duck hunting: our season runs through end of January. After that, pretty much eating until mardi gras.
Hooking the sleds behind the scraping tractor w/blade to pull around the field. Mind you, if it was a slushy day, the cow stuff was flying off the said tractor. At the end of the day, one came to discover that it wasn't too smart to continue being drug holding on the rope after you fell of the sled, as there were frozen molehills which bruised the heck out of ones forearms! Oh, to be young again.
Just went camping last weekend (West Michigan) It did get down to about 6 Saturday night. We had a blast.
Hunting ends on Jan1st here in MA so that's done. RL, your mention of trapping makes me sad and mad. The flippin' antis banned fur trapping in my state back in 1996, losers.
Didn't see anyone mention ice-fishing. Truly my favorite winter activity. We catch some pretty nice pike through the ice during the winter. The frozen coves that access the Housatonic river produce some excellent fishing all year long.
I also live 3 miles from Butternut Basin ski area but since they don't have night skiing, I don't get out often.....weekends are nutz!
I'm quite active outdoors in the spring, summer and fall. But when the temps get below freezing I have serious problems with my feet and fingers. I am able to keep my feet under control, but only with boots so big and stuffed with so much felt and wool that they are inconvenient for hiking. I have yet to find a reliable way to keep my hands warm, even with polypro glove liners, wool gloves and mittens over them. I can't ski. My feet normally splay out at about a 15 degree angle. If I try to line them up parallel my knees start to hurt (that's standing, never mind if I was bending and stressing them).
Pub crawl....hot whiskey, a la Dublin...or hot port if you're not into whiskey. Preferably with live traditional session playing around a fireplace or stove.