So it’s getting to be that time of the year – the blistery cold wind is howling and snowfall is imminent. It’s fun to bundle up in – let’s face it – the most comfortable clothes in the entire wardrobe. Cozy is what it’s all about! Winter is kind of a love/hate thing for most people who truly experience it. Some days are gorgeous – trees covered in a layer of sparkly ice and snow, deer leaving tracks in the snow and bounding up to your house to stay near a heat source, bright white light when the sun makes an appearance. However, that’s a small portion of real winter. Most winter days are dreary and unbelievably cold, at least here in MN. Last winter consisted of few days of sunshine and about two to four feet of snow at any given time (give or take), coupled with literally single digit temps and sub zero wind chills. The wind gets so cold it actually burns.
90% of days of the winter season in MN, everyone has to spend 30 mins scraping ice and snow off their cars and shoveling snow away from tires. Then we proceed to deal with cars slipping and sliding all over the damn place like the roads are a pinball machine, due to a sheet of ice about an inch thick. Aaaah, winter. The time of the year when everyone’s fifteen minutes late to work every day – and the boss can’t say a damn thing about it.
So, I know that after the first two weeks or so of snow, MN winters can get pretty depressing. Days are short and cold, so we spend way too much time inside. I’m here to make a list of things to do that will help people like me, who are hellbent on remaining active year round, do just that.
Without further ado, I give you:
The Amazing List of Winter Wonderful Awesomeness
Crap To Do When There’s Snow
1. Snowboarding or Skiing:
This is TOTALLY how cool everyone looks when doing snowsports.
Granted, this picture is totally glorified (thank you, Google), but you get the idea. Whether you can ski downhill or cross country, it’s a great workout and a lot of fun. Snowboarding, in my opinion, is much easier than skiing, so give both a shot and see which you prefer. You can get all the gear you need for a couple hundred bucks, maybe less if you buy used, and you can keep it for many years – believe me, the gear will probably outlast you.
It only looks dorky
Yeah, so… you might think it looks totally retarded – but you’d be sorely mistaken. It is probably literally THE most fun you can have all freakin’ winter. Bring your whole family, cousins included, and go rent a few tubes. I guarantee you will spend an entire day doing this shit. My family goes every year, it’s kind of a ritual.
3. Sleigh Rides:
"Mush! You silly horse, mush!!"
Yeah, there’s only two ways to go about this without it being lame. The first is to make a date of it, go with someone you wanna knock socks with. The second is to go with (ironically) your family, especially if there’s kids. They love this crap, and it’s pretty fun to see them get all excited.
"Damnit. She told me to follow the trees."
Contrary to what one may believe, this is a serious workout. It can be fun if you bring a group of friends or family with you, so make a day of it and bring food and some extra gear – have a wintertime picnic atop a big hill!
5. Dog Sledding:
"Oh. NOW we say 'mush.'"
Yeah, for real. Ever tried it? Bet you haven’t. It’s actually a lot of fun, especially for those of us who adore anything with fur. A common practice in MN, dog sledding is a winter pastime that probably won’t ever die. If you’re a fan of Siberian Huskies or Alaskan Malamutes, this is something you should look into. This is such a huge (yet oddly unmentioned) hobby that there are marathons every year all along Minnesota’s North Shore. The Beargrease race starts in Duluth, Minnesota and takes a 411 mile trail (Gunflint trail) all the way through Grand Marais and Beaver Bay to the final destination at Grand Portage. I’ve personally seen this route and it is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen to date. The race honors a man named John Beargrease who was the son of an Anishinaabe chief and worked to deliver mail through the North Shore by – you guessed it – dog sled. His route is remembered yearly by many enthusiasts to date.
For your viewing pleasure, here’s a recent video from the Beargrease Race: