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The other day I did a blog about cold weather (“Enough Already!”) about the horrible cold spells we’ve been having and how – at some point – you don’t go out the door to exercise any more. You crawl under the bed and the hell with it. Made great sense.

That very afternoon ,I am ashamed to say, the temperature “soared” to 9 degrees. Then, by heaven, 12 degrees. Hilly and I looked at each other shyly… said, What the hell… and got our stuff and headed out the door. Dressed like esquimaux (sic?) and threw our skis in the back of the car in the blizzard. Oh, I forgot: one reason it was getting warmer is that there was a blizzard. It’s always warmer when it snows.

We drove to a local lake which, we learned, had ice 7 inches thick, thanks to the remarkable cold snap. Good… it’ll surely hold us. Off we went, in the horizontal snow, around the lake. gliding along like Laplanders. Huffing like trains. Blind as snow geese, feeling our way over the snow-covered ice. The snow was coming down at the rate of an inch an hour, on the invisible lake. 

We weren’t the only crazy people around… there were ice fishermen too. They were really dressed for it, because they don’t move.  We were on ‘em before we knew it,  three young guys sitting on little stools, in the blinding snow. Nice surprise. They were pleasant… and they were having a great day… fish biting like crazy. Sweet, badly crazy people, like us,  who couldn’t have been kinder. They warned us about a couple of thermal spots we should avoid… open water. Wished us well and off we shimmered.  Into the snow, across the ice.

It was a teeny bit cold because of the wind.  Okay, gelid. And the snow started to pile up on my mink, fur hat. No problem. The skiing was perfect…glide after glide over the flat surface. And it was stunningly beautiful… a Breugel painting of skaters but  more stark. We only stayed out for an hour… but had an amazing workout… soaked in sweat. Went home and had long soaks in the big tub…then the fire in the living room of the big Victorian. Enough, already. But… we came back for the next two days, too… temperature in the low 10’s. And they were the best days of the winter so far. SO wonderful to be out in this weather. Especially when the temperature soars to 12 degrees. Easy peasey.  ‘Cause we’re crazy.

Oh… and we’re going to New Orleans for a few days today… thaw out.

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Chris Crowley
Chris Crowley


  1. Bruce Maxwell

    How about “ice bicycling”? The roads in southeastern Connecticut had been “unbikeable” for months. I got a call from my intrepid friend Dave, who informed me there was a nice crust of snow over the ice on Rogers Lake. We brought some mountain bikes down to the shore, let some air out of the tires, and off we went. That was one of the most fun workouts in years…

  2. Baxter Snarque

    It didn’t get up to zero today in Lander, WY. My face froze yesterday. Even PV the dog was reluctant to go “hunt” rabbits with me. Some days are just good for strength training.

  3. Jim Graves

    Chris and Hilary: Are you going to Aspen this year? Kitty and I are off to Val Gardena on Friday. Will be in Vail March 7-14.

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