Thursday, January 20, 2011

Winter activity levels

As Einstein pointed out, everything is relative. We had an article in the local paper about a guy that rides 18 miles to and from work every day on his bike, no matter what the weather. When I commented on this to a co worker and said that I wished I could get a bit more outside time in the winter, he offered the opinion that I was a known maniac and that I already spent far too much time outside in the cold, snowy environment on skis and snowshoes. When I asked him what he did in the winter he told me that he walked to and from his car, drank beer, and watched football.
For many of us, kayaking aside, winter is the favorite season of the year. I think my winter activity is average, but then I have a pile of friends training for the Birkebiener and Vasaloppet ski race and both require some serious time on the boards. Everything is relative. RonO, the IrishPirate, TheMayor, BDofMahtomedi, and LoneRangerRob are all getting 4 times as much time on the skis as I am. My main problem is that my vocation cuts into my avocations, a situation I hope to remedy a couple years down the road. For now, its a matter of choosing events and activities carefully and enjoying that choice. Valentines weekend is a case in point. Many of us will be skiing the Vasaloppet 58k relay. At the same time hordes of 'freeheelers' will be gathered at the Porcupine Mountains ski area for Tele-Fest, an excellent weekend of telemark skiing, good music, and good friends. To the south, the paddle season will be ceremonially kicked off with the Iowa Paddlesports Expo in Indianola. More good friends will be attending and speaking at that event.

I want to go to all of you hear me?.....ALL OF THEM! However even an individual like me that suffers from Time Compression Syndrome realizes that's not possible. So I will send out my best wishes to the folks in the UP and down in Indianola, IA, and hope they have successful events.

Get out in the winter folks, it makes it fly by. There was complaining up at the cabin last that winter was too short. Last year we tried to extend it by skiing on the snow then walking across the melted spots, but the fact is that it will be over for skiing in about 5 or 6 weeks. People with that sort of mindset seem to be immune from SADS and have a kind of wintry glow when discussing the snow and cold. Embrace it folks. Be sure to get out and enjoy it as best you can and remember, there is no bad weather, only crappy gear.

That being said, there will be some indoor activity. Last weekend I headed to the pool, sans boat, to help with some rolling instruction. Even though I can still smell chlorine when I take a shower, it was a nice break. Tomorrow a three person mission will be heading to New Orleans to assist Woody in occupying his timeshare, drinking beer, and watching the Packer game. This afternoon I will be testifying before the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study folks, congratulating them on their herculean efforts to stop the Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes......not! Yes folks, even though most of you seem bored with it, there will be another post on this topic shortly. It's one of those environmental issues, like sulfide mining, that people will ignore and then scream for piles of federal money to fix it when its too damn late. Which reminds me. I'd better get my 10 votes in today for Grand Marais harbor before that's too damn late.

Embrace Winter!

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