Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Learned Things

I was snowshoeing today (10F, wind chill -10) listening to Brian Wilson's Smile, which I am sure is the only and best way to listen to this album.

I've learned some things about winter since we moved here, which I will now share.

1. Everything is wet
Snow is fun. It's dry. It will stay dry for weeks and longer because the temperature doesn't get high enough for it to melt. You will spill snow in your trunk, and days later, you will open your trunk and it will still be snow. 

This is disconcerting.

It's not the problem, though. The problem is that everything inside (any inside) is wet. Snow melts indoors, and you are constantly knocking snow off everything, particularly shoes, and it's impossible to keep the floor dry.

#1 causes #2, which follows.

2. You won't fall outdoors. You'll fall indoors. 
Outdoors has snow, mostly, and the grip is quite good. I've only fallen once outdoors. That's not where you fall.

Where you fall is indoors.

Indoors is a disaster. Every floor, in every store, is wet. Most stores are conscientious about having mats and things to wipe your shoes on, but even those stores have wet floors. I'm not exaggerating when I say that there will be stretches of floor where even boots will have absolutely no grip.

I've fallen at least four times indoors in the last eighteen months, and that's while walking as carefully as I possibly could. All minor, no injuries, etc., but it's funny that indoors is more dangerous than outdoors.

Oh, and stairs. If you're in a store with stairs, stay the hell away from them.

3. You need three of everything.
Trust me. You need a light, medium, and heavy of everything. Three pairs of shoes/boots. Three different weight jackets. Different weight gloves. Different weight socks. Otherwise, you'll be freezing some days and sweating on others.

The single most important aspect to staying comfortable in winter is dressing properly. Sounds easy, is actually hard.

4. You have to look at a frostbite chart and do something besides laugh.
This is the single most bizarre thing for me, now that we live in what feels like the North Pole: you have to pay attention to frostbite.

I thought frostbite was just something they invented for mountain climbing documentaries.

Here, though, it's an actual thing. I've snowshoed when the wind chill was close to the part of the frostbite chart with colors (bad colors), so you have to check the temperature and the wind and not be stupid. I take it very seriously.

There you go. Winter knowledge from a winter idiot.

Meanwhile in Winnipeg (where it's REALLY cold), Garret has a space heater blowing under the dishwasher because the water line INSIDE the house froze. Wind chill of -40F projected tomorrow night in Winnipeg, and that's not a typo. 

Why do people live there? We may never know.

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