Thursday, January 7, 2010

It's a Dry Cold

As my loyal readership will remember, one of the reasons for taking our recent trip to Crested Butte was to see if someone like me, who spends most, if not all, of the winter freezing and complaining, could really hack it living there. Now I realize that we were there for a relatively short period of time and that spending a handful of days somewhere is much different than spending an entire season there. Still, I figured it would be immediately apparent if I couldn't handle it.

Before we left, my husband attempted to quiet my main detractor by telling him "It's cold, but it's a dry cold," each time he mentioned the temperature in Crested Butte. Of course, said individual was extremely skeptical about this statement. So it was extremely humorous when, as we were chatting with the woman at our hotel's front desk the day of our arrival, she said "But it's so wet in Michigan in the winter. Out here it's a dry cold" or something to that effect.

The fact is that we loved Crested Butte, and it wasn't in spite of the winter—it was because of it. For a person who has spent most of her life hating and dreading winter, that's a crazy admission to make. My only explanation for this is that I've lived in mid-Michigan all my life and here, winter's not so much fun. In Crested Butte, it just is, and here are a few of the reasons:
  • It doesn't feel that cold. I don't know if it's because it's dry, but I do know that 15 degrees feels a lot warmer there than it does here.
  •  It's sunny most of the time. That ever-present, big, warm gleaming orb and expansive bright blue sky beat the hell out of overcast, which seems to be what it looks like here for most of winter.
  • There's always enough snow for fun winter activities: downhill skiing, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, and so on. It makes people want to be outside instead of hibernating all winter.
  • The snow coats everything—mountains, valleys, ridges, aspens—and makes them look beautiful. It's much better than brown slushiness.
So what does all this mean? It means that I'm more convinced than ever that Crested Butte is the place for us. But since realistically we're not going to be able to get there for a little while, it also means making the best of the here and now and transferring a little of that CB mentality to mid-Michigan. I can't bring the Elk Mountains here, but I can do the following:
  • On the occasions that we do get enough snow for winter activities, take advantage of it as much as I can. Take every opportunity to get outside and enjoy the white stuff.
  • If there isn't enough snow here, make short trips up North or to the West side of the state. There's usually snow in Grand Rapids, which is only 45 minutes or so down the highway.
  • Try out downhill skiing here, where it's easier and cheaper.
  • Work on polishing my skills and getting fit, so that when I do make it out there I'll have the fitness to do all I want to do.
In my next post, I'm going to set some short- and long-term goals. After that, I'm going to try not to talk about Crested Butte for a while. I'm sure even my most dedicated readers are getting sick of hearing about it.


Ali B. said...

Come to Tc... snowshoe... ski... film... foods... big water...

I missed the water in CO... wouldn't mind the serious NW but not as sunny... Come to Tc. LIVE!

Ali B. said...

Dunes.. rivers... ME.. ;) really, I need more friends.

Anton.Sheridan said...

I'm jealous of your life and wish I were you...