Along the River and Through the Woods On a Chilly Day

For fans of rivers and view-blockers, don’t worry because I will be showing some pictures of those things pretty soon. First, however, I want to address the “Chilly Day” part of my title.

Ask any denizen of MY Town about our winter so far and they reply something like this: “You call THIS a winter? This ain’t nuthin’. You wanna know about a REAL winter, well, you gotta go back to the year nineteen hundred and . . .

And then they’ll tell you about some crazy winter in the past where there were daily blizzards, thousands of inches of snow and weeks at a time with 30-below-zero temperatures. I don’t dispute them because I’ve only lived in Minnesota since 1982. But sometimes I let them know that I moved here from the lake-effect snow country of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and if they want to see some truly heavy snowfall, Minnesota pales in comparison.

I have to hand it to Minnesota though–this state can produce some pretty amazing temperatures. I HAVE seen a couple of weeks at a time when the overnight lows are below zero (F). In fact, I’ve seen several days in a row where the temperature NEVER gets above zero. And I’ve experienced an air temperature of -34 degrees (F) with a windchill factor of -50 (F). Quite exhilarating!

Nevertheless, I gotta tell ya, we’ve had nothing like that this year. We’ve had several days this month that were above freezing, and zero days below zero. For the most part, the bike riding has been fantastic.

Last night, however, we got down to a measly 1 degree above zero and that was the coldest night of the winter, so far. What better reason to go for a little more challenging bike ride?

I’ll let my colleague, Storm Chaser Greg — the master of doomsday weather reporting — take over from here.

What the king of hyperbole failed to mention is that the temperature would reach 18-degrees (F) today, which is relatively normal. And the windspeed wasn’t too high. And there was that glorious sun.

Speaking of shadows, here is a picture of mine alongside The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong’s.

Early in my ride I saw a downed sign. I wasn’t the one who ran it over, but the “Snow Emergency In Effect” message seemed a little over the top.

The woods. A horseshoe bend in the Vermillion River.

I’ve shown it before, but I really like the rock formations down there in the woods.

Another spot along the Vermillion River. I was tempted to go for a swim, but only until I regained my senses.

I have no doubt that Kermit and Verne would love to go floating on their raft through that chute. Amphibians and reptiles have amazing abilities to adapt.

The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong poses next to this view-blocker that has been reduced to firewood.

On the way home, I found the little snowman I built last week while walking in the slush with The Feeshko and Diggity. It has lost a little weight since then.

Here is my homage to Bernie. The picture of him sitting all bundled up at the inauguration ceremony has become an internet sensation.

When we were watching that ceremony, I remember commenting to the Feeshko, “All those former presidents look cold. I wonder what the temperature is in Washington, DC. I think I’d be bundled up in something warmer than those dress pants and overcoats. For sure, I’d be wearing a hat.”

And then there was Bernie, sitting there by himself, dressed appropriately. Internet memes portrayed him as being sad and alone. I loved his response that he was from Vermont where people don’t care as much about being fashionable as they care about keeping warm. Minnesotans are like that too.

Hi. My name is Greg and I ride my bike a lot. That is to say, I ride my bike almost every day. I go on long rides and short rides. Sunny rides, cloudy rides, and rainy rides. I like commuting, errand-running, day-tripping, overnighting, and touring on my bike. I ride on city streets, highways, gravel, single track, and snow with equal enthusiasm. Sometimes I ride fast and sometimes I ride slow. I try to keep my feet on the pedals at stop lights and I do not dismount when I hop up on a curb. I have a roadie bike, a mountain bike and a touring bike. I try to accept any challenge a bike ride can throw at me without complaint. But I don't like bugs.

7 response to "Along the River and Through the Woods On a Chilly Day"

  1. By: BobinVT Posted: January 22, 2021

    Ah, so good to hear from Storm Chaser Greg. Seems like it’s been awhile. Yes, we’ve had a pretty mild January as well. I’ve been able to log more miles this January than ever before. I’m guessing that means we’ll pay the price in February. Ah, Bernie. Vermonters are ever practical (like Minnesotans), especially when it comes to weather. What else would you wear if you’re going to be sitting outside for a couple of hours in 40 degree (F) temperatures on a metal chair. I was disappointed he wasn’t wearing a hat, though. Preferably one with earflaps.

    • By: gregblood Posted: January 24, 2021

      Yeah, I couldn’t believe he wasn’t protecting his ears and head either. I’m sure he knows that most of your body heat escaped through your head. Even when it’s all the way up to 43-degrees (F), the first things I think about are my ears, fingers and toes. I wouldn’t be too proud to not wear a wool cap, double socks, long underwear, and a pair of choppers for a few hours at the inauguration.

  2. By: The Navigator Posted: January 22, 2021

    All of your photos are beautiful. I really enjoyed winter back in the day – up to the point where your breath froze on your hair. That was my limit. After 20 years in the inferno of Oz, though, I’ve become a cold wimp and anything under 25F feels downright cold. I do enjoy those storm chaser reports 🙂 Verne and Kermit say they’d give that chute a float for sure, as long as someone stopped them before they got to where the chute goes under the ice! They do have some concerns about what the cold temperatures would do to the plastic of their floaties though.

    • By: gregblood Posted: January 24, 2021

      I hadn’t given enough thought to what those icy waters would have done to Verne and Kermit’s raft. I think of metal shattering after being exposed to the negative-200-degree temperatures of liquid hydrogen.

  3. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: January 24, 2021

    Have you ever considered a move to Florida, lots of people do it, especially from Washington DC these days apparently? Those temperatures are inhuman

    • By: gregblood Posted: January 24, 2021

      I’ve never thought of moving to Florida. Arizona is tempting, but I doubt that will ever happen. Yes, Washington D.C.’s , most famous resident is moving to Florida, but I just read in the news this morning that many residents of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort can’t wait to get out.

  4. By: Scooter Posted: January 24, 2021

    Great video. It looks like a splendid time to be out and about, if you’re prepared for it.

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