This winter has been a mixed bag for much of the country. Out east and north, the “Polar Vortex” has given people a colder, snowier winter than has been seen in some time. Out west in California, drought. Here in the Southern Plains, we’ve been on the edge of both. It’s been colder than normal (blame that on a really weird jet stream path) but also a bit dry.
But this week, it’s been different. Finally, some rain, sleet and snow. On top of that, temps dropping into the single digits, spiking out of the 20s and into the 30s. For you northern types, typical or even balmy. That’s not the case for the folks who live here. In these parts, most folks are either hitting the treadmill at home or at the gym, or even bagging it altogether.
There are plenty of reasons to steer clear of bad winter weather, but most of the time, getting out in less-than-favorable elements is a matter of will and preparation. And if you’re not getting out, you’re missing out.
Sunday was a fine day to be making some tracks in the snow, mostly because everything looks and feels a little different outside right after a good snowfall, even if it’s just a couple of inches.
The interplay of light from the sun through low winter clouds can be mesmerizing.
The wind can have an effect on how much snow actually sticks around on various surfaces. But even a little bit sticking to familiar places can make them seem new in some ways. New and clean.
And the things snow does to landscapes is just as refreshing. The green of spring or the brown of fall have their own feel, but that icy white and gray of a good post-snow setting has a strange purifying effect when you look out across the horizon.
These are the things the eyes see, but there is also the pleasure of running through soft, powdery snow and the bracing chill of the air as your heart quickens and your breathing goes deep. People start pining for summer in days like this, but really, the air in mid-July is decidedly less refreshing than it is now. Sure, there are ridiculous conditions where calling things off comes into play. But if you can dress right and come to terms with being in the cold for awhile, go ahead and get off the couch and get outside.
Go for a hike. Break out the snowshoes (yeah, I saw a guy on the trails here in Tulsa hiking in snowshoes). Plot out a run. You never know what you’ll see, hear and feel.
Give winter a chance.