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Winter Isn’t All That Bad

- Hye Sung

In the winter, I keep catching myself dismissing the idea that there is anything fun to do because it is too cold out. I trap myself in my house with a book and tea and avoid thinking about just how long winter can be up here in northern Michigan. “One day at a time”, I remind myself. The thing is, though… winter is incredible. I mean, besides having an excuse to read books all day long, there is stuff to do in the cold. As I have had to face the fierceness of winter in a whole new way, moving up to Traverse City this new year, I have come to fall in love with what mother nature provides in this season.

The other day, I made my way to Mt. Holiday Ski Resort for a day of skiing, tubing, and hot cocoa. I have experienced snow before, but as I said before, I have spent most of my life keeping away from it–other than some occasional snowman-building and sledding as a kid. I had a few experiences skiing, but every time I have went to ski, I snuck away to the resort and pigged out on food instead. This time around, though, I went skiing for hours. I learned slowly how to find balance, turn, etc., but once I did, I was having a blast down the mountain. Afterwards, I realized how much of a work out I put my body through and rested with some hot cocoa. To say the least, I had fun.
For those who love skiing, I recommend considering the annual Alpine Ski Jumping Winter Carnival at Satre Hill in Salisbury, in Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills. The Eastern U.S. Ski Jumping Championships, which is known for featuring future Olympic competitors, is considered the main event of this carnival and you will see young athletes soar over 200 feet (64 meters).
This carnival will fill two weekends, January 25-27 and February 8-10. The first weekend will have extreme Alpine Ski Jumping, while second will consist of the main event. During both of these weekends there will be a human dogsled race, where five humans pull a sled and driver around a .3-mile course. Spectators often note the flamboyant and creative costume and sled designs. The crowds go wild over this event and everybody has a great time.
For more information on these events, check out www.jumpfest.org.
In the northern-most major city in North America, winter is still a blast for many. During this season, the city of Edmonton in Canada will be running the Ice on Whyte Festival, which has shown off the creativity and artistic talent of Canada’s “Festival City” for ten years. Edmontonians are not even considering hibernating–it is time to carve up something brilliant! See how over 500 blocks of ice, 70,200 kg’s or nearly 155,000 lbs of ice, can be made into dozens of sculptures, some even reminiscent of Michelangelo. For more information on one of the hottest parties this winter, go to http://www.iceonwhyte.ca/.
If you are inspired by the snow but cannot make it to either Connecticut or Canada, do what I did! Get some friends together and make a trip to a local ski resort, or you could even just find a hill to sled down. Either works and I am sure you won’t regret it.
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