The past week brought below freezing temperatures, frigid winds, and over a foot of snow to South Bend. For most rational people, this is the perfect opportunity to hunker down on the couch with a blanket, hot chocolate and good movie. The adventure club, however, proved that snow is no excuse to stay inside. On Wednesday, David kicked off the New Year with a delicious pancake breakfast and hike at Ferrettie Baugo county park (attended by 6). Saturday morning started with a 2.5 hour hike at Fernwood Botanical Gardens (expertly guided by David, attended by 7), followed by cross country skiing at Love Creek county park (attended by 2) and ended with discount downhill skiing at Swiss Valley (organized by Brandon, attended by 6). It was great to see so many people out and playing in the snow.
The weather Saturday night got pretty nasty and we decided to postpone the planned early morning trip to look for snowy owls until this coming Saturday. When it comes to weather I’m about as stubborn as they get. I hate cancelling trips. But when your car is slipping and sliding down the road, driving long distances in the dark is a bad idea. If the weather’s too bad in these situations, consider snowshoeing or skiing in a more local park (even better if you can walk there).
On Monday, the city of South Bend declared a state of emergency as a polar vortex brought absurdly low temperatures to the city. All vehicles were prohibited from driving on the roads. Kudos to you if you still made it outside for a bit, but adventuring in this weather shouldn’t be taken lightly. Luckily this kind of thing doesn’t last long and we should be back in business by this weekend.
If you are extremely uncomfortable in the cold, you may not have the right gear. Read this guide by REI. It has more information than you may need, but at least read the clothing section. Winter gear can get expensive so consider finding it used. In summary, there really are a lot of great outdoor experiences to be had in the winter. Get outside but be safe.