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A Snow Holiday!

Everyday is a holiday for me, but today started with a light blanket of snow. With temperatures dipping into the 30's last night, the light rain turned to snow while I was sleeping. Seeing the whiteness brings up memories of past trips into snowy areas.

Most of my life I've claimed that I don't like cold and snow. Eventually I found that if I dressed properly, then spending time outdoors in the winter could be enjoyable. One winter I visited Chena Hot Springs , Alaska, which is not too far from Fairbanks. The aurora was fantastic. Even more memorable was the 9.0 earthquake that shook the ground as I was hiking. Fortunately there wasn't damage to the resort, just a lot of items spilled onto the floor.

Another winter I visited The Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden. Most people who visit the Ice Hotel pay a fee to take a day time tour. I actually paid to sleep in an ice room on two different nights. That's all one does in the hotel—sleep there. The Ice Hotel complex has a bunch of warm cabins, a warm restaurant and lobby, and small closet-sized spaces for ice hotel guests to leave their clothes and other belongings. Each ice room has an ice bed with reindeer skins on top and some sort of ice art. No bathroom, no closets. People who stay there must first go to the hotel's warm building, dress for bed, leave belongings in their assigned closet, and pick up a sleeping bag. It's much nicer to start out the night with a warm sleeping bag than a cold one. In the morning, hotel staff pop into the ice room with warm lingonberry juice. That's the signal to get up and out, and grab a warm breakfast in the restaurant.

On several other nights I stayed in a warm cabin. But I went on all sorts of wintertime activities—reindeer sledding, dog sledding, night time horseback riding in deep snow, star gazing, aurora gazing, cross country skiing, a visit to a Sami farm, day time horseback riding in deep snow, and more. I was amazed at how warm I stayed.

There have been many other winter trips including: several to cross country ski in Yellowstone National Park, a ski-in lodge in Western Washington, and the Antarctic peninsula. Technically it is summer in Antarctica when it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere, but it is cold and snowy. At the end of 2022, I'll be taking another trip to Antarctica, but this one will be more extensive, visiting Ross Sea and the subantarctic islands of New Zealand.

So bring on the snow!

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