What Else To Do During The Winter

It?s Not All Skiing and Snowboarding

Well, from the essays that I?ve posted before, you?d think that downhill skiing and snowboarding are about the only things to do outside in the snow and cold. I admit, for the longest time, I used to think the same thing. First of all, being raised in the Midwest, I looked at snow as a nuisance (unless it got me out of school) good for snowball fights and snowmen at different ages (6 and 17 respectively) and that?s about it. As I grew older, snow became even more irritating because college didn?t cancel classes and commute times grew exponentially if there was a dusting in sight.

That was before I lived in places that had a lot of snow. Places where people knew how to drive and have fun in the snow. They were there for the snow. Yes, it was for downhill skiing and snowboarding much of the time, but occasionally people?s fancies turn to other bits of fun. So, in the interest of fair play, here are some other activities for you to consider when making plans this winter for you and your girlfriend.

Ice Fishing in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin

Do you know how to ice fish? I like to fish and I don?t have the first idea. So, why not mark on your calendars the opportunity to take an ice fishing class? Either December 18th or January 22nd you can learn to locate fish and drill holes in the ice.

No, it's not always like this

From what I know about fishing, I?m sure ice fishing makes a great excuse to drink. Even if your girlfriend is not excited about fishing, the idea of cuddling and drinking while enjoying a winter?s day can?t be that bad. So grab several blankets, some brandy and fish the day away. (From what I know about fishing, I?m betting that the first sentence of your lesson will be, ?Buy some alcohol.?)

Snowmobiling in the Bridger Teton National Forest

I have mentioned snowmobiling a few times before, most recently in my discussion of ski resorts, and most times it was associated with a mode of winter transport to see Yellowstone?s beauty. Now, let?s move to something a little more wild just down the street.

Togwotee Mountain Lodge, just outside of Moran Junction in Wyoming, offers tours to Yellowstone, or you can go off trail and snowmobile in the deep powder. If you stay in the hotel, you get a breakfast buffet to give you energy before you hit the trails and then an eight-person hot tub to relax when you get back.

Ice Skating in Lake Placid, New York

I?m not one for skating. Heck, I never owned a rollerblade or a roller skate. I did have a skateboard and if there was ice skateboarding, maybe I?d be a bit more interested. But, ladies love the sport. I?m always surprised how well the ratings for televised ice skating do.

So, head to the former Olympic venue, Lake Placid in the Adirondacks, and stay at The Whiteface Lodge that has a seasonal ice skating rink. Plus, they have their own fifty-six-seat movie theater and a game room with foosball and air hockey, so you?ll have something fun to do after you ice skate with her for a while.

Snowshoeing in Mount Rainier National Park

Of course there is plenty of interesting things about the nation?s fifth national park and home to a 14,411-foot volcano, but a guided snowshoe trip to see everything covered in deep snow is a great way to get acquainted with the terrain from a different perspective.

You can stay down the way at the Mineral Lake Lodge and enjoy a cedar sauna when you get back from a long day exploring in the snow.

Cross-country skiing in Glacier National Park

Yes, this is still skiing, but trust me it is a much different beast than downhill. One of the best adventures I had was exploring the backcountry of Yellowstone on a pair of cross country skis, breaking trail the whole way, happening on a creek with otters and ending the day with a soak in a hot springs.

However, even better would be a moonlight cross-country ski tour on a full moon night in Glacier National Park. Not only will the landscape take on the romantic glow of the moon, everything will be much quieter and seem much more vast. When you get back with your girl, you?ll probably crawl into your bed to warm up, but sleeping will be the last thing on your mind.

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About Jason McClain Jason is an aspiring novelist, which means there is a lot of time to put off writing and watch baseball or go fly-fishing, hiking and traveling. By "a lot of time", Jason means "procrastination."