Let’s face it. Winter can be ruthless. For those who find much comfort and enjoyment in a 90-degree day, winter is enough to dull your shine.
Last week, a friend was talking about his upcoming hockey tournament. His excitement was surprising – he was enthused about something associated with winter! About to dismiss his excitement as insanity, I realized I had nothing of the sort. Suddenly, in a distant chamber of my frozen heart, I had the desire to find something – anything! – about winter I could enjoy.
There are plenty of activities to love in the summer – swimming, biking, driving with the windows down, tennis, sand volleyball, softball, even just going for a walk or enjoying a beverage on a patio. Winter, on the other hand, has become nothing but a survival test – filled with “activities” such as scraping windshields and doing the penguin shuffle while cursing the cold air blowing up your nose. Maybe that’s why many of us dislike winter so much – because we’re forced to drop the things we love while we wait for the four-month long treacherous ice storm to pass.
What are some ways to make winters less miserable? Most people already have auto start in their car. We’ve mastered how to bundle up in 15 layers in less than a minute before heading outdoors. But the winters still seem to be lacking something… or maybe a few things: life, excitement, and most of all, fun.
Coffee shops and fireplaces are warm and comfortable, but maybe it’s time to stop sitting around complaining about the cold and get a move on! So buck up Fargoans! Winter is more than half over! Daylight isn’t as scarce! The time has come to peel yourself off the couch and fold up your blanket. Crack your hand warmers and dig out the snow pants. Here, my chilly friends, are a few things to get you out and about during the last few weeks of winter… and you best hurry; there’s not much time left (phew!).
Cross Country Skiing
Unfortunately, we can’t go downhill skiing on a whim – since it requires some planning and traveling, but, believe it or not – there is ample flat land around to utilize for cross-country skiing. Cross country skiing is a great way to get some exercise outdoors without having to worry about the Slip-n-Sidewalks. As an added bonus, trails around the F-M area are available to the public for free. The trails aren’t heated, unfortunately, but they are groomed on a regular basis. Here are four options in the area:
- Edgewood Golf Course Trail (North Elm Street and Golf Course Road (36 Ave N) A warm chalet and ski rentals is offered during park hours. 4.7 mile trail
- Dike East to Lindenwood Trail (Dike East Trail Head is located at 100 2nd St S. Lindenwood Trail Head (5th St & 17th Ave S.) 3.5 mile trail
- Rose Creek Golf Course Trail (1500 Rose Creek Parkway) 3.3 mile trail
- Prairiewood Golf Course Trail (Prairiewood Drive and Westgate Circle) 1.7 mile trail
Grab your skates and head to a local rink to see how you rate against the figure skating Olympiads we’ve been watching the last week or so. For just a few bucks, you and your family can enjoy a few hours at one of the area’s arenas. If you desire the true outdoor experience, or wish to organize your own hockey team with family and friends, there are tons of outdoor rinks around the F-M area to enjoy – many with the luxury of warming houses! If you do the penguin shuffle far enough, you just might find one in your neighborhood.
Contrary to popular belief, there actually are a few hills in the area – other than the landfill. The Dike West (310 4th St. S in Fargo) is the most common area to have some downhill fun. Sleds are free to use with either an ID or $20 deposit that will be returned when sleds are turned in. Dike West hours are Mon-Fri, 3:30-8 p.m., Sat – 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday, noon -8 p.m.
Other parks, such as Maplewood Park on 17th Ave. E in West Fargo, have a hill big enough to gain some speed on, which naturally draws a crowd.
The FM Curling Club (909 17th Ave. N in Fargo) has a variety of leagues and membership levels. Anyone is welcome to visit the club any time and inquire about how to get involved. Call 701.232.0341 for more information.
Well, there you have it. Keep in mind there are other league events a person could get involved in earlier in the year, like broomball and hockey. Check out the Fargo Parks website if you’re interested in getting involved for next winter.
Until then, whatever gets you through…