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Winter is Coming...Get Outside and Enjoy It!

Winter is Coming...

orignally posted November 2016

…Get Outside and Enjoy It!

We have seen an unseasonably mild fall so far.  But don’t worry, winter is coming, and December will bring the cold and the snow.  Here in Montana we have choices.  We can hunker down and wait until spring, or we can make the most of the beautiful state that we live in.

Throw on an extra layer, pack some hand warmers, and get out there to enjoy the snow when it does start to fly.  Winter will only last about 3 months, so it’s time to enjoy it while it is here.

 

Go Sledding!

One of the cheapest ways to enjoy the snow is to simply let gravity pull you down a hill.  You don’t need a fancy sled, even a cardboard box will work.  What you do need is a small sense of adventure, the determination to climb up a hill, and the ability to enjoy whipping downhill at breakneck speeds (most likely about 12 miles per hour on a steep hill).

A couple of years ago Billings365 pitched the question of where is the best sledding hill.  Take a look at that Facebook post for some ideas of where you can go around town.

Build a Snow Fort

There are snow forts, and then there are snow forts.  Bring out your inner architect once the snow piles high to build the ultimate snow fort.  It can be in your front yard, have turrets and bear a flag.  As long as the snow sticks around, a snow fort is possible.

But in reality, most people only build snow forts when they head out camping in the dead of winter.  Snow forts, or quinzhees, or snow caves, are the best way to stay alive when you’re camping in sub-freezing weather.  The snow is actually an amazing insulator, and while it will be cold inside, it should stay around 32 degrees.  Much better than the potential below 0 degrees outside.

Help Your Neighbors

How many of us hit the gym every day?  It’s kind of a pain to get up early, drive to the gym, use equipment that is ultimately set back in the same place from where you picked it up, and then go about our day.  Other than keeping us healthy, there really is nothing that gets accomplished after an hour at the gym.

Why not skip it?  Once that snow falls, there will be plenty of it on the sidewalks and on our driveways.  Get up early and shovel yours.  Then the neighbors.  Depending on how big your driveways are, you could clear the snow for a few houses before your day gets going.  You get exercise, and you help out your neighbors.  Sounds like a win-win.

Become Like a Child

No matter how old you get, there is always a sense of wonder that comes when you see the snow drifting to the ground and piling up high.  Let that wonder overtake you, and revert back to your childlike ways.

Put on your snow gear, head outside and make as snow angel.  Throw some snowballs.  Build a snowman.  Knock down your siblings’ snowman and make them scream and yell until you get sent to your room and you have to watch in horror out the window as they knock down yours and there isn’t anything you can do about it.  Enjoy hot cocoa (after your time-out).

Go Do Something Wintery

We have a ton that we can do around Billings in the winter.  From downhill skiing at Red Lodge (they just opened a few days ago), to ice fishing (the salmon should be running at Deadman’s Basin if it has frozen over), to ice climbing.

Get out there and enjoy what Montana has to offer: go do something!

by Scott Sery
Scott is a writer, outdoor enthusiast, beer snob, and woodworker. When he is not out exploring all of the wonders around Billings, he loves to sit down for a frosty brew at one of the many great breweries we have available to us. You can read about most of his adventures, and many of the fine brews he has sipped right here. Find out more about Scott at ScottSery.com