Maybe Just a Touch of Cabin Fever

Saturday, March 6, 2010
Right now I’m sitting at my desk, watching water trickle down my car’s windshield as the morning frost melts away. The warm weather seems determined to continue. We have anticipated highs in the 40s all across the coming week. With temps like that, things are melting quickly and in the warm afternoons, roads and trails are transforming into sloshy patchworks of slush and dirt.

Business owners are less than amused. After a somewhat lackluster winter season, they’re none too keen about Mother Nature putting the kibosh on winter this early in March. “We really need another six inches of snow,” a business owner told me yesterday. I grimaced so much she could hear it on the other end of the phone. While I try to empathize, deep down in my heart, I’m ready for mud season. Even if that means the road from Shack to the main road will soon be flooded with slush if this warm weather continues.

That’s not to say I don’t understand why I should be keeping my fingers crossed for more winter. It would be foolish not to acknowledge that it has been snowmobilers who have paid my way through this winter. If the snow goes now, I will be hard-pressed to find anyone to leave tips on tables through the remainder of the month.

But snowmobile trails, which have been in notorious rough shape all season, can’t stand too much of this warm weather. While I’ve cast a sympathetic ear to many snowmobiler complaints this winter and have yet to successfully answer the question “when’s the groomer going out?” I haven’t really known what they’re talking about. I don’t snowmobile and other than putzing around the lake with Andy on an ancient Tundra prone to asthmatic wheezes, my experience on a snowmobile involves one ice fishing trip with my grampa when I was six and once riding around behind a friend’s house while in high school. The only time I’ve ever driven a snowmobile was when I was out with my friend and for some reason, not much is funnier than a couple teenage girls dinking around with a snowmobile.

Cabin fever seems to set in with the warm weather: these days anything that gets us out of the Shack sounds like a good thing. For yesterday afternoon’s adventure, Andy and I headed up to the cabin to snowmobile. You know what? The trails are really bad. Bumpy, rough and in some places, bare.

Because we had considered going on a Quetico canoe trip last fall, I have my RABC (remote area border crossing) which allowed us all to cross over into Canada yesterday on snowmobiles. While the American side where we were snowmobiling has suffered from wildfires over the course of the last fifteen years, the Canadian side is the lush wilderness people expect in this neck of the woods. As we buzzed past granite cliffs and big stands of white pines, I kept hearing the whine of Rascal Flatts in my ear: “You don’t look a day over fast cars and freedom.” (I know, the girl who quotes Bob Mould also quotes Rascal Flatts – my taste in music is abysmal and any outside attempts to correct said awful taste have been futile. Sorry Peter.) Let’s face it, snowmobiling is the country thing to do during Minnesotan winters. It’s kind of an absurd activity: like driving for fun. You can see a lot of beautiful country quickly, but it sure doesn’t feel like you really did anything. Maybe it’s that passive nature that makes me apprehensive about it.

Regardless of personal feelings about the activity, after a winter of waitressing in the woods, I have found snowmobilers to be sweet, caring and often funny. But the snow is going and soon snowmobiling will be impossible to talk about in present tense. It’s been fun though.

P.S. Check out the new link: “Of Woods and Word (On Air)” on the right. “Of Woods and Words” has made it to the local airwaves. Don’t listen to the commentary -- I sound like a wavering old lady who might faint – but read the commentary that’s posted, if you like.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails