Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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Winter Walking

Today is the first clear day since I got to Columbus, and while it's still quite cold (-8C as I write this), it's clear and sunny, and I decided after once again over-eating at the hotel's breakfast bar, that I'd take a shot at going for a walk in the snow. My pedometer is not on my belt at the moment (the clip has fallen off again), but using the Gmap-pedometer site, I later estimated that my route was approximately 3.5 km, which is not bad. It's only an estimate because the tool won't let me plot points that aren't on what it considers a street, and when the current version of the Google map was drawn, the Giant Eagle across the road was still a building site and the access road wasn't built, so I estimated my walk across their parking lot and back by stretching the trip up Hamilton Road and back. The view in Gmap is also misleading because of course right now everything is covered in snow as opposed to when the photos were taken.

The streets were clean and the pavement mostly dry, but there are no sidewalks to speak of around here except in the apartment complex (Bennington Pond) through which I detoured. OTOH, the grassy verges where sidewalks might have been were easy to walk even though they were mostly covered with 20 cm of untouched snow. When I was here in December, those areas were unwalkable because they were too wet and squishy, but with a week of sub-freezing temperatures the ground has frozen hard. The snow is dry and fluffy, and I really enjoyed the walk, even when I was "breaking trail." I saw a number of animal prints in the snow but couldn't figure out what they were. Too small and placed wrong for deer, but it didn't look like cats or dogs, either, and I wouldn't have expected rabbits -- which I have seen around here -- to have left that sort of track.

I had not originally intended to go over to the grocery store, but when I came around past the community college and the Barix Clinic, I was still feeling pretty good, so I headed over there and got the fixings for what I'll have for dinner tonight and tomorrow, and also some bananas for my lunches this week.

By the time I got back to the hotel, my shoes, which really aren't meant for this kind of weather, were fairly well soaked, but I was wearing two layers of socks (including the warm socks that travelswithkuma gave me for Christmas, and I was not only not feeling cold, but was actually a tad overheated except for my face (the only exposed skin). After regaining my vision (my glasses immediately fogged over when I came into the hotel), I went back to the hotel room, which the housekeeper had finished. (I'd flagged him down when I went for my walk and asked him to do mine next while I was out.) It was perhaps a touch unwise of me to take off my shoes in the middle of the room because that led to me dumping snow that had accumulated in my shoes on the carpet, but it wasn't too bad.

Grant Kruger -- who notoriously wanted snow at SMOFCons he attended because he'd apparently never experienced it -- would have loved this. (Grant has since moved to Portland where he does get snow, but I think Portland's snow is usually wet, icy, and miserable.) I'd include pictures, but I left my camera with Lisa to mail to California with other stuff in order to save weight.

Despite my being from the Sierra Nevada foothills, I'm not really a "snow kind of guy" (anyone else from Northern California remember the South Lake Tahoe commercials that featured that character?), but an occasional outing like this, particularly under what must be ideal conditions, is nice. It feels like the snow is so dry that it won't hold shape, so snowball fights and snow sculptures are out, but sliding in it -- probably with a board rather than a sled -- looks likely enough if you had the right hill.

Having spent seven hours working on my Day Jobbe project last night, I think I'll take advantage of the good weather and clear roads to go out for a drive, nowhere in particular, but just to see what I can see.
Tags: weather

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