Despite the benign start to our winter this year, January brought a midweek nor’easter which dropped more than 14″ of powdery snow over the region.
I love a good dumping of snow and this year’s blizzard did not disappoint: flakes fell furiously at a rate of 1-2″ per hour, the trees danced wildly as the strong surf roared in the distance. Sheltered comfortably in my home and warmed by the wood-burning stove, I worked remotely as the winds whipped the snow and pounded the windows of my home office.
By afternoon the storm eased. Before nightfall I grabbed my cross-country skis and glided down the driveway and to the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge on Cutts Island.
To kick off the New Year, I decided to finally join the Polar Bear Club and go for a body-chilling dip in the Atlantic Ocean. So with little fanfare, I stopped by Mark and Amy’s wonderful home for the winter overlooking Pepperrell Cove in Kittery, Maine and jumped in the drink.
Fortunately it was an unusually mild day for January (with a high of 55°F) which made for a much easier entry into the 39°F-ish ocean. After the dip I was able to stand for some time on the beach in only my trunks and water shoes.
I tried unsuccessfully to enlist others to join in the fun — Paul’s text reply was an emphatic “No f*ckin’ way!” and Mark claims he is “physically incapable” of entering cold water. Not surprising from the Lechner brothers who never swim in the Maine waters even in the height of summer. Oh well, I guess everyone has a tolerance threshold for such things.
This particular feat had been on my mind for some years but always missed due to weather, location or hangover. So 2011 proved to be The Year and I’m pleased to have a resolution so easily and quickly crossed off my list!