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Danecdotes: When it’s not too cold, go outside and enjoy winter

People love to stay where it's cozy during the winter, but there is plenty to do if you step out

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I love winter.

I know that statement leaves some of you thinking I’m crazy — especially those of you already in Florida or Arizona for the next few months — but I think winter is fun.

I enjoy sledding and throwing snowballs with my kid, and going for walks in the snow-covered woods near my home. I love hockey and ice skating.

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Also, I’m one of those nuts who would rather be cold than warm.

All of that said, I understand that winter may have some drawbacks that the other seasons do not have. Snow is great, but clearing it off the driveway is not, even with a snowblower sometimes.

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And, of course — as evidenced by the week leading up to Christmas — it can be way, way too cold for anyone’s comfort.

But when the temperature is above zero, I would strongly recommend that you bundle up, go out and enjoy the lakes area whenever possible.

And there are plenty of options for you. There are hundreds of lakes for ice fishing, of course. We have plenty of places to skate. There’s Mount Ski Gull for your skiing, snowboarding and tubing needs.

And let’s not forget the many snowmobile trails in the area.

But if you are like my son and just constantly think there is nothing to do, the area thankfully provides plenty of scheduled events to get folks outside and enjoying the cold.

Next on the schedule is the Nisswa 100 snowmobile races this weekend. The 30-mile race begins and ends near Hunts Point on County Road 29 and is expected to feature roughly 120 racers.

One of the biggest events of the year for the area, the Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza, is set for Saturday, Jan. 28, pending ice conditions. (I’m pretty sure we have plenty of ice.) If for no other reason than to witness the spectacle of 20,000 anglers on Hole-in-the-Day Bay, everyone should check it out.

The following weekend, WinterFest will take place in Crosslake. This is one of my favorite events in the area, because going through town trying all of those soups is always fantastic, especially on a really cold day.

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If you aren’t a fan of soup, hockey nerds can enjoy the Northwoods Pond Hockey Classic at Breezy Point Resort that same weekend.

On Saturday, Feb. 11, folks can enjoy Bobber Bocce on the ice of Sibley Lake.

The next weekend, Feb. 18, will feature the Nisswa Winter Jubilee. Those who didn’t get their fill of ice fishing at the Extravaganza can take part in the Nisswa Ice Fishing Derby on Nisswa Lake on Feb. 19.

Let’s face it, golf courses won’t be open in late February, so those itching to hit the links can take part in the Gull Lake Frozen Fore on Feb. 24-26.

Winter is hopefully winding down by March 4, but the water still ought to be plenty cold for the Polar Plunge at Breezy Point Resort.

Of course, there is more out there for those eager to get outside this winter, and I cannot encourage you enough to go out and do exactly that.

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Dan Determan, sports writer/staff writer, may be reached at 218-855-5879 or dan.determan@pineandlakes.com . Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Dan.

Related Topics: DANECDOTESOUTDOORS RECREATIONNISSWA WINTER JUBILEECROSSLAKE WINTERFESTBRAINERD JAYCEES ICE FISHING EXTRAVAGANZAWEATHER
Opinion by Dan Determan
Dan Determan has been a reporter for the Echo Journal since 2014, primarily covering sports at Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus
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