Got a wild hair this morning to go out skiing. It was only five below, compared to 30 below yesterday morning. Windchill today was still 30 below, but I’m not a big believer in windchill — in spite of the warnings of doctors and weathermen.
Don’t get me wrong — I know the wind makes it “feel” colder, and makes it more dangerous to be outside. Diane and I lived 30 miles east of Fargo for three years, with a western exposure — a bean field stretching a mile to the next farm. We skied back and forth from the house when we were snowed in for a month, up a driveway 3/4 of a mile long. I get wind.
I also get cold, having lived in International Falls for three years.
But what windchill is mostly about is Minnesotans feeling better about themselves and where they live by exaggerating how bad it is and, by extension, how tough they are.
Truth is, Minnesotans aren’t that tough. We’ve created a system of garages and block heaters and snowblowers and snowplows and skyways that allow us to live here without really being affected very seriously by the cold and snow (which has never been as much of a problem as many places in the country). Heck, Minneapolis and St. Paul have enclosed their entire downtown areas so nobody actually has to go outside.
So we have windchill, which allows us to say it’s 20 below when actually it’s five above. This morning the weatherman actually said it was just as cold today as it was yesterday, but today’s map showed windchills, while yesterday’s showed air temps. Ridiculous.
Anyway, I went out skiing this morning and was dumb enough to take my camera. I stopped a couple times, pulled in from my coat, took off my glove, and snapped some pictures. None of them were any good, but that brief exposure to the elements numbed my thumbs, and I didn’t get any good pictures.
Not fit for man nor beast.


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