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The World at 25 Below 11/15/2003

Saturday, November 15, 2003. 28 degrees below zero. 8:20PM.

This morning we slept late. We were awakened by the phone as Neub called to tell tell us he was going for a hike out of town, and wanted to know if we wanted to go too. Given the temperature, and knowing that Neub is the serious variety of outdoorsman that would leave us well behind after a few minutes, I politely declined. Stephanie and I did, however, determine to get out for a while ourselves and take a good look at the world at 25 below. We got bundled in just about everything we have and walked out to an oxbow lake that is just out of town. It is a long and sickle-shaped lake, and it is now completely frozen over. We walked down a long and winding forested path full of tracks in the snow from rabbits and various other animals. At the end of the path, the trees parted and the path opened onto the flat lake, now covered in a layer of snow. We walked the length of the lake and played together like a couple of kids. I wish you could have seen Stephanie hopping repeatedly with both feet, like some kind of demented but determined rabbit, trying to make a confusing set of tracks. We tried to make a snow man, but the snow was too dry and too cold to stick to itself. We ran around and fell in the snow, rolling around and making snow angels. Another thing we wish you could have seen... as we huffed and puffed, everything on and around our faces became covered in frost. Each individual eyelash built up long frosted extensions, our eyebrows became covered, the black fleece that surrounded our faces and fur ruff that trimmed our parka hood all were caked with frost. It was a sight to see as we both pointed at the other and laughed. We enjoyed as much sunlight as possible as it shone brightly against a clear pale sky, just clearing the tops of the distant trees at the zenith of its daily shallow arc across the horizon. We were out for two and a half hours at what occurred to me was nearly sixty degrees below freezing!!! It was time for some hot tea. When we opened the door to reenter our house, 70 above inside air met 25 below outside air, triggering a visible cloud of cold that poured from the doorway, rolled into our living room, and settled onto the floor. It disappeared after a few moments.

Posted on Saturday, November 15, 2003 at 08:20PM by Registered CommenterBrian Rozell | CommentsPost a Comment

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