A Wild Winter Ride

A Wild Winter Ride

BY: RACHEL WUMKES

I love roller coasters.  The anticipation as you climb the steep hill.  The thrill of that single moment in time when you’re suspended in slow motion before racing down the other side.  The twists, the turns, the loop-de-loops.  I love it all.

Wooden roller coasters are the best.  If you can get past the uneasy fear that they aren’t really built anymore and you are, in fact, on a contraption years older than yourself, they’re awesome.  My favorite is going over the smaller hills.  The speed causing your butt to literally come up off the seat as your hair flies frantically in the wind.  Screams catching in your throat as they mix with laughter.

Turns out, as you get older they affect you a bit differently.  Nothing like a slap in the face from the old age-monster when you come to a stop and have trouble catching your breath.  Feeling like you’ve just finished running a marathon when you’ve actually had zero physical exertion.

Recently, I’ve seen many news articles and blog posts about another kind of coaster.  One I’ve never heard of before:  A Polar Coaster.

Sounds fun.  Maybe like a thrill ride with an Arctic flair?

No.  Not a fun ride at an amusement park.  It’s actually a real thing, predicted for our upcoming winter.

**hangs head in defeat**

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, we can expect the ride to start in mid-November with chilly rains, possibly turning to wet snow.  More of the same through the month of December, except the temperatures are expected to turn sharply colder.

I don’t get sick on roller coasters, but this one is making me feel a bit queasy.

As the New Year arrives, bringing forth the promise of a clean slate to start anew, we can also expect the arrival of three major storms that will bring frigidly cold temps drifting down from Canada.

The real doozy is when the extreme cold hits the last week of January, sticking around for a couple weeks.

Plan for plenty of snow days (READ: get wine, and lots of it).

And you know the middle part of the roller coaster where you’re headed for that dreaded curve?  It feels like you’re going so fast there’s no way it’ll actually catch the rails and squeal around the edge, right?

That will be March.  You’ll start to be excited for Spring, but it’s predicted we will see one last storm dropping 2-5 inches of snow on us in March.  The cold lasting well into the month of April.

Phrases like “colder than normal” and “above average precipitation” are always great big downers when it comes to Winter.  But who knows… maybe they’ll be wrong and it will be a nice, pleasant Winter season instead.  I mean, they do use a scientific methodology of prediction that has been about 80% accurate in the past…

… but one can always hope!

So buckle up, folks.  Pull that shoulder harness down snug and make sure your lap-bar is secured tightly.  Winter is going to be no joke in North Iowa this year!!

Thankfully, we’ve got a little time left to enjoy the crisp, cool fall.  Take in the changing leaves and appreciate the smell of pumpkin spice and apple cider.  Fill your tank with that last little bit to get you through.

Polar Coaster or not… we’ll see you at the Lake!

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