A frigid history lesson + poll


In 2007 Fraser, Colorado, where I currently live, ‘battled’ International Falls, Minnesota for a title. As the winter months approach, I wish that they had been battling for the title of ‘warmest winters’ or ‘most powder days’ or ‘the least windy town in the world.’ But, sadly, none of these things are even close to true. The title they were battling for was ‘Icebox of the Nation.‘ How on Earth did a town in Colorado battle with a place that’s almost in Canada? It’s just not right!  Both towns claimed to have been using the title for decades, but when International Falls, Minnesota let their trademark on this horrible phrase expire, the town manager of Fraser filed an application for it. Why oh why would he do such a thing? Who wants to be reminded that they live in an icebox!? Ignorance is bliss….I’m just pretending it’s going to be a great snow year for skiing purposes and not get to 50 something degrees below zero this winter. In the end, International Falls won back the official title of ‘Icebox of the Nation,’ but both towns still use it and Fraser claims to be the coldest incorporated town in the lower 48. 

As it goes, the closer winter gets, the lower the temperatures in peoples’ winter stories drop. The first mention of below-zero temps was my landlord saying when it gets to be negative 20 or so, we might want to do this and that so the pipes don’t freeze. This was enough to make my jaw drop, but it wasn’t long before a co-worker was saying, “One day I was walking to work and it was negative 43. I had my big down jacket on…” Blah blah blah! I tuned out after “negative 43!” The most recent? Alex’s colleague at work has a friend who works in the meat department at Safeway, which is right on the Fraser River.  They have some kind of fancy thermometer that reads the temperature when it’s pointed at an item. Just for kicks, they took it down and pointed it at the river one day. Let me just mention that I live across the street from this river. The thermometer read negative 56! Maybe I’ll get used to. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even love the cold enough to agree when Alex asks me to go winter camping with him.

I’m already planning on eating lots of fatty bacon, stocking up on long underwear, and sitting by my remote control gas fireplace every day (which I do when it’s a mere 45 degrees out) but I am also thinking I will need to thaw out at the end of winter. This leads me to the second part of my post: a poll.

Where should we go to thaw in April? When it comes to getting warm, I am not too picky as long as the end goal is accomplished. However, there are a few criteria for the trip.

– It has to be cheap. The cheapest plane ticket to anywhere tropical will do.

– It has to be easy to enjoy in 9ish days.

– No malarial areas…I have had enough Doxycycline for one year.

– Uncrowded beaches and an ocean that doesn’t have waves that give you a concussion when you’re trying to swim.

Any ideas? Soon enough, my frantic searching of kayak.com will begin and when it’s negative 56 outside I’ll be able to look forward to sweating again someday and wearing flip-flops.


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