Raspberry Ridge

Raspberry Ridge
Spring 2010

Come Share in My Dream

My adventure started in earnest during 2002 when I began building my handcrafted log lodge. I have always dreamed of having a bed and breakfast to pamper new and old friends in the process.

The hard work is underway. Please follow my progress and plan a stay to experience what I lovingly call "Raspberry Ridge Bed and Breakfast".

Friday, January 21, 2011

Surviving and Thriving in a Minnesota cold snap

As I'm writing, the temperature is flashing in the bottom right of my computer screen -18 F. The forecasters called for -35 but in these early morning hours, I think we're escaping that fate. This is cold, even for Minnesotans.

Loggers stay home and give their machines over to the frigid temperatures so they can survive to start another day, travelers don't travel to avoid the perilous dangers of extreme cold, parents make sure their children bundle up and wait for the bus inside their own mini Minnesota 'bus shelters', and dogs do their business in a mad dash before the cold penetrates their paws to the point they can't get back inside without help. Yes, it's darn, double darn cold this Minnesota January 2011.

These are the days when ski lift operators at Lutsen Ski Resort up the road will look incredulously at down hill and cross country skiers as they keep coming back for more. My husband Jim, worked at Lutsen Ski Resort making snow for a couple of years when we first arrived in northern Minnesota.

I had time to do quite a bit of sewing back then so I invested in some Polartec® Windbloc® for Jim's shell pants and pullover insulating layer. I also purchased water repellent material for mittens that came up to his elbows. Patterns in tow, I drove home to a very happy husband. The clothes he had been wearing just weren't keeping him warm.

The sewing machine was put to good use that winter. My husband could now comfortably work in night time temperatures of -20 and -30 F while the snow machine pelleted him with freezing water. His gear kept the water out, the warmth in, and my husband the envy of the ski hill. 

He came home with duplicate orders from his fellow snow makers for more gear like what Jim had please. A true testament to the materials and design of the outerwear. I never was a speedy seamstress so I had to pass on the revenue opportunity but every time we get frigid January temperatures, I remember that winter.

Jim couldn't have stayed warm without a well know Minnesota 'secret'.   What is this secret you ask?  Layers.  We have elevated the art of layering clothes to an exact science. It has literally transformed my winter outdoor experiences from misery to awe and wonder at the breathtaking beauty of a Minnesota winter wonderland. 

  1. The wicking layer.  Generally a thin, synthetic material that wicks perspiration away from the skin and helps to protect from the dangers of hypothermia.
  2. The insulating layer.  There is really only one material for our family - fleece.  The day fleece was invented was the day our wool went to the back of the closet.
  3. The shell.  This is the windproof but not totally waterproof layer.  The shell stops most of the wind from penetrating your defenses and yet perspiration and moisture from your body is allowed to escape. In Jim's extreme snowmaking gear, an insulating layer of fleece pants was followed by pants of the Polartec® Windbloc®.
  4. Gloves, neck gators, and fleece lined wool cap.  Gotta have mits that go up to your elbows for extreme cold.  Fleece neck gators (tubes) protect your neck and lower face while a fleece lined cap that ties under the chin can be worn under the hood of your shell layer.
  5. Footwear.  Mukluks.  Will Steger's wife sent him to the North Pole with mukluks for a very good reason.    They wick away moisture, while keeping wind and cold out.  We can walk in and out from cold to heat in comfort and our feet stay comfortable.  For Jim's extreme snow making gear, he used rubberized, insulated winter boots.
We had so much fun sharing the well known Minnesota 'secret' with our young grandsons last winter.  They went from misery to awe and wonder at the breathtaking beauty of a Minnesota winter wonderland.  Ethan and Edison are now surviving and thriving in a Minnesota cold snap.

1 comment:

WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

And here I am complaining about two inches of snow. Brrrr!!!