October 17, 2012 was the last time we saw 60 degrees.
Most people realize that part of the mythology of Northern Minnesota is the cold. How do you think Paul Bunyan got so big? [He’s from Minnesota, ya know] He was so cold he had to consume more calories – which made him large. Enormous jackets, Elmer Fudd hats, ice fishing and deep fried cheese curds are the way of things up here. You might say that residents of the North Country take a practical kind of pleasure in getting by. Anything more would make us fancy. We are not a fancy folk.
NONETHELESS. These last four weeks have been cold and nasty even by Minnesota standards. You can see it in the vacant stares of people at the supermarket. At restaurants people slouch as they push their food around the plate – not much chat. No sir. The Spring fishing opener is scheduled for May 11, but there’s still 24 inches of ice on the lakes. There’s talk that DNR might delay. Ufda.
Things may get a little out of hand for Northlanders this weekend. The forecast high for Friday is 57, for Saturday it’s 67. Elmer Fudd hats will be replaced by well worn baseball hats. Flannel shirts will have the top button undone and the sleeves rolled up. It looks like the longest winter in 30 years will, in fact, come to an end.
This weekend is MN Ironman, and chances are excellent I will ride in short sleeves.