Sunday, October 30, 2022

Minnesota Weather

Last week was our wedding anniversary and we had a nice day even if nothing went as we had planned a few days before. But sometimes, I have found, best made plans are best left by the wayside.

A week or so before our anniversary, we had started to make plans on doing something fun on that day. So like any Minnesotan, we were watching the daily forecast and would then decide what to do. The 5 day forecast was looking like it could go either way for cold and wet, or sunny and warmer. So our planning was all over the board.  

We had it narrowed down to going to Duluth and along the North Shore around Lake Superior or going South towards Pipestone, Minnesota. Either way we were planning to take our bikes and hit some fun trails either along the lake or out in the prairie land. We just had to watch which way the wet weather was going to travel.

Well, anniversary day came and we woke up and got the forecast for Southern Minnesota and Duluth from Alexa. The weather in the South was pouring rain and windy. The forecast for Duluth, in the North, was chilly and possible snow. I swear even following the radar map and listening to the forecasters the weather forecast for Minnesota is never accurate.

We got up and discussed what we were going to do. We decided either trip was not going to involve a bike ride more than likely, so we wouldn’t even bother to load up the bikes. Our day would involve taking a drive, looking at the Fall leaves in full color and going to lunch somewhere on the drive.

Deciding that going South was more driving than either of us wanted, we chose the road North to Duluth, Since Duluth was a bigger town, we could at least find some indoor things to do, like hit some stores for stuff we needed. And there would also be a bigger variety of places to choose for lunch.

So we set off to Duluth for a day of fun and looking at the leaves and lunch somewhere fun. It was about 8 AM when we set out. We went up town, gassed up  the minivan  and set out for a fun day together, and a drive around the shores of the great Gitchi-Gami, Lake Superior. 

It was a chilly morning,with clouds threatening rain or maybe even some light sleet or snow, but what the heck, it was still good to be out on the road heading to some place that didn’t involve more projects around the house preparing us for Winter. We had both been busy the past 2 weeks doing just that and it was time for a break from it all.

About 25 miles up the freeway and it started to sleet, icing up the windows. The wind had picked up and the windows were icing up enough that the defrost couldn’t keep up with the ice forming on the windshield. We drove another few miles and I finally mentioned this was a stupid idea. As we drove another 5 miles or so, the sleet turned to big thick heavy snowflakes that were starting to accumulate on the ground. Once again I mentioned this was probably not in our best interest to keep driving.I could see in his face, my Best Half, was thinking the same thing.

Although most Minnesotans are pretty proficient in driving in winter conditions of sleet,  ice and snow, the very first snow of each season always seems to bring out the need for a basic review of how to do this. It always seems like there are some out on the road that first snowfall that lose all common sense of their Minnesota driving ability. They will have to be reminded of how to come out of a fish tail, how to adjust your speed on an icy road and my favorite…how to remember to keep some distance from the car in front of you, You just never know when they will slam on their brakes because of something, such as a deer popping out crossing the road.

What the heck were we doing? The sleet and snow were coming down fast enough that it was getting harder to see what was in front of us. When the next exit was in view, we both decided heading to Duluth just wasn’t as enticing as it was when we first woke up that morning. It now just seemed like an inconvenient drive… like back in the pre-retirement days making the commute to the Cities for work. And there was nothing to prove anymore, we didn’t need to be out on the roads.

So at the next exit off the freeway, we got off and pointed ourselves South. We decided to head back down the freeway and head towards the Cities to do the same thing we planned for Duluth. At least it was just raining down that way.

When we got back to the exit for home we both just kind of looked at each other and decided half the day was over and we would just plan for another day to head out bike riding. Hopefully there would be a few days left before we had to put the bikes away for the Winter.

We stopped in town at a great Mexican restaurant and had our anniversary lunch and then headed back home with enough leftovers of food to have for supper. I was happy knowing I wouldn’t have to do any cooking the entire day. Always a treat for both of us, since I cook and my Best Half always cleans up afterwards.

We got home and went inside. It was still drizzling and sleeting and there was a good chill in the air. The little electric fireplace heater was turned on and we both sat down on the couch and hit the recliner buttons. Outside the wind was howling and blowing and all the leaves were falling from the trees. Just one more reminder that there was nothing we could do outside so we may as well take a breather. 

It wasn’t long until I could hear my Best Half lightly snoring, both the dogs were nearby doing the same. I watched out the window as the snow and sleet subsided. Slowly the sky turned blue and the sun was shining down. The temperature started warming up into the 40’s. I sat there for a minute or two thinking we could have probably gone to Duluth and the roads would have been melted. That thought stayed in my brain all of about a minute. But like the canines and my Best Half, I gave into that afternoon nap. When I woke up, once again it was sleeting and snowing and the wind was howling. Yep Minnesota…don’t like the weather…wait a few minutes. 

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