I am interrupting my series of travel memories to let you know about some up-to-date happenings here on the home turf.
After my last posting it has become evident that January has left the scene to the month of February, which around here, always seems to be the coldest and most snowy month of winter. That has especially been true for the last 4-5 years. Winter seems to start later than in former years and rather keeps us with company into the months of March or even April. (God forbid!)
Out here at the coast, winter does not only mean snow and ice but more than anything ferocious winds (means storms) In combination with temperatures way below the freezing mark, this also means that a person can receive serious frostbites. And hardly ever have I come across a word better fitted to its meaning than "frostbite". The wind chill is quite literally biting into any part of your exposed skin, which encourages a person to cover up any possible surface against a potential frost attack. And that does not mean you are fit to step outside with your usual pair of jeans and a regular jacket. No Sir, when you want to step outside, and we have to do that on a regular basis with Dixie, our Anatolian Shepherd, you have to get dressed in multiple layers. I am talking a good woolen sweater above your shirt, a very thick down-filled long winter coat with a fur-lined hood, under which it is advisable to sport a woolen bobble hat kind-of-thing, and even better, another thinner fleece hood with integrated collar covering your exposed neck underneath.
Hopefully, you never leave your long johns off during winter, but even with long johns under your jeans, your legs will quickly change color to a bright pinkish red, if you should attempt to meet the gales out of the north-east on a frosty February day. So you need another layer, like something windproof with a fake fur or fleece on the inside.
Now it's time to look at your feet. I hate getting my feet cold during a hike, so I find my thickest woolen socks and 2 pairs of it, for again, think "layers". 2 socks on each foot "may" just be enough, but it'll depend on your type of boots. Forget about Gortex. It might be waterproof, but it'll welcome the cold right onto your poor feet, and your dog will look at you and wonder why the early return home. You'd be well equipped if you got fleece- or fake-fur-lined boots. That, together with your double-layered socks will keep your feet warm.
Now, that we are dressed somewhat appropriately, we can find the dog and step outside. It'll hurt a lot on unprotected parts of your face, but you either get used to that or you can use your Covid-19 facemask for further protection. They are NOT fleece-lined though! Remember you can't cover your eyes as you need to see where you are going. Have a wonderful hike!
Oh darn....we forgot our lined gloves!
Photo credit: Beatrix Kohlhaas taken with Nikon P-900