What’s Cooler Than Cool?

Ice cold: Like single digit cold. We don’t typically get down to the single digits here in the Natural State, so when I said “Baby It’s Cold Outside” I wasn’t wrong but it wasn’t THIS cold! These temps are a stark contrast to the majority of days we had over the holidays. Speaking of, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!

Speaking selfishly, I landed a couple of Tim Ernst hiking books that made me want to get outside and see some trails. One was the Day Hikes for Families & Kids, which I’m really excited about. However, I don’t have the brain power to think about getting outside to do something when it’s this cold. My amazing wife also got me an REI Rain Jacket. I hope it was her thoughtfulness of knowing how much I hated my Columbia jacket and not my over complaining about said jacket!

I’m a pretty hot natured fellow, to begin with, so the Columbia jacket just wasn’t the right one for me. The jacket did a great job of keeping out the rain, but it was basically a sealed plastic layer so I the body heat I generate would create a lot of internal moisture on the jacket.Whatever layer I had on below the rain jacket would be covered. In the end, I donated the jacket to Goodwill earlier in 2017. I’m really excited about using this new rain jacket, but it’s going to have to warm up before I get to really put it to the test.

Still, I want to get outside and try to enjoy the outdoors. This want led me to put on my winter coat and go fishing. Yes, I went fishing in 20-degree weather. My first stop at Burns Park was shut down by the weather because the river inlet was frozen over. I then headed out to Pinnacle Mountain to a spot that I’ve occasionally pulled bass from, but the water was frozen here as well. Since this section of the river has greater water movement there were parts of the river that weren’t under ice. I threw a crankbait and a swim jig but got nothing.

I didn’t honestly expect to catch anything, but it was fun to get outside. I also got to work on my casting while using gloves which is something that needed to be worked on. I haven’t thrown my bait caster setups in a long time, so it was nice to get to reconnect with the gear. Fly fishing has dominated my fishing since last April and it was a ton of fun to get the bass gear back out. Even with almost zero chance of landing a fish, it was good to practice some technique and get a litmus test for the cold weather.

Overall I wasn’t as cold as I expected. I think that a little more movement would have helped to generate some body heat would have provided some warmth. Standing on the bank of a river, even in the sunlight, didn’t quite do the trick. Now I’m thinking that it might be feasible to get out and do a 3 to 5-mile hike in these colder temperatures. I’m now viewing this as a challenge similar to pushing to do a 9-mile hike when I’ve only done 5 to 7-mile hikes. Trying a hike that I am familiar with might just be the way to get past how cold it is.

At least that’s where my head is while I write this entry from the comfort of my living room…