Back in August of 2013, I pieced together an article titled Ontario Snowmobilers In for a Great Season Ahead? Winter Forecasts for 2013-14. Within this article, I made some bold predictions based on resources and information available at the time, and it looks like I was bang on! It’s March now and across Ontario, snowmobile trails are smooth, well-groomed and in Available status! It’s been one of the wildest winters in over a decade for many parts of the province and according to Wiarton Willie, winter's here for at least another few weeks!
We’ve had epic snowfalls across Explorers' Edge, bitterly cold sub-zero temperatures in Northeastern Ontario, Algoma Country and Sunset Country, record-breaking dumps of the white stuff throughout Central and Southern and Eastern Ontario that have forced many road closures. And, believe it or not, as I write this article the City of Toronto is covered in a thick blanket of snow from a recent Texas Low.
I’ve heard it many times this winter from the nay-sayers, you know, the folks who are ‘bitter about the bitter temperatures’ or even those who are so tired of shovelling snow that they can’t wait for summer. Even YouTube vlogger Rex4x4, who is a good friend of mine, professes to not enjoy winter. However, recently I watched videos of him at the Yamaha test rides, then at the Arctic Cat test rides and, a few weeks later, of him riding the Seguin Trail and visiting the Iron Skillet restaurant by snowmobile. I think he’s bought into winter hook, line and sinker!
Winter is here in abundance across Ontario—I say why not embrace it! Without further ado, here are 10 reasons to love winter:
10. Winter will be over before you know it and you'll be complaining about soggy humidity, black flies and mosquitoes… so get outside and enjoy it!
9. It may not be BBQ season, but rest assured that a hot meal at a trail-side restaurant or resort is the perfect way to revivify!
8. You know that great feeling of coming into the Air Conditioning or the Beer Cooler on a hot summer day? Well, the opposite is just as good, if not better! Spending a few hours outside and then heading indoors for a coffee or hot chocolate is incredibly… Warming ☺
7. AHHHHH Fresh air! It’s hard to beat a cool Canadian winter morning! It makes you feel alive! Sure, your nose may run a bit; snuffles aside, it’s time to ride! (P.S. The snot will freeze to your facial hair or balaclava quickly, which makes for a good laugh later in the day ☺)
6. Snow days! Sure, it’s an inconvenience in your schedule. But it’s also the perfect opportunity to get outside and enjoy the "severe weather". Chances are, school buses are cancelled, so why not spend the day teaching a little outdoor education!
5. Snow Gear—Everyone looks great in snow gear! That extra insulation that you complain about the other 7 months of the year will help keep you warm! Ladies can forget the make-up and fancy hair do’s in exchange for an electric visor and space-age technology helmet!
3. Without winter you would tire of summer. Winter gives us a chance to re-group. If it were summer every day, you would lose the excitement for that day over 25 C!
2. Sure, the sparkling waters of Ontario’s lakes and rivers mesmerize you in the summer months, however this scene is rivalled by ice-encased waterfalls, smooth powder-coated lakes and ribbon-like trails that wind through snow encrusted pines and spruce forests.
As the days grow longer and the sun's power increases, the summer lovers will start to emerge from a stale indoor hibernation, while we will continue to chase winter in search of that next epic ride. This winter has been a heroic poem that only old man winter could write, and as an added bonus, the Spring outlook that was just released by Environment Canada predicts that we are going to enjoy below normal seasonal temperatures throughout March and early April.
Winter isn't over yet; as a matter of fact, late season riding can be some of the best riding!