Claudia Gets Superficial Frostbite: A Canadian Winter Adventure Story


Alternate Title: Claudia Flirts with -25℉ Wind Chill for 45 Minutes and Thinks Nothing Will Go Wrong and Oh How Wrong It All Went

So it was cold today.

It’s been cold here for a bit now, but today felt extra cold because of the wind. Usually the wind is strongest in the morning (and as the sun is going down at night), then tapers off a bit during the middle of the day.

I can’t wait until the middle of the day to go walking because I teach at 3:00, so I usually leave as early as I can (around 9 AM) and do my walking then.

Which is what I did today.

Bad idea.

I always head west first on my walks, which is the direction the wind comes from like 97% of the time. I was fine for the first two miles or so, but the third mile happened to take place on the windiest, most exposed part of the river trail.

I start feeling really, really cold. That kind of cold where you kind of start to stumble around a lot and start to kind of lose a bit of rational thinking.

(I’ve felt it before a lot, haha.)

I also really have to pee, but luckily there’s a heated bathroom a little ways ahead, so I suck it up, push through the wind (which is blowing at me from about 2:00) and finally make it to the bathroom.

This bathroom has a mirror above the one sink. I happened to take a glance into this mirror and I noticed that the whole right side of my nose—the part that was getting the brunt of the wind—was white. Like, chalk white. Like it was starting to actually freeze.

So that was a bit disconcerting, especially considering it was a 2.5-mile walk back home in temperatures that weren’t going to get a whole lot warmer. But I had to get back somehow, so I stayed in the bathroom long enough for my skin to warm back up, then actually took my scarf out of my backpack and put it on (no, I wasn’t originally wearing it. Remember that I’m the smartest person in the world, here), and trekked back. It wasn’t nearly as bad as going out because the wind was at my back, but -25℉ windchill is -25℉ windchill no matter what, so it wasn’t like it was a pleasant walk or anything.

Finished my walk indoors at Anytime Fitness.

Party time in Calgary weather, yo.

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