A rumination on shoeshoes leads this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.
I mean the snow navigation devices, not the rabbits (Lepus americanus).
Actually, the YouTube video above on dressing properly, think onion, is good basic advice for just about any winter activity.
The last time we had a December this wintry was in 2000.
We had so much snow at one point by our place in 2000, that I stopped by Farm & Fleet and bought a cheap pair of snowshoes.
Just as an aside, shopping at Farm and Fleet helps me understand the female psych. Put it this way, if you're a guy and don't enjoy shopping at Farm and Fleet, you need to do some life examination.
So do you think I ever actually used the snowshoes?
Oh I tried them once.
And once was enough.
In May, I finally conceded the point and sold them during the town-wide yard sale. Got a couple bucks for them. Sure beat having them hanging in the basement next to my equally useless golf clubs.
But I digress.
SNOW PLAY: For the third weekend, I think it is one to find something to do in the snow. Find a new hill to sled with your kids. I would say build a snowman, but I think it is too dry. Try cross-country skiing, rent from your park district or a shop. Ice fish.
ICE FISHING: Ice fishing is underway across the entire area. They are out on main parts of most areas on the Chain. Just about any neighborhood lake or pond has fishable ice. At this point too, I don't think major weather will impact it too much either. In fact the weather should build significant ice if anything. Even the Chicago harbors are getting close, but that is truly tricky ice.
ICE FISHING CHAMPIONSHIP: A bunch of good ice fishermen from around Chicago fishing are among the 65 teams from 11 states in Rhinelander, Wis. this weekend for the 2010 North American Ice Fishing Circuit's National Championship. Maybe the most promising are Alan Epich of Mokena and Mike Davis of Homewood. They were fifth last year and are making their fifth finals appearance. Weigh-ins are at Northwoods Banquet Center.
If somebody knows a place with results are posted quickly, let me know. Otherwise, I will try to dig them up by Monday.
PERCH FISHING: Weather has limited access for the favorite of Chicago fishing. But they have been busting ice to try at Navy Pier and I would think there should be some up the river at 95th or 92nd for those who can reach it.
WATERFOWL HUNTING: If you have open water or a good field, you should have good goose hunting and duck hunting (that's closed in the north zone.) It appears that counties like DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Grundy, Will and Kankakee are holding more geese than McHenry and Lake.
CRANE WATCHING: The opportunity is passing quickly. Only a couple thousand sandhill cranes were sticking around on the ice at Jasper-Pulaski FWA southeast of Valparaiso, Ind., according to Tuesday's count. Click here for info and updates.
ARCHERY: Archery Bow Range Chicago offers beginner courses and much more regularly. Click here.
PERSONAL PICKS: Today, I am recording a couple backup radio shows of ``Outside'' with Joel Greenberg and a guest at WKCC-FM (91.1). I started a Facebook page for ``Outside'' last week. . . . The kids and I will get in some serious snow play, and probably a good winter hike. They have been itching to get sledding on their favorite hill. With school ending today, I am sure we will. It doesn't look like the snow is going anywhere. . . . I may try to get in some waterfowling, but that may depend on whether I can walk across the Kankakee or can set something up with Jeff Norris at Fox Valley Guide Service in Kane County for field geese. . . . Otherwise, the weekend is wrapped in Christmas doings or Christmas prep stuff with the family. . . . By the looks of it, I will need to hit the Chicago harbors to do some ice fishing next week.