Student Blogs

The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway

February 17th, 2015 apcook15

Back to the written world here for a little while – I much prefer telling you all about the coldest/snowiest/iciest winter I’ve ever experienced in my twenty one years from behind the comfort of a keyboard rather than with video proof. I’ve not yet achieved David Attenborough status with this thing yet…although, as you’ll see, I’ve not exactly been idle with all these snow days, and hopefully you’ll finish reading this blog and say, “Yes, that lad is intrepid” (or mentally disturbed, the jury’s out). But incidentally, yes: I’m starting to think that the Holy Cross Class of 2015 is indeed the disaster-themed class. Our very first weekend on campus as freshmen, orientation was cancelled due to Hurricane Irene; later that year, we had six inches of snow for Halloween; my sophomore year, we faced two shelter-in-place orders, one for Hurricane Sandy and the second for Superstorm Nemo; last year saw campus in the icy clutches of the Polar Vortex; and this semester alone, we’ve already missed four days due to extreme winter conditions. To whichever weather deity we’ve obviously offended, we apologize – please forgive us before graduation day in May!

In fact, I'm writing to you right now from the second-snowiest city in the United States, with over 100 inches of snowfall. And what's the number one city, you ask? Funny story... of all the flippin' places on the continent, the only city snowier than the BURIED Worcester IS MY HOMETOWN!!!!! Maybe it's not the Class of 2015 after all...Maybe it's me!

In fact, I’m writing to you right now from the second-snowiest city in the United States, with over 100 accumulated inches of snowfall. And what’s the number one city, you ask? Funny story… of all the possible places on the continent, the only city snowier than the positively buried Worcester IS MY FLIPPIN’ HOMETOWN!!!!! Maybe it’s not the Class of 2015 after all…Maybe it’s me!

The craziness all started back during the second week of the semester. Until that point, it had been a remarkably mild winter; Christmas around here had been a balmy 50 degrees, I’d gone trail running around New Years in shorts, and a Holy Cross friend not native to the area had said, “Wow, I thought New England winters were supposed to be bad. It’s been no big deal at all so far!”

Famous last words.

The first blizzard to descend on us lasted for thirty six hours straight, depositing over an inch an hour at times with its freakish winds. Campus had to effectively shut down for two days as the ground changed from grass to three-foot snow drifts in a matter of hours.  From my apartment window in Williams Dormitory, I took some time-lapse photos of the storm’s effect on the grounds:

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Not a bad view, though, is it?

Since then, the blizzards have kept at it hard and fast, and the snow banks go well over my 6″0 head in most places now. If it continues at this rate, I expect the grass will reappear just in time to be buried by next winter’s snows – and that’s only if summer comes at all, which, I don’t think I’m wrong in saying, many people hereabouts have given up hope over. But how are us Crusaders coping? When meteorologists warn us to stay inside at all costs or else face all the wrath of Mother Nature, what are we to do?

Go sledding, obviously

Go sledding, obviously

Getting from class to class has, admittedly, become something more of an endeavor now. This picture was snapped yesterday as I attempted to reach my 10:00 lecture, using a now-standard method of transportation around campus:

Snowshoes aren't all that bad, once you get used to them

Once you get used to them, snowshoes aren’t even that bad, all things considered

Ok, so that’s a tiny bit of a stretch, but I did go snowshoeing around campus last weekend, and it was simply tremendous. A planned snowshoeing trip to Northern MA with Holy Cross’ Outdoors Club was obviously K.O.’d by  –  you guessed it  –  another blizzard, but since we already had all the equipment necessary for an afternoon polar trek, a few of us more adventurous folk decided, “Hey, why not?”

Plunging deep into the heart of the Yukon (or the Hart Center grounds, it was tough to tell through the wilderness)

Plunging deep into the heart of the Yukon (or the Hart Center grounds, it was tough to tell through the frostbite)

Making my way across the tundra

Making my way across the tundra

Some people aren't even aware of them, but a whole network of trails criss-crosses behind the Hart Center's playing fields, and they feature  some pretty gorgeous scenery. Admittedly, all 100+ inches lay untouched back there, so it got interesting in places trying to blaze a path through

Some people aren’t even aware of them, but a whole network of trails criss-crosses behind the Hart Center’s playing fields, and they feature some pretty gorgeous scenery. Admittedly, all 100+ inches lies untouched back there, so it got interesting in places trying to blaze a path through

She can be harsh at times, but Mother Nature too remarkable to not appreciate, and the only way you can do it is to get out there in the thick of it.

She can be harsh at times, but Mother Nature’s too remarkable not to appreciate, and the only way you can do it is to get out there and dive into the thick of it.

Also, with my third Boston Marathon looming in just about two months’ time now, there’s no way I’d let something as pesky as planet Earth’s weather systems get in the way of my training schedule. So it’s an extra pair of socks and another thermal layer, and out I go!

High visibility jackets: so the plow drivers don't have the excuse of "I never saw him!" as the ambulance paramedics extract me from a plow bed with a spatula.

High visibility jackets: so truck drivers don’t have the excuse of “I never saw him!” as the ambulance paramedics extract me from their plow beds on a spatula.

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Yep, that's ordinarily a scenic vista on my left there. The 6 foot wall of snow and ice is really putting a damper on the whole thing

Yep, that’s ordinarily a scenic vista on my left there. The 6 foot wall of snow and ice is a real killer for the MA sightseeing market.

I did say intrepid, didn’t I? But the way I see it, you have to beat the weather or get beat by it. The story you’ll have in twenty years of that time you trekked across a frozen wilderness is much cooler (*cooler*… my comedy tour comes to a town near you this summer, don’t miss it) than staying inside watching TV for a warm afternoon; you’ll have some frozen eyebrows, but they’ll thaw out/grow back eventually! So get out there and enjoy those frozen fractals all around…and don’t let the cold bother you anyways!

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