Coldest Place on Earth

Winter is winding down. We still have a foot of snow on the ground and the driveway is still covered in ice but the sun has warmth again and the forecast for the week ahead is starting to lean toward spring temperatures. I suspect by this time next week we will have a whole different landscape out the window.

Looking back I think it’s been a great winter-y sort of winter. We are not blessed here in southern Wisconsin to have winters that automatically come with piles of snow and cold weather but this year we were. Of course this year we also had, according to our school’s superintendent, “an unprecedented amount of snow days” and some people didn’t really like that. Other people complained that they ran out of places to put snow along their driveways and sidewalks, I guess they didn’t like that either.  Still other people liked to share the shocking fact that for a bit it was colder here than in Antarctica (of course it was summer in Antarctica, but people using that phrase don’t like when that is pointed out to them). In any case it was undeniably cold here, the weather powers-that-be called it a polar vortex.

I liked to call it real winter but that made people want to facewash me in that lovely winter snow. Fortunately for me, those were also the people who didn’t want to follow me outside into the cold and snow so I was pretty safe. And yes, it was super cold, like pipe freezing cold and “Wow, let’s use the infrared thermometer to take the temperature of the toilet seat because I think my butt is freezing to it” cold.  One could be upset by that or you could just relish in the fact that taking the temperature of the bathroom floor vs the toilet seat vs the living room floor vs the woodstove is a fun game to play with the infrared thermometer you always wanted but never needed. Of course that’s just inside the house, the real fun was outside.

Going outside when the windchill drops to 40 below (for my international friends that’s the same in Fahrenheit and Celsius) is an adventure. There are layers and layers to put on and eyelashes try to freeze together and your boogers certainly freeze inside your nose and if you spill water on yourself while hauling it to poultry it freezes solid before you get inside and, if you really get a good gust of wind on your forehead, the cold can cut through all your hats and layers and give you an ice cream headache just from standing in it.

It’s amazing when it gets that cold!

Reading back on that I fear I have failed to relay the amount of fun that is. Maybe you have to be a certain kind of person to find the fun in just being when the air makes your face hurt. But what can I say, I’m that person.

My (possibly weird) love of the cold is not the point though. The point is, it was quite cold and wintry here.  However as cold as it was outside, I maintain the odd truth that the coldest place around (certainly colder than Antarctica was this February) are gas station bathrooms. How they manage to keep their water running at such frigid temperatures is clearly some form of gas station magic that us mere mortals are not privy too. As much time as I spent outside in the “dangerously cold” weather I was never as cold as I was in a gas station bathroom. In fact I’m willing to put forth the theory that it’s possibly the weathermen had it wrong and this “polar vortex” situation was really just what happens when too many gas station bathroom doors open simultaneously.

How about you? Were you any place colder than a gas station bathroom this winter?

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13 comments on “Coldest Place on Earth

  1. jenanita01 says:

    I love snow, but not the freezing cold. The only good thing about sub- zero temperatures, is the relief when you get indoors and make yourself a hot chocolate!

  2. tidalscribe says:

    I hope your home was warm inside. I love snow, especially if there is a warm home to retreat back to, but I have not experienced as much snow as you had. I did once read about Russia that Muscovites only feel they come alive when the temperature drops to 40 below! I do try and recreate your experience by standing on the cliff top with gale force winds blowing in my face!

  3. It was very cold in Pennsylvania this year but nothing like you had. I have to agree about the gas station bathrooms. Seriously- how do their pipes not freeze? We had more below zero temps this winter than the last few winters and my husband kept texting me from work to ask if I’d turned up the heat or on the heater in the back bathroom. And my dad would remind me to let the faucets drip a bit to keep the water flowing or – whatever. Clearly the men in my life thought I knew nothing about below zero temps. My mom thought the same thing when she reminded me to cover all my skin if I went out into it. Sigh. This week the temps look like they’ll be going up some. Might even get to 50. Heat wave!!!

  4. Dani Heart says:

    It has been unusually cold. I too, love it. We haven’t gotten snow here, sadly, but that freezing to the toilet seat…yeah…that happened. LOL We for the first time in years had to keep our heater running, and we have the gas bill to prove it. Crisp air in the mornings and evenings has been super nice though. 🙂

    • Jessie says:

      I love that cold crisp air so much more than the heavy humid air of summer- makes you feel all awake… or as awake as I ever feel in the morning! 😉

  5. Susie says:

    It has been cold here. The coldest place by far is the pump house for the farm. Not only do the freezing temperatures turn the water into a solid, they seem to freeze the electricity too.

    • Jessie says:

      Freezing electricity is one cold pump house, maybe the gas station owners can give you some tips? Don’t worry though, warm weather and mud is right around the corner… (Me, I’m not worrying, I’m despairing… mud. ugh!)

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