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Battling winter blues: Time to get out and and enjoy season

MARQUETTE – Around this time every year, it’s easy to get sucked into the wintertime blues.

The weather is cold, the snow is piled high and we’re greeted by the moon before having a chance to even enjoy dinner.

In years past, I could be found succumbing to the slowed down pace of life, curled up on the couch with a cozy blanket, a good book or movie and a hot cup of tea.

But this year, I’m strongly fighting that urge.

Being back in the Upper Peninsula has been revitalizing, restoring a sense of energy and comfort that even the Windy City couldn’t.

This breath of fresh air – one that you can literally see in front of you due to freezing temperatures, might I add – has given me the strength to get outside and enjoy all that the area has to offer.

The Queen City of the North truly is a four seasons destination. There are countless activities available and events every day, with a particularly impressive agenda for the winter months – from the U.P. 200 to the Ishpeming Ski Club’s annual Ski Jumping Tournament at Suicide Hill to the miles and miles of trails leading to spectacular views of ice caves, water falls and views of Lake Superior.

Cross country and downhill skiing, sledding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, ice skating and fat tire biking are just a few of the winter activities that can be accessed within a stone’s throw of Marquette and the surrounding areas.

I also can’t speak highly enough of the sense of community that surrounds winter events and activities here.

Last week for the start of the U.P. 200, I was blown away by the amount of people who braved the -18 degree wind chill to cheer on the mushers and their dogs as they took off down West Washington Street.

Nearly every time Buck, my 6-month-old Golden Retriever, and I head to Tourist Park for an off-the-leash walk, I’ve engaged with other energetic dog owners about how wonderful it is that a place is set aside in the city for our four-legged companions to socialize and play.

I’ve also been welcomed with open arms when trying things or exploring new areas for the first time. Before unloading my cross country skis from the car at Blueberry Ridge recently, I was greeted by a local offering advice and updates on trail conditions.

If you’re not already shredding the slopes at Marquette Mountain, dropping a line into Teal Lake or taking in the views from the top of Hog Back, I encourage you to get out and enjoy the great outdoors.

Not only is it a great way to engage and participate in the area’s culture, but it also will provide countless health benefits and opportunities to discover yourself and find new passions.

If you have any recommendations of what to try next, I’d love to hear from you. My email and phone number are listed below.

Editor’s note: Kelsie Thompson can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206.