Since moving back to Minnesota, after many years on the east coast, I have found the cold weather to be invigorating! Some call me crazy, but it's true. Ask me again at the end of February, and I'll probably tell you I can't wait for it to warm up. However, I have decided that since we are now in Minnesota, it's better to embrace the snow and colder weather, and make the best of all the opportunities that those who live in warmer climates don't have! Here are a few things I want to try. If not this winter, then for sure the next.

1. Cross Country Skiing.  Minnesota is loaded with great places to ski, including several in the St. Cloud area. I can downhill ski, but I've only been cross country once in my life. It's a great work out. And at night on a lit trail, it's almost magical. Here's a great site to find out all the info you need about trails in Minnesota: http://skinnyski.com/trails/reports.asp

2. Ice Skating. The last time I laced up a pair of skates was too long ago to remember. And no, it's not like riding a bike. But I'm willing to give it a shot.

3. Sledding. We used to pull a saucer behind the snowmobile when I was a kid. Does that count? I think I need to find a big hill and a great sled, and do it the old-fashioned way.

4. Skijoring. If you are not familiar with the sport of skijoring, it might best be described as a winter sport that is a combination of cross-country skiing and dogsledding. You love it, the dogs love it, it's a win-win! The word "skijoring" comes from the Norwegian word (skikjøring)that means "ski driving". It is done by a person on skis being pulled by a dog, or in some cases, a horse or motorized vehicle.

5. Snowmobiling. Some of my favorite memories as a teen include snowmobiling with friends. It's been years since I've been on a snowmobile, but there's no time like the present! I think back then we rode mainly in the fields and ditches and on the Buffalo River, but there are numerous trails throughout Minnesota. You can find a list here. http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/snowmobiling/maps.html

6. Snow/Ice Sailing. This one is really at the top of my list, but I thought I should tackle a few easier activities before I try it. The World Championship Of Ice and Snow Sailing takes place in February this year in Michigan. Not sure I'll be ready for that, but everyone should have some lofty goals to work toward! http://www.wissa2012.com/#