You probably heard somewhere that we just went through a polar vortex. Previous to this week I had never heard the term polar vortex, but now that I have, I like it. I don’t like what it feels like, but I like the term and will use it for this blog. If you aren’t familiar with the term you can read more about them here-https://www.weather.gov/safety/cold-polar-vortex. Basically it is when the temperature that usually is around one of the poles (north pole for us) shifts and covers part of the planet it doesn’t usually cover. According to the aforementioned article, we’ve had a major polar vortex as recently as 2014. People still talk about the ones that occurred in 1985 and 1989. What it really means is that things get super cold. I saw on the news this week that the temperature in Minnesota this week was colder than the temperature in Antarctica. Yup, that cold. Hopefully you are reading this because you don’t live somewhere that was colder than Antarctica this week and are curious how cold it got here. Let me show you what we saw on our phones…

Just in case you didn’t notice all the arrows pointing to the temperature it was negative 60. Yikes! Some of you probably heard this was some kind of record or something. I saw some news stories that said this was a record. Well, sadly enough it actually wasn’t a record for us. Tower Minnesota, which is less than an hour from our resort, holds the record for the coldest temperature ever recorded in the state of Minnesota -63. And I believe that recorded temperature was without wind chill factored in. This negative 60 includes wind chill. Cold. Very cold.

Kasey and I were traveling and had to go through Chicago. When we got there on Tuesday night it was -53 and almost all the flights were canceled. We had our flight canceled and delayed several times and ended up having to rent a car and drive home because we decided we could get here faster than waiting for things to warm up. I asked a couple people working at the airport what was causing the flights to be canceled. They told me the fuel lines were freezing when a plane was being refilled! On the drive we had to have our heater on pretty high to stay warm and then later when we had to fuel up the pump was frozen! It was a rough drive…

Almost everything was closed in Northern Minnesota for 3 days. All schools were shuttered and most businesses tried to at least scale back so that people didn’t have to travel or risk going outside. Does that seem little over the top? Consider this, 10 people died with causes at least partially attributed to the polar vortex! The news said that severe frostbite could happen in only 5 minutes! The really bad cold only lasted two days. On day three when we were driving here is what our car dashboard showed…

Look at that, up to negative 40! So what do you do when the temps get this cold? Well we did have a couple of pipes freeze. One of them was to the lodge and so we had no water in our house for a couple of days. But we were able to thaw it. We had about 2 feet of pipe frozen that went through the ground under the well house. It took me about 36 hours of work to get it thawed. And then I had to thaw myself! Now we have the kitchen sink trickling water so that it doesn’t freeze again. Today we are up to 9 above zero. So things are looking much better. Schools were opened again today and we are planning on going out tonight to catch the local high school basketball game. They say tomorrow we will get up to 20 above zero. Might have to get out the summer clothes!