Tracking PixelDo you live for winter? Or do you hate it so much you consider yourself to have chionophobia, a fear of snow? If you live somewhere that doesn’t receive snow, it is probably difficult to understand why people choose to live in areas that experience epic blizzards and painfully freezing temps. For those of us that choose to live in snowy states, we wear our cold weather tolerance like a badge of honor. We have to be creative and resilient when it comes to surviving the winter months without losing our minds. Hiding inside until the snow melts isn’t an option. We would end up spending the better part of the year in the house.

The weather cycles represent the cycles of life. Brilliant sunny summer is the peak of life and activity before cool fall arrives and reminds us there is work to be done. When the winter blows in, we reflect upon the year and what we hope for in the start of a new beginning. Spring sprouts, and we are restored with new growth. The seasons move with us and connect us with the natural order of life. When the snow starts falling, it is just another season, just another cycle, and we face it with an air of pride. We get out the boots and mittens and dig deep to find what we love about the brutal winds and harsh snowfalls just like you have to do in life sometimes.     

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bear Creek Country Kitchens®.

Above all, my favorite thing about winter is how good hot food tastes after a day in the cold. There is something about those chilly days that makes hot, hearty foods so comforting, and nothing hits the spot like meat and potatoes. We are a state of farmers and hunters, fishermen and culinary artisans. There is a lot of pride in what our state has to offer and even more in the food we prepare for our families. It becomes especially important in the long winters when the days are short, and we strive to make the most of it. When we crave a delicious steak, we have even been known to take on the elements and grill while we stand in a foot of snow.

Now, I know what you are thinking, why is the grill sitting on the back porch in December? The same reason the Christmas lights are up until February. By the time we decide to put it away, it is way too cold to do any real work outside. (We can be a little lazy in the winter.) To accompany a great steak, a delicious potato soup is always the perfect choice. Bear Creek® Soup mixes are full of flavor and easy to make whether you are indoors or out. All you need to do to prepare it is boil water then combine it with the soup mix, all in 20 minutes. It will feed your family and make even the coldest afternoons cozy. Serve it as an accompaniment for salad, sandwiches, or alongside a juicy steak. We cook Bear Creek Soups right on the grill (although you don’t have to – any method to boil water works just fine!) and take it along with us on our winter adventures. A little snow is good for the soul…and a delicious soup makes all that snow just a little more tolerable.   

Also read:  22 Ways to Rock Winter in Jackson Hole on a Budget

Winter has a way of making us feel lazy and stir crazy, but when you get out in the middle of its peaceful, frosty clutches, it is exhilarating. Over a million billion cubic feet (yes, that is a real number) of snow falls each year across the planet! It is incredible to think about all those snowflakes peacefully glistening across the landscape. That nip in the air will get your heart pumping and help burn some of the extra pounds that have taken up residence with the holidays. It can be unexpectedly soothing to stand in the woods on a winter afternoon looking out over the quiet, untouched landscape, and it is part of why I enjoy winter in northern Michigan where the snow can be aggressive and relentless.

Michigan has embraced its snowy mother and turned nasty weather into an industry of tourism. Miles and miles of snowmobile trails snake through the otherwise deserted forestry, and in the winter months you can’t leave the house without seeing a trail of snowmobilers zipping along the roadside. Some days it is the only way you can get into town. When it gets cold enough, the straits of Mackinac, the water way in between the upper and lower peninsula, freezes over creating what is known as the “ice bridge”. People snowmobile across this 5 mile natural wonder. However, it is our ski hills that attract people from all over and resorts pockmark the tip of the mitten offering out-of-towners an outdoors-y adventure getaway with a cozy lodge for those that can’t take the cold for long. If zipping down hills at high speeds isn’t your thing, there are 11,000 inland lakes which provide an incredible amount of ice skating. But this is just a glimpse into our winter world. If it is physically possible, someone is out there doing it. We ice fish, hunt, snowshoe, explore ice caves, hike, sled, cross country ski, and face the winter like its a personal challenge.

Even with all there is to do…it isn’t always fun and games. Growing up in a cold weather state makes you a little tougher. For those of us that had to shovel the driveway on a snow day instead of sleeping in and help push Mom’s car out of the ditch or be the spotter when Dad went to the roof to clean off the cable dish, we have certainly thought of moving south. We have to get up earlier in the winter to hustle outside to scrape, defrost, and warm up our cars before starting the morning commute which is usually filled with people we accuse of not knowing how to drive in the snow. Every one of us knows the embarrassing pain of slipping and falling on a patch of black ice, usually on a crowded sidewalk or a parking lot with too many witnesses. All that time spent in sub zero temperatures makes us more tolerant to the cold and a little more resilient. We have to be more creative to entertain ourselves when a foot of snow waits outside the back door, and it makes us that much more adventurous as we take on the chilly temps to fill the long winter months.

You learn basic skills rather quickly or at least you remember them vividly when your frustrated father is shouting while you hold the flashlight. We know how to light the pilot light when it goes out, long before we know how to drive a car, being able to start a fire becomes a necessity especially when the power goes out during a blizzard. When we leave the house, we have a bag of cat litter tucked away in the car in case we get stuck, and many of us have experienced one of those mornings, yelling at the steering wheel, when it is so cold the car won’t start. What might sound inconvenient to others has made us irrepressible, able bodied, humbled, and quick thinking. It makes us appreciate the few months of summer sunshine and learn to enjoy even the coldest months. You have to take the good with the bad, and a lifetime of winters has taught me more than a lifetime of sunshine ever could.  

Bear Creek is now offering a Great Bear Creek Getaway for one lucky winner and three guests. This amazing getaway includes –

  • Four roundtrip flights
  • 7 night stay at the River Stone Resort and Bear Paw Suites along Fall River in Estes Park near the Rocky Mountains
  • $1,500 in spending cash!
  • A prize basket

This $10,000 grand prize will let you get away from the chaos of the daily routine and embrace the beauty of the great outdoors. The sweepstakes is running from January 10th to March 31st. Don’t miss your chance to win.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bear Creek Country Kitchens®.

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