Thursday, January 1, 2009

Polar Bears are Crazy

Milwaukee has a long history of the Polar Bear Plunge. Apparently, 1916 was the first recorded year of people celebrating New Year's Day by swimming in Lake Michigan. We decided we had to see this for ourselves, so on New Year's Day we headed down to the beach (have you ever seen a frozen beach? I have!) to check it out:

See those big rocks out there? Those are chunks of ice. Can you see the dude in the red and black? He's the lifeguard. The funny thing was that the lake temperature was still about 10 degrees higher than the air temperature, but when you're talking about the difference between 27 degrees and 37 degrees, that's still cold. And you have to walk on the snow/ice just to get to the actual water!
Aaron models appropriate cold-weather gear. You can get a sense of the crowd behind him. Some people had erected tents and lit bonfires, but I wonder how long it really takes to warm up after something like that!