How to avoid cabin fever in the North Country


Many dark, cold, towns and cities in the North hold winter carnival to ward off the cabin fever.  Saranac Lake has one of the best in the country and we went yesterday to see the Ice Palace.  I think last year’s ice was a melt (or wash) but this year we’ve had a month of frigid temperatures.  The theme was Celtic, which seems to be interpreted as Viking, pre-St. Patrick.  There were lots of horned caps and leprechauns with a little Mickey and Minny thrown in. Saranac Lake is often one of the coldest places in the country.  Yesterday was a balmy 10 degrees and yet there were kids in t-shirts without gloves.  I was bundled from head to toe in —wool of course.  And stayed toasty throughout the day.

My favorite events are the Paul Smith’s School of Forestry Woodsmen competitions.  Not for the feint of heart as axes are swung between the legs in a race to split a large log.  Then off to boil a pot of water.  In previous years, fire was started with stick and twine but this year they resorted to matches?  Still, they had to split the kindling, make the stove, get the fire started and boil a can of water.

These highlights and a bit of the parade are in this Youtube video.  It includes the woodsmen competitions, a great drumming corps, the Canoedolers, Paul Smith’s bucket percussion group and the dragon.


When the lakes freeze over and are solid ice, what to do? Make an Ice palace of course.  This is the best I have seen, with carved dragons, seats, castle turrets and even a maze.  Fun for all.

Ice palace wide


The best part of the parade is the Lawn Chair Ladies who beat out a beat with the clack of lawn chairs.  They are at the end of this video.

We capped off the day with a short cross country ski to Moose pond and then a skate around Mirror Lake.  A fun time was had by all.  Only a few brass players were found stuck to their horns at the end of the day.

Tim on Moose Pond



2 thoughts on “How to avoid cabin fever in the North Country

  1. Pingback: Fun in the sun | Island and North Country Life

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