I’m not sure if it is as prevalent in the southern parts of the state, but here in the north, March seems to mean a mandatory trip many miles south, where the sun is shining and there’s no snow. I’ve never lived in a place where so many people feel the need to flee from home for a brief reprieve from the snow and cold weather.
After a winter like this one, it’s certainly normal to experience some cabin fever, but school teachers start talking about spring break during their Christmas vacation. Retirees start bailing out right after Christmas, leaving their driveways for someone else to clear. For college students, a drive to Florida for spring break has long been a rite of passage. And even those lucky enough to make it to Florida envied their friends who could afford a flight to Mexico.
Why would someone prefer sitting on the beach instead of heading out on ice that’s still two feet thick and pounding a hole in it with the hope of finding at least enough fish for lunch? I love ice fishing in March when the sun is gaining enough strength to make a propane heater unnecessary to warm your hands or the inside of your ice shack. I’ve also had a lot of fun following around friends who look forward to trapping beavers every year in the late winter and early spring. Getting a last crack at rabbits, maybe even without having to use snowshoes to chase them, is another preferred spring break activity for me.
Believe me, I love the beach, warm temperatures and open water as much as anyone else, but given a choice of a week of early equinox in a warm place, or a warm place at the end of spending time outside in a place where it’s cold, I prefer the latter. I’ll take the northern spring break – a prolonged spring season that features last chances for ice fishing and rabbit hunting, and maybe even tagging along with a beaver trapper – every time.