While the brutal cold is not everyone’s cup of tea, those who live and play in North Dakota say life here is addicting.
Just the thought of North Dakota, especially in the winter, brings a chill to one’s core. In a state defined by its vast outdoor landscape, residents remain in winter mode from October into the spring months embracing whatever Mother Nature sends their way. Sometimes that means minus 50-degree wind chills and minus 40-degree air temperatures.
“Those don’t hit very often, but when they do it's crippling,” said Colleen Graue, visitor service manager for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service based at White Horse Hill National Game Preserve.
For those who live in North Dakota, things like ice fishing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling are just what you do whether it is to pass the time, make a living, or for the practicality of getting somewhere.
Friluftsliv: A way of life
The toughest part of understanding what Friluftsliv is, is knowing how to pronounce it. The natives with Norwegian roots pronounce it FREE-LOOFTS-LIV.
It means to embrace the outdoors, regardless of the weather. And while North Dakota can reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer months, winter gets most of the attention since the season occupies much of the year.