Cabin fever cures range from skiing to fishing Life after shoveling offers many choices

January 13, 1996|By Eric Siegel | Eric Siegel,SUN STAFF Sun staff writers Donna Engle, Robert Erlandson and Tanya Jones contributed to this article.

One of these days will be the first day of the rest of your life.

One of these days, the snow will stop falling, your sidewalk will be all shoveled, your car will be dug out, even your street may be cleared.

If all of the above doesn't apply to you, today will at least be a start, with temperatures above freezing and no snow, sleet or freezing rain in the forecast.

So, what do you do to relieve the fever now that the door to the cabin is finally being unlocked?

Here are at least a few possibilities.

At one extreme, there's the advice of Laurie Schwartz, head of Baltimore's Downtown Partnership.

"I'd say go shopping downtown," said Ms. Schwartz, whose group promotes business in the city's central business district. "It's prettier than anywhere else in the metro area."

At the other, there are these words of wisdom from Baltimore County's Oregon Ridge Park.

"Come out and enjoy the best cross-country skiing conditions we've ever had," a recording at the park's Nature Center said.

If what you decide to do involves going inside, it's best to heed a variant of the advice offered by the Towson Commons movie theaters.

The multiplex in downtown Towson was closed yesterday but left a recorded message. "We do expect to resume normal operations [today]," the message said. "However, I would suggest that you call this recording after 11 a.m. If it has not been changed, the theater will remain closed."

After battling the elements for a solid week, you may be ready to finally revel in the glory and majesty of a series of storms the likes of which you might not see again.

Begin by taking in a view that's more majestic than you might have seen from your living room or the small circular openings carved out by your automobile windshield wipers: Take the elevator to the Top of the World on the 27th floor of the World Trade Center or climb the 228 steps to the top of the Washington Monument.

The latter has the added advantage of offering exercise to your body's lower extremities -- i.e., leg muscles -- which may have been neglected in favor of your arms and shoulders during last week's snow-shoveling marathon.

For a more active time, enthusiasts recommend cross-country skiing, hiking and snow-shoeing at such spots as Oregon Ridge and Loch Raven Reservoir in Baltimore County and the Bear Branch Nature Center and Piney Run Park in Carroll County.

"This is excellent weather and powder conditions for cross-country skiing," said Oregon Ridge, which hoped to have its parking lots cleared by noon today. "Some trails have already been broken. There are also some deep trails that can be experienced for the first time."

Even if you don't own the right equipment, it might not be too late to rent some.

"We've had a lot of people who rent cross-country skis, but we have some due back," said Adam French, a sales clerk at Hudson Trail Outfitters in Towson, which rents cross-country skis for $15 a day and sells snowshoes for $100 and more a pair.

Mayor Elmer C. Lippy of Manchester in Carroll County offered some sweet revenge: snow ice cream. His simple recipe, handed down from his mother: Mix fresh snow with vanilla, condensed milk and sugar to taste.

""It's delightful, really," he said.

Tired of the snow? Try the ice at the Inner Harbor Ice Rink, which was closed yesterday afternoon but was due to open last night and today.

To be sure, for some, the best thing will be to get as far away from the snow -- physically and mentally -- as possible.

Assuming Aruba is not an option, get dressed up in something besides a snowsuit and try for a table near one of three roaring fireplaces at Peerce's Plantation near Loch Raven Reservoir.

"We have special features on hot drinks -- hot apple cider, hot buttered rums and coffee drinks," said Sandy Kautz, the restaurant's office manager.

Or get out your bathing suit -- just pulling it out of your closet may prove to be therapeutic -- and head out to the Arundel Olympic Swim Center in Annapolis and dive off one of two springboards into the large swimming pool. Or, if you're not ready to take the plunge, visit a local tanning salon.

"The sun makes you feel better," said John Thompson, owner of Midtown Tan in the Mount Vernon section of Baltimore.

If you can't THINK SUMMER at the Chesapeake Bay Boat Show, which plans to open as schedule today at 11 a.m. at the Baltimore Convention Center, you may not be able to do it anywhere. The show features 420 boats, seminars on water skiing -- and virtual-reality fishing.

"It's like you're really hooking a fish," said Jim Ranieri, a spokesman for the show, which runs through Jan. 21.

Need to have the kids burn off some energy in ways that won't leave snow-laden clothes melting all over the kitchen floor? Try -- one of several indoor area Discovery Zones, with their obstacle courses and plastic ball bins.

"The kids can come drive us crazy," said Amy Johnson, general manager of the Discovery Zone at Golden Ring Mall.

And those of you who are still cooped up this weekend have not been totally forsaken.

Through tomorrow, Comcast Cable is offering subscribers in Baltimore, Harford and Howard counties free access to the Disney Channel, a premium offering that normally costs between $10 and $14 a month. Baltimore County subscribers can tune in on Channel 9, Harford County subscribers on Channel 57 and Howard County subscribers on Channel 68.

"We realized there's lots of parents who have kids in the house," said Kirstie Durr, a Comcast spokeswoman.

Amen.

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