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Notes From the Road: I'm a Wimp

Yesterday, before the Super Bowl, I sat in my sunny backyard. It was 80 degrees - another classic southern California day.

Now I'm heading to Gillette, Wyoming where, as I write this, the temperature is 16 degrees, but "feels like 4."

Commuters wait for a bus along Michigan Avenue February 1, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. A blizzard dumped more than 20 inches of snow overnight in Chicago, making the snowstorm the third largest recorded in the city's history.
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Commuters wait for a bus along Michigan Avenue February 1, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. A blizzard dumped more than 20 inches of snow overnight in Chicago, making the snowstorm the third largest recorded in the city's history.

Excellent.

I got into this business because I love going places, witnessing history, meeting people, learning new things. I have been blessed beyond all measure.

But this week I will be put to the test.

I haven't covered stories in this kind of cold since I was a cub reporter in New Mexico a hundred years ago. One night, covering a search for missing snowmobilers north of Santa Fe, temps dropped to ten below zero. I thought I was going to die. I didn't, and, fortunately, neither did the missing men.

I was 22 years old then.

I'm not 22 anymore.

People who live in the Great Plains and Midwest are made of tough stuff. I am not. So last week I helped the economy by spending an amount equivalent to a small mortgage buying layers and layers of clothing. The problem is that what's considered "cold weather gear" in California is probably different than what one really needs in Gillette.

So I bought twice as much.

The producer and cameraman traveling with me are also Californians, so we are already anticipating a week of disasters which will make for hilarious stories...later. My main goals: 1) survive without too much whining (too late), and 2) get on the air with good stories while not looking too much like the Michelin Tire Man.

Come on, man up, Jane! It's not like I'm in a war zone being attacked by a mob in Cairo or being dragged off by Egyptian authorities. Instead, I'll be in the land where the buffalo roamed, surrounded this week by ranchers and farmers who ply their trade no matter what the weather brings. They are the most hospitable people on earth, and my hope is they will take pity on a wimpy California girl.

They also claim to cook a mean steak, and I intend to make them prove it.

Maybe it'll toughen me up.

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