All is calm, all is bright.

Perhaps a bit too calm and too bright for some. It’s only been 4 days since the snow stopped falling, but it seems like more. I guess that is what happens when you live in an area that typically sees snow 4-5 times a week all winter long.

We sure were on a frantic pace up until Wednesday of last week. Many areas up here had eclipsed the 100″ mark and talk amongst the locals was that this might be the year we break the 400″ mark. In fact, I was hearing some that are not all that fond of snow saying things like: “If it is going to snow like this all winter, we may as well make it worth it by breaking the 400″ mark”.

I think that feat is still possible, but snows better return pretty soon and come down at a decent clip. I have studied the record year of 78-79 quite a bit and in that year, it snowed pretty regularly from start to finish, including quite a few big storms. You are not going to get to the 400″ mark by having extended periods of snow-less weather. Only time will tell.

With the sun so low on the horizon, we have not had too much melting going on. More settling than anything. Temps have been warming above freezing the past 2 days, plus today. However, we are also dropping to below freezing at night, so that is helping things as well.

As far as conditions go, the fluffy powder we had up until the middle of this week has turned to a wet, mashed potato snow, but the up side is that this will provide an awesome base for the rest of the winter. So in a way, this is really more of a blessing than a curse. I have not been out on my sled yet, the status of my riding season thus far is a parked snowmobile underneath an apple tree. I am pretty much done with all of my catching up work and can now focus on working on the shop, so hopefully in a week or so the space where the sled will live will be cleared out.

I did see some snowmobilers coming down the trails yesterday and it was dark out. The headlights were not bouncing around at all and that told me the trail was still nice and flat. I know our grooming operators were very busy this past week, packing in the snow as much as they could while temps were cold and it looks to have paid off. The forecast sees high temps to top out around 33-35 through Christmas and then some cooling and a chance for snow by Fri-Sat. Beyond that it looks cold, with a fair amount of lake effect.

There was not a whole lot of activity that went on to speak of. Earlier in the week we visited some friends that live up the road from us and on the way back, we spotted some lights out in the Big Lake. As we rounded the corner and got a better view of the lake, we were able to confirm our suspicions that it was a lakes freighter, taking shelter from the NW winds that were blowing pretty hard. Once home, I checked the web and it was the James Barker, on her way to Superior to likely pick up a load of ore.

The progress on the ice rink ground to a halt this week. Earlier in the week, the snows were just too regular and I did not want to play that game of moving snow and then trying to flood. Plus my mind and body were telling me they needed a break. Then the second half of the week the temps were not really optimal for freezing things up. So the rink sits in the same state it was last week at this time. Looks like it will stay that way for a while longer. No worries, we have lots of winter left!

Yesterday we all took a walk around midday. It was the day of the winter solstice, so the sun is at it’s lowest angle in the sky for the entire year. This far north, that means pretty low. Nora snapped this shot of the midday sun shining low on the horizon. The amount of sunlight will be increasing now, which is good by me.

I hope everyone’s Christmas is a joyous one!

Good Night from the Keweenaw..