All is Well

Greetings friends! My apologies for not writing yesterday, but I had a pretty busy day and just plum ran out of time. Plus, I figured with the storm going on, I would likely have more material to share today. I do have more material, but not as much as I had hoped for. I was planning to get out and do a little tour of the Keweenaw to show the differing conditions, but ended up struggling with one of my projects (more on that in a bit) and that took up much of my free time.

In any case, the storm is still going on across the Keweenaw. The snows have transitioned to pure lake effect. That transition came early in the day. It has been snowing non-stop since around mid-morning and the totals today here in Jake are around 3″. That is on top of the 4.5″ we had overnight. Jacobsville was robbed in the snowfall department yesterday and overnight. Winds were out of the east-southeast and we were just far enough south to not partake in the lake enhancement that much of the rest of the Keweenaw saw. I have scratched out a little map to help illustrate what I mean. The black line illustrates the main wind direction for the second half of yesterday and much of the overnight hours. The red dot is us here in Jake and the yellow line illustrates the path the winds took to get to us. As you can see, the air flowing across Jake spent very little time over the lake and did not pick up much moisture or heat, compared to areas just north of us, where the air had plenty of “fetch” over the lake to pick up moisture and heat. Thus, about 4 miles to the north of us saw around 8-10″ of fresh snow by this morning, compared to our 4.5. Other totals were in the 8-12″ range from around Houghton north, with some areas seeing 12″+. I saw an unofficial report of 18″ having fallen in Calumet by this morning.

I took Grace to figure skating practice at Tech yesterday afternoon and the whole time we were in the rink, it snowed heavily. It continued to snow heavily on the way home, all the way up to Lake Linden and then back south through Dreamland and to right around the Rabbit Bay Rd and then lightened up. There was around 4″ of new snow on the Jacobsville road to around the Rabbit Bay road and then by the time we got to our road, there was maybe an inch or so new! Needless to say I was more than bummed. I was really looking forward to this storm because it was to bring a fairly widespread accumulation of 8″ or more to all of the western UP, including us. That was the system snow part of the snow. I knew that LES would take over for today and tonight and we would see less, but would be happy with the 8″ of system snow. I knew when we got back from skating that we were not going to see that 8″ and really missed living in the big snow area near Mohawk.

As mentioned, it has been snowing all day today and at a respectable clip, so my spirits are better! But that 4 measly miles still eats at me! Poor Johnny! Haha!

We started the week with snow covering the ground and then Wednesday night we had some rain fall and that blasted most of our snowcover away. There was still a few inches on the ground in places like Calumet north to Copper Harbor, Quincy hill above Hancock and then down south of the bridge from around Atlantic Mine to Mass City at least. 

On Friday, Nora and I had to go to Marquette for an appointment I had and got to see the snowcover situation between here and there. The deepest snow was between Alberta and Michigame. We did not stop to measure, but I would have estimated it to be around 6″ deep there. Marquette proper had just a trace on the ground, but Negaunee and points west still had several inches.

So prior to this current storm hitting, I figured I had better get the blower mounted onto Big Red. For some reason, it is usually a bit of a process and I typically encounter a few challenges. Mounting the blower involves removing the loader arms and in the past that has given me a few issues, but I have made some good notes to go along with the instructions provided by the manufacturer and that has smoothed out the process. I have done the same thing with notes for mounting the blower but struggled yesterday to get things lined up properly. I was getting tired and figured I could do it today with a fresh mind and body.  I was able to get things aligned, but then the front of the blower mount assembly did not lift things high enough for me to align the mounting pin holes. I tried several things and ended up passing on it for today! We did not get enough snow that is was necessary to use the blower, infact, this was the perfect snow to pank down into a mat and provide the surface to use as the base for the season. As long as it does not melt! Tomorrow I have to go to town and plan to pick up a floor jack to “cheat it up the 1/2” it needs to go for me to pin the front mount. Hopefully the rest will go smoothly as I am getting too old to be trying to muscle these heavy things around!

Today was a snow day for all the schools in the region. So Grace and Nora got to sleep in, although Nora does not sleep in very well. They then went to some friends for the early afternoon and when they got home, Grace and I got ready to take the first ride of the season. A neighbor of ours has around 30 acres of open field and a few weeks back, I asked him if we could ride in the field to get Grace comfortable on the full sized sled we picked up for her this summer. He said, sure, have at it! So we got the sleds out and headed to the field. I had told him we would not use his main entrance, which as a cable across it when he is not there, but rather use a path that comes in at the opposite end of the property and basically connects to our property. So I fired up the sleds. My new ride looked really good in the newly fallen snow and I had that familiar feeling of excitement as I prepared to hop on it and go.

We wound our way through a tight and twisty trail to get to the entrance on the back end of the field, only to find it blocked with some cut logs. I used all my Keweenaw boondocker skills to try and find another way into the field, which was sitting around 50 feet from us! But I could not find any way that would not involve riding over some saplings, so we had to turn around and give up the field for today. I plan to go out and move a few of the logs to make enough room for us to scoot by and into the field and then when the season ends, I will put them back. 

So a bit of a bummer in the snowfall department and also in the fact that we could not get to the field today, but all in all, life is good. The snows have seemed to put the Keweenaw right where we should be as far as snow and how things should look this time of the year. Plenty of reasons to be grateful, including me being healthy enough to be out riding and with my best girl to boot!

Good Night from the Keweenaw..