As it should be

Things are looking like January in the Keweenaw! A storm on Wednesday night and early Thursday brought anywhere from 8-12″ to the region and even shut down schools. It was not so much the falling snow as much as it was the blowing snow and the timing of the worst conditions (right at the time the buses would be picking up and transporting kids) that shut things down for the day. It was only the second snow day for the season up here and I think it gave a nice break for both teachers and kids. In the past, we have had as many as 4-6 snow days by this time of the season.

The second storm hit Friday night and continued through yesterday and is currently trying to wind down, but with the big lake still basically wide open, the flakes have been stubborn to stop. Totals with this second storm ranged from around 10-17″. We had the 10″ down here in the banana belt and the 17″ came in from Kearsarge, which is a stones throw from where we used to live.

It was nice to get all the fresh snow. Not that things were getting all that dingy, but I really like it when the trees are flocked and the snow on the ground is pristine.

I took Huck for a walk on Friday after the first storm and before the second one. He is still getting around very well and loves it when we go for walks, so I am trying to fit it into my schedule as much as possible. Even if it is just a short one. This one was a bit longer, about a mile or so, down to the old boat launch. It was so quiet and peaceful and the view before me magnificent, so I did my best to capture it in this panorama. The funny thing about that last shot is that if you did not know any better, you would think I took it on a corner of the road, but because the shot covers 180 degrees, it is actually the same road!

This next shot was taken Saturday late in the morning, just after I had cleared the snow off the driveway and was heading to the backyard to clear the rink. I have really been slacking on the front of house shot this season. It used to fit very nicely in with my schedule and now it is not in the way, but I just keep forgetting to take it! Anyway, consider that your front of house shot update!

Many of you probably noticed the fact that the banks of snow on the driveway were not very large. There are a number of reasons for that. First is that we just do not get as much snow as where we used to live. Probably only around 50% on average. Another big reason I have discovered is that the ground was still fairly warm and also very wet when we started to pile it up the day before Thanksgiving. The snow to fall on that warm and wet ground has insulated it and kept it from freezing much. In fact, if you were to go to a spot where the snow as undisturbed and dig down to the ground, you would likely find it still unfrozen. This has been melting the snowpack here. I discovered this when I did dig down to bare ground and also when I looked at the snow piled up on the picnic table in the backyard. That snow is undisturbed, but has also not had any melting done to it by the ground below. I did not take a direct measurement, but would estimate it to be around 38-40″ deep.

We had some friends come over on Saturday to visit and also to let the kids play together. It is the same families that have the girls that are Graces age and are all very good friends, parents and kids. I had gotten a fire going on Friday and burned most of the wood in the house, so Grace took it upon herself to go get another load so that we could have a fire after skating and get warmed up. 

The skating went pretty well. The rink was not yet to the point where I would have called it done, but was good enough for them to have some fun on for the afternoon. Then we all went inside to get warm and the girls had fun drinking hot chocolate by the fire while they played some games. Days like that are the fondest memories I have from my childhood and I am go grateful that I can provide her them like my parents provided for me.

The pups have been enjoying the new snow. As mentioned, Huck is still getting around very good and he and Bleau love to play with each other out in the snow. Bleau’s youth and long legs affords him a few steps on Huck, but he usually makes some turns and allows Huck to stay close and even catch him from time to time. Bleau also loves to fetch a tennis ball. Yesterday we started out with two and it did not take long for both of them to get lost in the fresh snow. He did manage to find them a few times they were buried, when he popped his head up out the snow the first time, I cracked up at all the snow sticking to his hair and got my camera ready for the next time so I could share it all with you.

Today was spent moving the few inches of snow that fell overnight and then I got to putting a few more floods on the rink. It is getting dangerously close to being done. Crazy to think I have been working on it for about a month and a half. Now that we are so close, I am glad that I did not throw in the towel a few weeks ago when things seemed to be at a standstill. I just finished putting a flood on it before coming over to write this entry. I snapped this shot to show you just how close it is. Hard to believe that just a week and a day ago, this is what it looked like.

Just one announcement this week. Next Saturday, the Keweenaw Snowmobile Club will be having it’s annual bonfire and cookout. There will be hot dogs, brats, chips, hot and cold drinks and some desert items. All are free and we are hoping if you are up this way, you will make it a point to stop by. The bonfire will held at the Trailside Lodge, right on the trail just north of Calumet. Things will get started at 11 am and run until 2 pm. Please stop by, it would be great to see you!

Good night from the Keweenaw..