Back in the Zone!

After over 2 weeks of not picking up more than an inch or so of snow in any 24 hour period, we finally broke out of our snow slump. Not in grand fashion, but it looks and feels so good to see it snowing again! We did not lose much during the past 2 weeks, but even when the Houghton/Hancock area picked up 4-6″ last Monday, us up north only picked up around an inch or two. We got back into the snow yesterday morning. Pretty casually at the start and it kept up casually for most of the day. Then overnight it picked up, I am not sure of what time, but I do know I heard the familiar sound of the plow going down our street early this morning and I knew we had picked up at least 2″. Typically the will not worry about plowing if we get around an inch or so during the weekend.

By the time I had rolled out of bed, we had picked up around 2 1/2″ of new snow. It was pretty fluffy, but was still wonderful to see. It has since kept snowing at varying rates all day and we have picked up around another 4″ for the day so far. So 6 1/2″ since yesterday at this time and it is still snowing. It is the big beautiful snowflakes that are also very light. Classic lake effect. Not great for building a base, but great in every other way and we already had a decent base. So things will be freshening up and it looks like more snow pretty much every day this week into next weekend, easily double digit accumulations, perhaps we will be measuring it by the foot by the end of the week and weekend, with nice westerly winds. Putting nice fluffy snow on top of the 2-3 foot base we had already will make for some awesome snow play by the second half of the week.

Speaking of snow play, the Keweenaw Snowmobile Club is having our first annual trail side bonfire and cookout. It will be happening this Saturday from 11 am until 3 pm at the Trailside Lodge just north of Calumet. The trail goes right by where we will all be, so no need to worry about figuring out how to get there. We will also have some banners setup on the trail to let folks know exactly where it is. We will have hot dogs, brats, chips, cookies, pop, coffee, hot chocolate and hot apple cider. I will be there the entire time, as will many of our club members. It seems to be getting a lot of press on social media, so it sounds like it may be quite the social event! I sure hope that if you are up here riding next weekend, you will make it a point to stop in and visit. I might even see if I can get a temporary webcam setup for the event!

The list is obviously quite long when it comes to things that made me joyful with the new snow, but among them was to finally be able to get out and move snow! Big Red came back from its second visit to the repair shop on the 19th, but I did not have any real opportunity to move snow since it has been back. I did head out last Friday afternoon to try and scrape some of the mat down on both our driveway and the neighbors, but with limited success. Even though the air temp was 43, the air was pretty dry and the snow had not softened up much.

Today was a different story. I headed out late in the morning to clear the 3-4″ that had fallen new and while clearing, it was coming down pretty good most of the time. That shot was taken after clearing the neighbors driveway and before I headed over to the ice rink. It cracks me up, I think I have figured out how to keep lake effect snow showers going…just clear snow off the rink! It seems like every time I go there, either it is dumping snow while I clear, or it comes down pretty good just after I finish! Today it was coming down pretty good as I got started clearing and we probably picked up a quick inch in the 30-40 minutes I was there. It did let up a bit not long after I finished, which was good, as there was open skate.

Nora, Grace and I decided to take advantage of the freshly cleared rink and “mild” temps in the mid-teens to go and do some skating. Gracie started figure skating classes this autumn and has really come a long way. She can now really get around great and we all had fun playing “tag”. I am still breaking in my new skates, but they are coming along and I think I only need about another 3-4 hours in them before they will stop with their pressure points and allow me to be out as long as I want. Nora is skating great too and it is so much fun to have the whole family together, having fun and getting some fresh air/exercise.

We did get a bit of that yesterday as well. Grace wanted to go outside and play, so Nora and I joined her. Between the lack of new snow and the tiny bit of warm weather we had, our driveway had become very icy. Not so much that the vehicles could not get down it, but awesome for a bobsled or luge run! Gracie initially was trying to slide down some of the piles of snow created by the snow that had slid off the roof, but when I took a look at our driveway and the layer of ice on it, I thought the gentle slope might be enough to make for a fun run on a sled. It took a while to get the push-off and other techniques just right, but she did manage to get some good runs in and here is a video Nora took of one of them.

I also broke out the drone this week and did some attempted flying and some successful flying. I really need to fly that thing more! It is a bit more challenging in the winter, as the cold makes it harder to do all the things needed to fly it, but not impossible. I have been flying it so infrequently, that I really should refresh my knowledge in all the steps that need to be done to properly prepare the drone for flight. But like most males, I forgo the instructions and just get it out and fly it. My first flight was short lived, as it was not in the flight mode where GPS is utilized to keep the position stable. For the life of me, I really do not understand why anyone would NOT want to have the help of the GPS navigation. It does not seem to cause any loss of maneuverability and is quite helpful in keeping the drone steady when not telling it to fly around. Anyway, the switch was off and this was the result. The only damage done was to two propellers. All the rest of the drone was fine. My nerves were a little rattled, but not too bad once I realized the only damage was to the propellers. I did wait a day and then re-grouped, did not read the instructions, but took it for another flight. This time the flight was successful, with no crashes, but was a little unnerving as the wind was blowing and the crash from the day before was still fresh in my mind. The only issue with this flight was that I had the exposure setting for the camera on manual and not automatic, so the video is a bit dark, but at least you can see what the hood looks like in the winter from a few hundred feet up.

So, not much else to talk about for this time. The snows have returned to the Keweenaw and it is looking pretty good for quite a bit more in the next 10 days or longer. The only other picture I have to share with you is the reason why the image from the Woods Cam was not looking so hot. There was a big slab of snow that was hanging from the roof and blocking part of the camera’s view. I went out there today and cleared it back that it is no longer in the way and the view from the Woods Cam is good again!

Until next time…
Good Night from the Keweenaw..