The countdown is at 4 days and 8 hours (as I type anyway) to get your snowmobiling in for most trails in the state of MI for the 2022-23 season. I had my one and done for this season and am looking forward to the green grass of summer. I know there are some hard-core riders that will go for a while longer yet. There are some trails in MI that are dual-use, meaning they never close to snowmobiles, even if there is no snow on the ground! There are also some private and public tracts of land that can be used to ride on until the snow is gone, but I am not going to be getting into them here and please do not inquire, as those situations can change and thus I am not 100 percent positive of any place other than the dual use trails.
We still have plenty of snow on the ground up here in the Keweenaw to get you through the rest of this week and likely beyond in some spots. It’s old news, but we had an official St Patrick’s day storm this year. Here in Jake it was not too bad. We picked up a total of around 12″, but there was a lot of wind. The rest of the Keweenaw saw around 18-20″ of snow, with the same wind. Schools were closed the day before, only the third snow day all season. This is a shot of our driveway with the vehicles pulled out Saturday morning so I could clear it. Here is a shot looking west down the road we live on. It snowed at varying intensities through mid-afternoon on Saturday and then shut down.
Nora’s dad had passed away late in the St Patrick’s day week, so she drove down to lower MI with a friend of hers who was also going to lower MI for a speaking engagement. That had Grace and I holding down the fort for the entire week, which was quite easy now that Grace is almost 14 and a great kid! The only “challenge” for me was taking her to school in the morning, as they usually leave about 45 minutes to an hour before I get up. I also was in charge of taking G to her skating practices, which also were not too bad, as they were on Sunday and Wednesday.
Saturday afternoon, after the snow calmed down, Grace and I took a drive up to Eagle Harbor and had a great dinner there. On the way home, we took the “long way home” via the shoreline drive on M-26. The storms strong west winds were still blowing and we wanted to see how angry the lake was. She was rocking and a rolling, and without any shore ice, the wave were able to make it all the way to shore to expend their energy and die, rather than do it well off shore as it more typical this time of the year. There were still plenty of clouds in the sky and with the sun hanging low at that time of the evening, it cast a really cool light on the many different elements of the shoreline. One really does not have to look too hard up here to be reminded of just how beautiful a place we live in.
We had another snow event on Wednesday morning. It had just begun when Grace and I got into the truck to head to Calumet to drop her off at school. However, it really snowed quite hard and in the 30 or so minutes it took us to get to Calumet, there was a fresh 3 inches that had fallen. It snowed about another inch and then stopped and by the end of the day, most of the new stuff was gone and a cold rain was falling.
The rains quit falling sometime during the night on Wednesday and skies were fairly clear for most of Thursday, including Thursday night, which was a blessing, as a fairly strong aurora event took place Thursday night. You would think that because I have lived here for 24 years, I would have seen quite a few Northern Light events, but because of the hours I kept when I was working, I missed just about every one as I was sleeping! There was a big one that was finishing up back in 2003 that I saw as I was starting work. Nora and I were living in Lake Linden and drove out to a dark field to watch them dance for around 45 minutes and then I had to get to work.
The past Thursday’s event was pretty well advertised by the space weather folks, so I purposely stayed up later than usual to see if I could catch the start of them. At about 9:30 it had become dark enough to see them if they were visible. There was a faint glow on the northern horizon, but there was just enough light pollution from the barndeeminimum to make me question if they were actually visible without any light pollution. So I drove to the White City boat launch and was treated to this sight! The actually did not stay that way for too much longer after I arrived and in ten minutes that vivid look was replaced with something that looked more like thin clouds being illuminated. What made up for the lack of intensity was the fact that they stretched from the eastern horizon, to directly overhead and then to the western horizon. So they were a huge ark across the entire sky. I waited a bit to see if the more vivid version would return, but by around 10:30 they had not, so I decided to head back home and leave the wolves and coyotes to howl at the night sky.
Nora returned late on Friday night and Grace and I were both very happy to have her home. Ironically, Nora and I were both exhausted from our week and got into a little tiff on the way home from picking her up, but we’ve never had a “disagreement” that has lasted too long and by Saturday we were back to being best of friends. I’m so thankful for the fact that we can drop the gloves, but soon afterwards we are back to being a couple of newlyweds!
Saturday Grace’s ice skating club had their spring show. There was an early morning practice that I took her to and then the show at 7pm. Nora took a bunch of great shots and I would like to share a few of them with you. She was in three numbers. The first was the all-club skate and the next two were with two of her best friends from skating. She has gotten quite good for the time she has been involved with figure skating and we are all excited to see her develop her skills and are also all looking forward to her future performances. The one thing that Nora, I and all the others that knew her and were they watching commented on was her personality while performing. She is always smiling and looks to be having loads of fun, which she says is the case. She also is very good at remembering and executing the smaller details to the performance. It makes me a proud dad to watch her skate and some of the other skaters taking their cues from her.
At the end of the show, they do a call-out for all the skaters and have them line up in front of the audience. Here is a shot of her with her two skating besties and here is a shot of the entire group. It was a great show and included a guest skater from Maple Grove MN and also the clubs from Tech and L’Anse/Baraga.
In house construction news, things are coming along. A bit slower at the moment, but still progressing. The 2 man crew that is doing the drywall finishing is almost done. They told me that they will be done either Wednesday or for sure Thursday of this week. Then the contractors will get onto priming all of the drywall and if we can get them some paint colors, they will paint too. I am letting Nora handle the paint colors, as she is WAY better at it than me. She is kind enough to run her ideas through me, but the truth is, I would trust her even if she didn’t!
The contractors have been working on the exterior siding and are almost done. About all that is left to do is what you can see in this picture. Both Nora and I are looking forward to when the remnants of the old home are totally gone. I am pretty anxious to have a nice lawn too. I am thinking of using sod, rather than seed. I just am not sure we want to stomach the price tag of sod. If anyone has suggestion for getting the best lawn without sod, I am all ears. The problem with seed is that we really cannot put it down until the very end of May or early June because of the soil temps. So that means that we would probably not have a fully developed yard until the middle to end of August. I’m not sure I want to deal with that!!!
I guess that covers it for this one. I will not be writing next Sunday as Nora and Grace’s spring break starts at the end of the school day this Friday. So who knows, maybe the next time I write, all of our snow will be gone. Not the Keweenaws, just here in the banana belt of Jacobsville.
Have a great two weeks and easter!
Good Night from the Keweenaw..