How sweet it is

It was a good week for snow. Since I last wrote, we have picked up 30″ of new snow. After about a 2 week lull where we did not pick up much, things suddenly got quite active. The lake played a minor role, as it is still putting out some lake effect snow, but most of that 30’s was due to system snow. To go along with the snow, temps have been very pleasant as well. Highs have been running in the 20’s and low 30’s, which has made it very nice to be out and about.

Needless to say, there has been quite a bit of work that has come as a result of that snow, but I can admit that it felt really good to be back in Big Red and clearing snow. The fix made to the sheer bolts in the augers has held up very well and I have not had to replace any of those since getting the machine back over a month ago. It has also been nice to see the trees all flocked with snow again. Although we have had wind gusts to 54 mph today, so not much flocking left!

It is getting fun again to tool around and see all the snow on everything. The snow banks on the sides of the roads are huge and with the shallow pitch of the roof on one side of the woodshed, it has not cleared on its own, nor has it been cleared manually. So there is a seasons worth of snow on it right now. Not sure if I should get up there and clear it or not. The rafters are 2 x 12 and only span around 8-10 feet and are not sagging at all, but I still worry about putting all my weight in one spot and adding it to the weight already being put on it by all that snow. We do look to have some warm days this week, perhaps even 40 degrees tomorrow, so I guess I will see if that warm weather gets it moving at all. If not, then I suppose I can always shovel off an area while still on the ladder before actually putting any of my weight on the roof.

The moving of snow with Big Red has been wonderful, although even that is starting to be impacted by how much snow we have picked up. At the ice rink, the snow is now piled up around 2-3 feet taller than the boards and when I am clearing the snow right next to the boards, I have to aim more forward than straight off the rink to allow the snow to get enough height to clear the pile on the boards. I can also add that the snow is that deep for around 20-25 feet away from the rink and not just piled up next to the boards. One could just mist it down and create their own upper boards if they wanted to!

The same is happening in the parking area of our driveway. The snow there is do deep that it has almost buried the swing set. It’s funny, at the start of the season, I try and pile the snow up enough in one spot that I have a ramp to drive my sled into the back of my pick-up. Now, I have to keep from putting snow in an area so that the banks are low enough to allow me to load the sled! The pups are being quite challenged in getting up and over the banks. There are a few spots still low enough that they can jump up and get off the driveway to do their exploring and other things, but I think since getting Big Red, these are the biggest snow banks we have had on our driveway. I wonder how long it will take to melt all of that!

I did get out to play in the snow this week. It had to wait until Saturday, but I traveled south a bit and met up with friends in the Twin Lakes area and headed out late morning on Saturday. It probably could not have been a better day for riding, with cobalt blue skies and temps rising into the low 30’s. It was so nice to be able to stop and chat without having to remain all bundled up. We all got to just sit there and soak in the rays. I know it is not March just yet, but given good snow conditions, March is probably my favorite month to ride in.

There is a ton of snow down that way too and all areas we rode were covered with the 7-8″ of snow they got early Friday morning and some had not been touched in longer that that and had about 14-18″ of fresh powder on them. It was just a perfect day to be out playing in the fresh snow and enjoying the abundant sunshine. We stayed mostly in the woods and visited some of their favorite “honey holes”, playing on the hills and using the trees as a slalom course. Some of them even took to the air to have some fun yesterday. Not me! My jumping career ended around 17 years ago with the broken femur.

As the day was ending, the clouds started to flow in, a sign the next storm was getting ready to hit and also cooling things down a bit. We finished up the ride, grabbed a relaxing bite to eat and then I headed home to Nora, Grace and the pups. I’m not really sure which is more enjoyable for me, riding with friends on a beautiful day like we had yesterday, or coming back home to be with my family, sore muscles and all. In all honestly, I think the two complement each other extremely well and neither would probably be as enjoyable without the other. In any case, it was really nice to settle into the “snow chair” and hang out with the family in the living room, feeling my muscles get more and more stiff/sore and just enjoying the wonderful life I have. I know I would not trade it for anyone’s, that is for sure!

The week ahead looks to be a little quieter as far as snow goes. That will be fine with me too. Lots of snow to play in and with the warmer temps, it will be just like spring. Who know’s, maybe it will be the start of our spring.

A reminder that you all have around 10 more days to get your tickets to try and win the Sauna being raffled off by the Keweenaw Snowmobile Club. Sales have been good, but still more tickets available. Also, next weekend will be the weekend for the CopperDog 150 dog sled race up here. If you have not been able to see it yet, I HIGHLY recommend you coming up for it. It really does not impede your ability to ride our trails at all. You can actually ride the same trails the race is using at the same time, although they only use sections for a couple of hours at a time and it is also easy to get around without having to ride the same trails.

I guess that covers it for this one. Have a great week everyone and talk to you next month!
Good night from the Keweenaw..