Jacobsville is mostly a summer community. There are a few that live here year round, but the vast majority of residences up here are not set up for cold weather living. The date at which folks head somewhere else for the winter varies. Of course with the virus, this season has been different than others. Some folks arrived early, while others later than usual. Same thing with departing. Some left early, while others hung on. I believe we are now at our typical winter population. Not everybody announces when they are leaving for the winter, but there is an easy to tell if they have left for good and are not just out of town for a few days. The mailboxes disappear. They are not stolen, but taken in. Even though Jake is one of the banana belts of the Keweenaw, we still get enough snow that when the plows run, you stand a chance of the mailbox becoming a victim of the wave of snow off the plow’s blade. The full timers have their mailboxes rigged in a way that they will withstand the snowplowing. Plus, the plow drivers are nice enough to slow down and create a less destructive surge of snow when going by the year round residences. We have only lived here a year, but do know which folks live here through the winter and I believe the final two mailboxes disappeared this past week.
So Jake is now in full winter mode. Quiet as it gets, except for the occasional gun shot. Deer season is in full swing and one of our neighbors harvested an 8 point buck on Monday. It was a big buck with a smallish rack for having 4 points on each side. I had told he and his son that if they were able to get something, I would come over with the tractor to lift it up and carry it out of the woods to where they were going to gut it. I got the text Monday morning, so I fired up Big Red, only to find out that the right front tire was flat again. It went flat a few weeks ago and I took it to one of the tire shops to get it fixed, but it looks like the hole was not fully plugged. I still went out there and we loaded the buck into the back of my truck and hauled it out of the woods. He and his wife were two of the final “snowbirds” to leave, just doing so yesterday.
Not much else happened this week. We did get new windows put into the house and I continued to chip away at things in the shop. We are still waiting for winter to show up. It was a very quiet week. Not warm, but little to no rain or snow fell. The Keweenaw got snow last Sunday and we saw flakes, but did not get any accumulation. The higher terrain picked up anywhere from 1-3″ with the snows. The cool temps and low November sun angle kept most of the snows from melting for most of the week.
On Thursday I had to take a trip into Houghton/Hancock and as I approached the twin cities, I could see that there was still snow up in the higher elevations there, but down at “canal level”, the ground was bare. The most dramatic view of this was at Mt Ripley, the ski hill owned by MI Tech. It was pretty cool to see, it reminded me of the Rocky Mountains in the autumn, where the mountain peaks are all covered in snow and the valleys are bare. I went past the hill yesterday and all the natural snow was gone, but they began to make snow and there are large patches on the hill where the snow guns have covered things in white.
On my drive home Thursday, I decided to take the long way and go on the upper highway to Calumet and then drop down through Lake Linden and onto Jake. As I drove down the upper highway between Hancock and Calumet, the scene out my windows was one that was more winter looking than autumn, with snow covering everything and even some snow in the ditch from the plows. 15 minutes later I was headed down Jacobsville Road and the view outside my windows there was most definitely autumn. It was like being in two seasons in 20 minutes.
So I bet many of you are wondering if I see winter arriving for the Keweenaw anytime soon. Well, the answer is not this week, but there are ideas that by late next weekend and/or early next week, we could get some lake effect snows and areas of WI could see some system snow. Not a major snow event, but perhaps enough lake effect to make for some early snow play. All of that is a long way off and confidence is not real high yet, but it would be nice to see the snow start to pile up around here.
My only other topic I want to share involves helping out one of the local volunteer fire departments. The Ahmeek fire department has been chosen as one of the recipients of the “Giving Tuesday” that the Portage Health Foundation does the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. The Portage Health Foundation is a non-profit organization that raises money to help out varies causes in the Keweenaw and surrounding communities. The way the Giving Tuesday works is they will match donations made to the organizations that were chosen for that year. Here is a pdf file that explains more about how it works, but what is important for many of you to know is that they will be the guys and gals that show up in the middle of the woods at any time of the day/night to rescue you and transport you out of the woods should you experience some kind of misfortune on the trails in Keweenaw. So the butt you save with your donation might be your own!
I guess that about covers it for this week. Hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just 4 days away and the next time I write we will be T-2 days away from the snowmobile season opener. Do you Heikki Lunta snow dance everyone!
Good Night from the Keweenaw..