Hello again friends! Welcome to this last weeks recap of life in the Keweenaw. When I last wrote, the big storm was winding down and I was more than a little disappointed in the results for Jacobsville. However, it did get over Mother Natures snub of our neighborhood in the snow department. We did pick up several inches on Wednesday and again late Friday night and early Saturday. All told, we picked up around 17 1/2″ since last Sunday afternoon. Our snow depth as of yesterday evening was around 8″, but it has since settled and even melted a bit and is sitting around 6″ or so.
In addition to the snows, temps got quite chilly this past week as well. Especially Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Both mornings saw the “digital mercury” settle at 3 above zero. That did a great job of frosting up the windows on the front porch, which is not heated. Not only were we cold, but the entire upper Midwest experienced the arctic air, with lots of single digits and even some sub zero readings. Needless to say that with all the snow on the ground and the cold temps, it both looked and felt like it was the dead of winter.
The snow piles and banks in areas that saw a foot+ of snow fall last Sunday-Monday and then saw the 6-8 fall with the Wednesday and Friday night activity looked like mid-winter. Nobody is grumbling yet, but I get the feeling that the folks that do not like snow very much have resigned themselves to the likelihood that this will not be an “easy”winter for us. I sure hope that their guts are right! Haha! Actually, looking at the forecast models beyond the warm up for the first 3-4 days of this week, it is looking to get snowy again in our neck of the woods as well as much of the upper Midwest.
I did ride my snowmobile twice this past week. On Thursday I headed south to ride with a friend down in Twin Lakes. He lives in MN, but has a place there. I was grateful for the second batch of snow that fell on Wednesday. Not because it made a huge difference in the snow to ride in, but gave me enough snow to move around and build a ramp to load my sled into the back of my truck! I made use of the raised septic field as well and just had to put enough snow to fill in the side of the septic field so that I could back my truck up to it. I have a ramp, but really prefer NOT to use it, as it is a tiny bit sketchy.
It should last the remainder of the season. I might have to put a tiny bit more on it, depending on how much snow we lose in the next 3 days. The good news is that I do not have to do much manual labor either. I did get the snowblower mounted onto Big Red last Tuesday and just used it (without the blower running) to push the snow into place. I will be great to have that there for the rest of the season to make loading the sled easy. I will likely be doing that a lot, as there are very few places to ride right out of my doorstep. You might be asking what about when I get to the place I will be riding? Well, there are now plenty of banks large enough to use in a similar fashion at any of the spots I would be dropping of to ride.
While my ride on Thursday was just the two of us, we rode again on Saturday, but this time had a group of 7. That is typically the max amount of riders I like to go out with riding. Be it trail or off trail. Larger groups that that can start to develop logistic problems. Someones sled breaks down, or someone is late or rides too fast for the group. This group was great and in synch the entire day and there are some others that are part of this same general group of riders and they would not have had a negative impact to the fun, only enhanced it!
On the way down to ride in Twin Lakes yesterday, I was treated to the tail end of a snowstorm. I really do not mind driving in the snow. I do worry a bit about others around me and their ability to control their vehicle, but to me, it is actually quite fun to drive down a snowy, sparsely traveled road. Driving through the snow to get to my riding destination is even better!
The riding conditions we had yesterday were nothing short of spectacular! Temps in the upper 20’s. The snow that was falling on my way down gave way to a mix of clouds and bluebird skies and lots of fresh powder to play in. If you are thinking that last picture was of the only untouched path through the woods, you would be mistaken. We were even treated to a fun playground! It was early season and even though the snow was quite deep for December 11th, it was not quite deep enough to do anything we wanted to in the playground. None the less, we did a pretty good job of drawing some lines in the snow.
Normally I would consider a winter scene like this perfect, but when I was sent a picture of the same exact spot, only this time with my friend Skylar and I stopped right in front, I actually liked that better! In fact, I believe it might be my digital Christmas Card this year!
I did wear my video camera for all of the ride and had it going much of the time. However, I also forgot to check the first footage shot and here I am at the point of discovering all the footage was no good because I had the camera pointed too far down! Oh well, I will be sure to check things next time and I am thrilled that I was right about me being healthy enough to get out and play in the snow. I had a lot of rust to clean off my skills and still do, along with getting into better shape for riding, but it will be fun to work on both!
So until next time…
Good Night from the Keweenaw..