White like winter.

Greetings and another apology for not writing yesterday, but I had a very busy week last week and I think it finally caught up with me yesterday. So you got me today instead! As the title reads, things are looking very winter-like around here. I suppose the snow we have on the ground already would satisfy many living further south…even at mid winter. So far, we have already picked up over 22″ of snow for the season and we are not even halfway through the month of November. The ground has been covered since October 28th and even for this neck of the woods, that is pretty unusual.

While I cannot make any guarantees that the ground will stay covered with snow for the rest of the season, I would currently put it at better than 50/50 that it does. We have around 9″ on the ground outside of our house, with a bit more and a bit less in other spots. Most of that came with the lake effect event late on the 8th and into the 9th.  Somehow the general area where we live ended up getting the most out of that particular storm. 11-12″ is what fell. That was more than I was anticipating. My thoughts were for the LES belts of the Keweenaw to see a general 4-8″ with some “pockets” of 8-12″, only I really did not anticipate us to be one of the pockets. Not complaining at all, just a little bit surprised, especially when just down the road in Calumet they got around 6-8″ and even up “nort” in the higher terrain they got around 8″.

The area sure was buzzing on Wednesday with the winter storm warnings hoisted and talk of double digit accumulations. I went to sleep expecting to wake up to around 3-4″ of new snow when I get going shortly after 4. Millie came in around 1 am and woke me up to tell me she had to go outside and go potty and when I let her and Huck out, there was around 2″ on the ground and my thoughts of 3-4″ by 4 seemed pretty good. Well, sometime between 1 am and 4:15 am it must have come down at a pretty decent clip because that 2″ had swelled to 6-8 and it was still snowing fairly decently. Once the sun came up, I went out and took a picture of my truck all coated by the fresh show. For a snow enthusiast on vacation, that is probably one of the most favorite sites they can see while up here!

By the time I had finished my morning work, I was able to go out and clear the snow, most of the heavier accumulating snow was over and while the snow that fell was lake effect, it was early season stuff so it had the density of system snow and is a big reason why we still have 9″ on the ground right now. It was not difficult to get off the truck or driveway, but it did catch me a little off guard as I have not put the blower on the front of Big Red yet. So the clearing of our driveway and my neighbors down the road was done with the bucket and loader. I still have not put the blower on, but depending on how the forecast for the end of this week/weekend goes, I may be putting it on very soon!

We did pick up around 2″ on Friday, so Saturday afternoon I took the pups up into the high country north of us to check out how much snow was on the ground there. As mentioned, they did not get quite as much as we did with the main snow event Thursday, but also had quite a bit more on the ground from previous activity before that Thursday snow.

While not as dramatic as the change in elevation out west and its impact on snowcover, it is still fun to head up into the higher terrain to see what kind of an impact it did have. Once we are into the heart of winter, it is pretty hard to tell the difference because there is so much snow on the ground everywhere. By that time of the winter, the only way to tell is to be able to clearly see the new snow fallen with the event, which can be hard in the uncivilized areas. In any case, it was clear that the higher terrain still had more snow on the ground than did I at our house. I was kind of wishing I had brought the sled to take a little spin around the woods, but was content to watch Huck and Millie bust powder for a while. On the way back home, I did stop at one of the snowmobile trail crossings and snapped this shot of the trail, all ready to go!

Yesterday took me by the site of the Laurium Glacier, so I stopped there to take a picture of it in it’s infancy. Not too impressive just yet, but give it another month or two and I suspect things will look quite a bit different there! Hopefully anyway!

Most of what kept me so busy last week is really not that exciting, so I will not bore you with it. I can say that I have taken on the role of president of our local snowmobile club and we have had an unusually busy autumn with trail work as well as personnel changes. Our trail boss retired, so we were doing interviews for that position. We ended up promoting one of our own groomer operators to the boss position and I have a feeling that more than a handful of you reading this already know him. He is Brian Anderson. Like me, he is a transplant from the Chicago area, loves snow, the region and is passionate about the trail system, so I think he will do a very good job.

I did continue to chip away at the work needed to accomplish the utility room build and pantry transformation. The washer and drier are now in the new utility room and hooked up. That gave me the room to be able to tear up the old vinyl flooring that was there and replace it with the same flooring that is down throughout the house. Gracie was particularly interested in helping me, so when we got back from her piano recital, we both got into our work garb and and got busy on the floors. I was really impressed at how hard she worked and was responsible for getting most of the old tile up, including using the scraper to do so!

So while not yet finished, things are progressing nicely and with a bit of luck, all of the construction work will be done and then I can get into the shop to build some cabinets and shelving for both rooms before Thanksgiving comes. If the shelving and cabinets are not done by Thanksgiving, that will be just fine, but it would be nice to have them done as they will help to provide kitchen storage. For now, I will just enjoy the new flooring!

Until next time…

Good night from the Keweenaw..