That’s the best way to describe our weather today. Single digit temps, winds 30-40 mph and whiteout conditions due to falling and blowing snow. Don’t believe me? Here is a picture of the Portage Lake Lift Bridge and here is a shot overlooking Lac La Belle. Grace would normally have gone to both Houghton and Calumet to figure skate, but Nora and I nixed both of those due to the nasty weather. Since moving to Jake, we not only have a longer drive to all places, but also more difficult and lonely stretches when the weather is bad. So we take the weather and road conditions a lot more seriously than when we lived outside of Mohawk.

This is suppose to keep up through the night and into the day tomorrow, so it will be very interesting to see if there is school tomorrow. They can do a 2 hour delay, but I doubt that will do any good, except to allow it to be daylight when most of the busses are running. One of the criteria they use is a windchill of -25 and it looks like it will be right there through at least noon. They have already had one day off and a 2 hour delay since going back last week, but the state did change things and no longer makes schools up here make up days that are lost due to weather past a certain number, I think it used to be 4 or 5.

It probably sounds like we have had a ton of snow this winter, but that is actually not true. Keweenaw County has officially measured 123.5″ as of last week Thursday, which is a respectable number, but nothing crazy for this area. The main issue has been the wind. I cannot remember when we have had a windier winter. There have probably been 4-5 storms that have pushed the annonometer over 50 mph and that is probably more than we have in an average winter. Remember, I am talking about winter and not the cold season (which would include autumn).

As eventful as the weather has been this past week, my forays into the great outdoors were lacking. I did not do any riding. I was planning to ride with friends Friday, stay the night with them and then ride again Saturday, but had some things come up and stayed home. I had appointments in Houghton/Hancock both Monday and Tuesday, so those took a good part of both of those days. I did do come organizing in the shop and did get things setup for the new video format of Snow Church. There are still some lighting changes I need to make to get rid of come glare, but things are getting closer to being dialed in for that. 

Yesterday I started a project in our kitchen. I am replacing a very antiquated cooktop and wall oven with a brand new range. Things were moving along pretty good with the removal of the cooktop, when I got a call that the folks flooding the ice rink were planning to be here in around 90 minutes. So I had to drop the kitchen work and it was all hands on deck for Nora, Grace and I to get the plastic liner down in the rink and make sure we were all ready for the flood. They came and put one tank of water into the rink and then had problems getting more water, so they came back today and finished the job. Well, almost finished. I had messed up in one spot and the liner did not go high enough up the board, so we had water leaking out of the rink area. We did place a spare piece of plastic under the main liner and up the boards to help with the leak, but it only slowed it. Rather than have them finish flooding, we took some snow and packed it in to build an ice dam and stop the leaking and seems to have worked pretty good. The entire rink did have water in it, so now I am just going to wait until it freezes solid and flood the rest with our own water. I’m not sure how much water they put in, but I think it was close to 6000 gallons. Our well would have run dry long before that!

So other than the last bit of flooding I need to do, I also need to set up the lights and the mini-Dee will be all ready for skaters. We are going to have it open to our community down here for open skating, including sticks and pucks and I cannot wait to be able to get out there and toughen up my ankles and get the rest of my body into better shape. Grace is really chomping at the bit to get out there. The AL Cam does point right at the rink, so be sure to check in during the evening hours to watch us skate. I do not plan to do any work on it tomorrow, I am going to wait for the thermometer to register at least double digits before I spend a bunch of time out working on it.

 I know I have been inundating you all with deer pictures the past few weeks, but Nora took this shot of one licking the peanut butter off of it’s nose and it was just too cute not to share. Friends of ours gave us the bird feeder made from a piece of birch tree with holes drilled into it and then a mixture of peanut butter and birdseed put into the holes. Nora had refilled it, but then had to help get the rink ready for water yesterday and could not put it up on the feeder pole until we were done. So that is how the deer managed to get a freebie!

Take care and stay warm, as the cold is headed south for a few days. I will chat with you all next Sunday!

Good Night from the Keweenaw..