Lovin' That Cold Weather

For the last couple of days, Greg has been assisting in the transport of lumber for the rebuilding of the cabins on the north side of Gunflint Lake. You may remember from my blog postings in May that the Ham Lake Fire took all of our friends' cabins, on that horrible Thursday when the fire reached our lake. After considerable work and clean-up over the summer, it's time to look to the future, and the cabins that will soon go up. This is a monumental task, however, one loaded with details and steps. And cold weather is an important detail in the process.

There is now an ice road that starts at our landing, and goes about two-an-a-half miles across the lake to the property. Greg has been working to keep it open, so that the winter air can reach the ice more easily, and help to make it thicker. A month or so ago, I wrote about the insulative properties of snow, and how we use it to our advantage by banking it around the foundations of the cabins. In this case, he wanted it out of the way. It's working--when he has checked, the thickness of the ice has increased. Our fishermen are also reporting lots of ice when they drill their holes for fishing.

While Greg has been working on this, I've learned some things, too. A number of years ago, in the late winter, I could swear one day that I heard waves under the ice. It struck me as odd, and I wondered if I was hearing things. But I've since found out that there is indeed wave action occurring under the ice. When you are driving on the ice, you are pushing a wave out in front of you. The ice under the vehicle is flexing some, and that pushes the water into a wave. (I may have some of those details off a bit, but it's close.) It was good to hear that I wasn't going crazy, back all those years--that I really had likely heard waves. I've also learned that there is a great deal of information about building ice roads available on the internet, and that there is even a TV program about the ice roads in Canada. Since we don't have television, I had never heard about the show, but several folks have mentioned it to me.

So Greg has been helping to haul loads of lumber across the lake. This morning, I thought that I would ride along to town, while he and the other guys picked up their loads. It was bitterly cold and windy in Grand Marais, too--yay! We saw lots of steam rising off of Lake Superior, forming a large cloud along the horizon. When we got back up here, I skipped out on the ride across the lake......Things to do! Honest! (I'll probably ride along on that part another time.)

Here is a shot of how it looks out there:

Our regular group of fishermen was up over the weekend. They reported fair catching conditions, going home with some nice lake trout. They had one thing to note for us though: Seems that ice road goes right through some prime fishing territory. On one side of the road, it was 30' of water, and the other was about 65'. They have requested that the road be moved this summer, so that next year it won't be in the way of their fishing plans. Greg will definitely work on that.