A True Winter Report

First the snow, and then the cold.  Well, if I am going to be totally honest, than I have to say first the rain, then the snow, and finally, the cold.  The painful fact is that yes, it did rain, for the opening of the trout season on January 12th.  I know that it has been too long since I last wrote, but really?  What good can be said about rain in the middle of the winter?  I was just too sad to hear those drops beating on the metal roof overhead as we lay in bed.  I love that sound in the summer,  but no, not now.

The fishermen were troopers though.  Out they went on that bleak Saturday morning, motoring their snowmobiles through three inches of water that had collected on the ice. The temperatures dropped rapidly during the day, so that they were returning on hard ice by evening.  But it made the going treacherous, and one fellow reported to me that he had not taken off his yak traks all weekend.  Some parties were rewarded for their efforts with some decent fish to bring home.  By the time they all left, they reported that we were up to sixteen inches of good, solid ice.  That was excellent news.

Fortunately, we got fresh snow within a couple of days of the rainfall.  It was only about two inches, but it helped immensely with traction.  Then, as if by some sweep of the magic wand, we really hit it lucky.  Late in the week, we received a couple of new inches of snow.  Predictions were that it could snow all night, and possibly into Saturday.  I have noted here in the past that the promises we hear from the weather people are not always kept.  So I work hard to remain nonchalant, and not to get my hopes up too high.  This time, as I said, it was rather like magic.  Indeed, the snow came through.  On Saturday afternoon, as we enjoyed hot soup and fresh bread in the tent, the snow globe really got shaken and huge flakes came down. By late afternoon, as the wind came in, the count was nine inches of new snow.

A lot can be done with nine inches of snow.  The trails got packed, and once that set up, the tracks were laid.  Our base is now between 5 and 8 inches, with 12-16 inches of snow in the woods.  Nearly all of the trails are open, with only Amperage Run, South Rim, and Magnetic Rock awaiting more snow.  Those last two are great for snowshoeing right now.

As I mentioned earlier, deep cold is a part of this post.  This morning, the thermometer posted thirty degrees below zero.  I had to photograph it, for the sake of posterity.  It's been a few years since we've seen temps this cold.  Fortunately, cars all started with no extra measures needed, so that departing guests could be on their way south to warmer climates.  (I doubt that it was much warmer though!) 

Just for fun, I took my bubble mixture outside, and blew a few bubbles.  The cold causes the bubbles to contract, and soon they are wrinkly little things, trying hard to catch an updraft.  When they burst, it's more like a shattering...and the pieces drift to the snow below like bits of plastic wrap tossed in the air.  It's a unique sight that I've only seen when it's this very cold.  I'll try to get a picture of it tomorrow if I can, for they say that it will remain cold for the next several days.

In the meantime, we have the best kind of screen to watch while we endure this cold snap:

Between the fire and my knitting, I can be entertained for hours.  'Til next time--stay warm!