When the clock strikes midnight on January 1, you can often find us at a bonfire that burns hot and bright while the air temp is at least zero, if not lower. We sing Auld Lang Syne, sending off the old year in proper fashion, and welcoming the new one with lots of hugs and good wishes. This year was no exception, and when we awoke later that morning, I marveled at a whole new set of days ahead of me. The cold air was invigorating, as I stepped out to survey the world from our front yard. How lucky we are to have this magnificent frozen landscape right before our eyes.
While the lake is safe for travel by foot or snowmobile, it is not in condition for any other type of vehicle. The reports of ice thickness that we have received range from 10” to a rare 24”. The bigger issue is the layer of slush and water, trapped below the big blanket of snow. If anyone chooses to drive a car or truck out there, they are in for a nasty (and expensive) surprise. We have had fishermen wetting their lines with favorable reports. Greg has been taking walks on the ice, particularly during the polar vortex this week. He has some fabulous gear for staying warm, and we don’t get that many opportunities to put it to the test. He’s reported that he has been quite comfortable on these jaunts.
This year, we have both invested in some new ski equipment, and I have been able to get out on the ski trails a few times already. The skiing has been awesome, thanks to all of the snow that we have. Greg got some backcountry skis and boots, and has been enjoying trekking in the woods rather than zooming down the hills on trails.
The January sky, as seen in the above photo, has been fabulous. Though the sun hangs low in the sky, it still manages to paint a palette of lovely color both in the morning and the late afternoon. I call this the season of pastel skies, as we often see light pink and pale orange. And now that we are five weeks past the solstice, I also notice that the days are getting a wee bit longer. Can’t argue with that, can only marvel at how quickly the time goes by.
Despite the 26 degrees below zero, we had a front row seat to the lunar eclipse. It was fascinating to watch the moon as it was disappearing, and to see the stars getting noticeably brighter. I only wished that we had Northern LIghts to add to the scene. That definitely would have been the icing on the cake. Alas, it has been quiet for the Aurora so far this winter. Hopefully that will change.
For fans of the uni-mogs, Greg got a new plow for his winter mog. It is a twelve-footer, and he is learning more about its capabilities every time he uses it. The plow came all the way from Ohio, trucked up here by a very nice fellow who didn’t mind the cold and dark adventure, and even got to see a moose along the way.
Finally, when the polar vortex settled itself over us this past week, we made sure the wood bin was full, and we pulled out all of our warmest layers to wear. At one point, I counted that I had on twenty individual items (socks, etc count for two!). We haven’t seen a cold snap that deep in several years, so in a way, it is a moment to look for some fun and entertainment only possible in that weather. Not knowing that it was, according to the news, a challenge for “bored Mid-westerners”, we heated up the water to toss it up in the air to vaporize, Our video below is the result. My effort was not near as graceful as Greg’s, so his is the one that I present to you here:
It’s been much too long since I wrote a blog post, and it’s mostly because I don’t often find the words to write. I am hoping that will change, now that I’ve been able to tap out this much on the keyboard. At the very least, I will try to do a monthly round up such as this, to keep folks in the loop as to the activity and shenanigans that we are up to here in the woods. Do note that you can find us on both Facebook (as Heston’s Lodge Country) and Instagram (as HestonsLodge). You never know what you might see posted there!