This year the snow taunts us as it clings to slopes at our local ski area and creeps towards old age in hidden piles on the north sides of forested ravines. Stubborn lake ice is on tour, vacationing at far flung harbors from Saxon, WI to Marquette, MI to Two Harbors, MN where locals hold their breath as the fickle fate of the wind threatens cancellation of fishing tournaments and island bird watching festivals. (click on photos to enlarge)
Northlanders do like to ski, snowshoe, ice skate and make snow figures. But by sometime in early April we expect to ascend to the attic with our winter toys in hand and descend laden with the much awaited objects of joy that connect us with the warmth and freedom of summer outdoor activities.
It was just last weekend at Living Adventure that we pushed ice bergs out of the way to install our formidable launch. In good spirit we played on the ice assuming that most assuredly it would be gone by the following weekend. NOT. We marveled that to date we could actually participate in a number of four season sports. A schizophrenia of activities. No wonder we suffer from S.E.D.D. We even joked that it would be fun to put a bunch of equipment out on an ice berg (knowing that we would never have the opportunity after that weekend) to highlight all of our choices.
Lo and behold, after a week of very little ice out in front of Living Adventure, yesterday I woke up to a single, huge, gorgeous chunk of ice right out in front. But we had a slight off-shore wind and I knew that berg would be heading to Basswood sooner then later, so I leapt into action. Up to the attic I went for the roller blades, bike and kayak and of course I had easy access to the snowshoes and skis which were still out front next to the shovels.
GETTING THE SHOT
“Ya gotta want it” came to mind about halfway through this process and I knew if my bike hit the bottom it would sit there for a few weeks until the idea of snorkeling seemed slightly more favorable. I unloaded the gear onto the ice from my kayak and most of it cooperated nicely as spikes, bindings, wheels and derailleurs pinned each piece to Betty Berg. But landing and launching the kayak was another matter. The ice around the edge of Ms Berg was rotten and impossible to hang onto so I spotted a low point on the flat side of the ice isle, backed-away to get enough speed and power launched onto the ice, careening about halfway up. Fortunately this was not the side to the camera because the kayak dismount was not a pretty sight as I scrambled out on all fours trying to hold onto the kayak which was valiantly trying to return to the sea. It was my vessel back to land and any one of the bike, roller blades, snow shoes or skis were not good transportation alternatives. It all worked out well, was a lot of fun and thanks to Gary Smith from Rick Thompson’s landscaping crew and Shawn Radtke for the photos. (ps: one of these days I’ll figure out how to layout photos side-by-side in WordPress!)