JD' s  Snow Journal
Octobers Journal
Sandy's Mendota Musings
JD's Net Friends
George's Eagle Harbor Web
Dan's Wilderness Diary
- November 30 -
    Good Bye November 1999!  I doubt that there will be many snow lovers in the Midwest which miss you, myself included.  According to my records, Houghton County Airport set an new all time record low snow total for the month of November.  The old record (49 years of data for that location) was 4.6", while this year we got 2.7".  The month is not quite over as I write this, but I figure it is a safe bet we will not get 1.9" in the next 5 hours.  The month also was 6.4 degrees above average, which might not sound like much, but I would guess that it was in the top 5 for warmest.  Most monthly temperature departures are in the 1-3 degree range.  It will be interesting to see if Delaware set their lowest snowfall for the month of November.  Their records do not go back as far, but their lowest thus far was 3.9" and I bet they did not exceed that.
    Anyway, on to a new month and what looks to be a new pattern.  Of course we look to start out the first few days of December about 10 degrees warmer than average, but by the weekend things look to cool off some and get snowy.  Speaking of snow, we were able to keep much of ours.  The snows on the side streets melted, but most of what was on my yard made it through a very sunny day.  I think we hit about 36, but that was late in the afternoon.  Back home, those conditions would have eaten the snow right up, but I forgot how low the sun is in the sky up here and that low sun angle is what preserved our little dusting.  Tomorrow will be a different story, as we will hit the low 40's most likely and the snow should all melt around my house.  Places where there is 3-5" down might survive the whole thaw through midday Saturday, but will loose much of what they have.
    More good news, the hounds and I can go back into the woods!  YAAA-HOOO!!!  I have a nice walk planned for tomorrow afternoon, can't wait!
    I'm starting to see more and more signs of preparation for the upcoming winters dumping as lots of trucks have plows on them, rather than seeing the plows sitting in the back yard somewhere.  Plus, lots of snow throwers are now poised ready to do battle and there are even more snowmobiles sitting out that there were before.  It is really neat to see, kinda like everybody is really preparing for battle, which I guess in a way they are.  My first year up here full time!  This is going to be a blast!
    Tomorrow is opening day for the snowmobile season, but like many Dec 1st's up here, conditions will not permit riding.  Unlike other areas, if there is enough so for you to ride you can ride (it think).  The trails do not cross private property (actually most are on corporate land, Lake Superior Land Co) so unlike other areas in the Midwest, you are free to ride them.  The groomers wait until there is at least a foot to 18" on the ground though.  That might sound like a lot, but for here, that is really not much at all.  I would say that looking back in the record books, most years see 12-18" on the ground by the 7th to 10th of the month, with maybe only about 5-10% not rideable by Christmas.  I hope that we can have good conditions by Dec 19, as my brother and Uncle are coming up to ride, as well as many who have e-mailed me asking what I thought conditions will be like.  The other low November snow year (1984) brought about 230" in Jan-March, and good snow cover was on the ground into the second week of April, so maybe that is a good omen!
    Well, I guess that will do it for now.  Talk to you in December!
    Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD  -
- November 29 -
    Finally!  Real snow!  It was one of those typical lake effect snows through most of the day here in Lake Linden.  Sometimes it really came down and sometimes it was just spitting snow.  The heaviest snow came down from about 7 am until 10 am, when we got about 1.5 -2".  At times it snowed at a moderate to heavy clip, with visibility down to about 1/4 mile.  Those bursts only lasted about 2-5 minutes, but what a wonderful few minutes that was.  Gave me a real taste of things to come.  It did snow through most of the day, but only about an additional half inch or so came down.  The heavier snows fell to our east near Munising and into northern Luce and Alger Counties.  I think Marquette even picked up 4-5".
    I had planned to take you all on a journey through the deeper snow areas of the Keweenaw today.  I figured that since I got almost 2" and there was already 2-4" in the higher elevations of the Keweenaw and reports of 5" on the ground in Phoenix I would head up in that direction.  Plus, I had read where someone had cross country skied in the golf course at the Keweenaw Mt. Lodge up near Copper Harbor over the long weekend, so I figured that would be the call for the day.  Well, things began to unravel as it drove through Phoenix and they had only about an inch on the ground.  The site is up a road from the town about 1/2 mile, but I seriously doubt that there was a 4-5" difference in that 1 mile.  That observer must be measuring in a drift or something!  Anyway, I got to the golf course and there was only a dusting on the ground so the hounds and I just walked around the course.  I have yet to play the course, so it was fun to see it up close for the first time.  Plus, I believe a day in the bush (Yooper for woods) is always a good day.  I took some shots of the course as we were walking.  Here is the first one looking east down the fairway.  Here is the second one, looking west.  That is Brockway Mt. in the background.
    It was a bit chilly, with temps in the 20's and a brisk northwest wind blowing at about 25 mph.  We all managed well and it was great to be out in the bush again.  We have to wait one more day and Dec 1st all the regular deer hunters will be out of the woods.  I believe some kind of hunting season will continue through Dec, but the woods should be safe again.  I (we) really have missed being able to head into the woods.  I realize when the snow gets deep, we will have to stay out of the woods, but we will still be able to find some areas where we can explore.
    Well, the forecast looks promising once we get beyond a little warm spell for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  The snows of today seemed to set the mood that winter is finally arriving.  I was beginning to wonder what it would look like when it snowed around here!
    Will close for now.  Bye from a white and wonderful Keweenaw.
- JD  -
- November 28 -
    Wow, only two more entries and it will be December!  Got lots to share, so this should be a long one.
    I hope everybody's Thanksgiving was enjoyable.  Mine was.  It was very nice to see family and some friends.  I had not been back since July and only saw a few family and no friends then, so the catching up with everyone was most enjoyable.  I must admit, I did got homesick as early as Thursday night and by Saturday was really glad to be heading back north.  This is home.  Sorry to any family and friends who are reading this, I do not mean to take away anything from what we have, it would only make things perfect if I was closer to you, but my soul has truly found a home and I hope that I will be able to remain here for as long as it desires.
    Now onto the fun stuff.  Woke up Wednesday to only a dusting at my house.  Not exactly the scene I was looking for and it kinda bummed me out.  Once again, the valley missed most of the snow, while up on the hills, they got snow.  The airport picked up 2", with other locals south of Houghton picking up 3-4".  We did not break or even tie the record for the latest 1" or more of snow up here.  We were 1 day away from tying and 2 days away from setting a new record.
    The drive down was neat, as I saw my first piles of snow from where people had plowed or shoveled.  I even saw my first snowmobile tracks in a field near Toivola.  Snow was on the ground all the way to Sugar Camp which is between Eagle River and Rhinelander and even Rhinelander had some traces of snow left in the areas sheltered from the sun.
    The rest of the trip down was uneventful.  Thanksgiving was fun, great food (good job mom and dad!) and great company.  Friday I got to see a very special friend and that was also most enjoyable.  The return trip was also uneventful.  They must have gotten more snow from about Rhinelander north, cause they had traces of it on the ground on my return trip and more on the ground than on my way down from about Eagle River north.  Even a few flakes flying from about Watersmeet north.  Got home and there was a trace on the ground here, so they must have gotten some light snow while I was away.
    Woke up this morning to some snow falling from the skies.  Ran to my office to see what was up and was happy to see that there was real snow on the horizon for tonight and tomorrow.  The snows of this morning were not due to the impending lake effect event, just a little upper air disturbance which slid to the east at midday.  The snows tapered off by about 11 am and we saw partly cloudy skies most of the mid day.  It is now about 4 pm and the clouds are filling in again.  I just checked the satellite imagery and could actually see the leading edge of the colder air pushing off the north shore and out over Lake Superior, as clouds are starting to billow to the north and west of the Keweenaw.  I also checked the Mendota Lighthouse live cam and the Bear Bluffs were not visible so it might already be snowing pretty good up there.  Even now as I look out my office window, to the west, the clouds are really beginning to darken and I cannot see any individual features at their base so snow is falling from them.  All conditions look good for a 3-4" snow by mid morning tomorrow, with maybe another inch or two before things taper off by tomorrow pm.  I hope so.  Driving through the areas that had the 3-4" down was really beautiful, Christmas lights were on at many of the homes and that only added to the beauty.
    I was going to take a drive and shoot some photos of the areas which still have a couple of inches on the ground.  I know Phoenix is one and it is only about 20 minutes away.  However, the hounds nixed that idea (guess 6 1/2 hours in the car yesterday was enough for them for a while) and convinced me to stay put, start a fire, gather the stack of newspapers that came while I was away, pop some popcorn, give them a rawhide and settle in and relax.  Of course I will not likely read much, more time will be spent looking out the window for those first flakes of tonight's snow event, but it still sounds pretty good to me.
    So with a little luck, I will be able to show some pictures of our first snow.  Not enough to allow the trails to open by Wednesday (opening day), but at least a start.
    Good evening from the Keweenaw
- JD  -
- November 23 -
     As I write this, the snow is trying to take the lead from today's rain.  It rained in biblical proportions today.  So hard at times it looked like it was snowing, almost.  They did get snow up in the higher elevations, not even that high.  Calumet, just up the hill from me (3 miles over and 500 ft up) it snowed pretty good.  I managed to get a shot of a park there, just so you all would not think I was lying!  We took our afternoon walk up here, as walking in the snow is infinitely better than walking in the rain.  As luck would have it, the snow changed to rain so we got all wet anyway and the snow on the ground was nothing but an unflavored slushie by the time we got back to the car.  Oh well.
    Thanks to all who have wished be a happy holiday and safe trip.  I will sure be careful on the roads.  A happy Thanksgiving to all that read this, get ready to work off those calories you ingest Thursday in the SNOW this winter!
    Bye from the Keweenaw.
- JD  -
- November 22 -
    I do believe all systems are go.  It's T minus 27 hours and the white should be arriving!  Seems hard to believe.  Also seems like I have been waiting for this for longer than a month or so!  Looking at the latest European Model guidance makes me wonder if I will have problems returning here Saturday or Sunday.  Wouldn't that just take the cake!  No use in worrying about it now.  This will be the second to last day for Journal entries until at least Saturday, more likely Sunday.  I will be down with family in southern WI from Wednesday midday through Saturday.  Looking forward to seeing everyone.
    Today was another uneventful day.  Early morning fog, drizzle and light rain gave way to mostly cloudy skies.  Highs remained in the mid 40's for most of the day and settled into the low 40's at this time (9 PM).
    Busy days tomorrow and Wednesday, with packing and driving.  Today I made sure I had the computer I am taking with me down south all set up to do my work routine.  I had thought about setting it up to update this site, but decided to take a few days off.  That will just make all of you all the more anxious for me to return, right?!
    Well, not much to report tonight.  Hopefully by tomorrow at this time I will be busy monitoring the progression of the rain/snow line into the Keweenaw and with a little luck I might wake up to a little white Wednesday morning.  Sure does look like this area could receive some big snow this weekend.
    I'll go to bed with those thoughts on my mind.
    Good night from the Keweenaw
- JD  -
- November 21 -
    Well, I wasn't even going to do a journal today as not much happened.  Well a Packers victory of course, but other than that, it was a mild day, with temperatures in the mid 40's and mixed clouds and sun.  Not bad for the UP in the latter stages of November.
    I am all giddy as it looks like winter might finally arrive here later Tuesday and into Wednesday, maybe even a little sooner.  The forecast beyond that even indicates decent chances for snow by the Thanksgiving weekend.  Of course, I plan to drive back up here from southern WI Saturday so a major storm would not really be wanted, but it looks very good for winter like conditions.
    I might even have to fire up the outside lights if we get some snow Tuesday night.
    Thanks to all who have kept checking in.  It looks like the real reason why this web site is here will be put to use soon.  I wish I could be here for all of the activity, but I will be away from Wednesday late morning to at least Saturday night, maybe Sunday morning.
    From the Keweenaw, take care and talk to you later.
- JD  -
- November 20 -
    A beautiful, sunny crisp late autumn day here in the Keweenaw.  A wonderful day to take one last hike along the beach while there is no snow.  I had to stop and think for a moment, which beach would be best, as I did not want the dogs running up into the woods.  5 Mile Point got the call and we enjoyed another afternoon at the beach all to ourselves.
    Today as also productive inside, as I got my bedroom painted.  Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to finish the trim around the sliding glass doors I put in just 4 months ago and all will be set for that room.
    I was walking around with a spring in my step as all looks favorable for some real snow here in the next week to ten days.  I am cautiously optimistic as it is not the first time a snow storm has been forecasted this season, only to fizzle out in later model runs.  Things look so promising in the models right now, that even though we don't have any snow now, we could have enough on the ground to ride and have the groomers out by opening day 10 days from now.  I better not think about it too much, cause I know how things can change in the models.
    Saw several ponds and small lakes with areas of ice on them even in the late afternoon, so the first real arctic air outbreak will likely freeze them solid.  The ground is also fairly solid, mostly because it is so dry, but also because it is freezing overnight.  All conditions are go, now we just need the atmosphere to cooperate!
    So long from the Keweenaw.
- JD  -
- November 19 -
    Today was a perfect day to get a fire going at first light and keep it going till it's time to turn in.  Windy, rainy, foggy.  Can't imagine too many of the hunters were enjoying themselves out there.  Kind of day only a duck or the mother of a duck could love.
    Of course, my two faithful companions don't share in my pessimism in a day like this so we took our usual two walks.  Luckily we were able to sneak around the rain drops and the day was a success.  I suppose the rain was welcome as the forest was very dry and prone to a fire should a stray spark or other form of ignition find its way into the carpet of dry leaves.
    We remained close to town again today, saving the beach for tomorrow, which promises to be on the dry side.  I did manage to get a fire going by the late afternoon and as I write this, I can hear the hissing and crackling of the moisture trying to escape the logs in the fireplace.  I really enjoy a fire.  I know that the "experts" claim that it draws the heat from the house right up the chimney, but my thermostat for the house is in the living room, directly across the room from the fireplace, and it has risen 6 degrees since I got the fire going.  Plus I get the radiative heat by sitting close by and the psychological warmth as well.  Fires also remind me of weekends at our cottage in southern WI.  I can just close my eyes and let my other senses take over and take me back to the days of being a little one, falling asleep next to the fire after completing a long week of school, the drive north to the cottage and a full afternoon and early evening of playing in the snow.  Nothing quite like totally collapsing from exhaustion right in front of the fire.  I can't wait to repeat the scene many times this winter after a day on the slopes or trails.  Plus I had better stock up on a good supply of reading material, heaven knows that I have 56 channels of (insert your favorite swear word here) to watch on the TV.  If it were not for the weather channel (free radar and current conditions) and an occasional decent show on TLC or the Discovery channel, I believe I could live without it.  Ok, Ok...  I must admit, I am addicted to the show "Who's Line is it Anyway", Thursdays on ABC, but that is it, I swear!
    Getting back to the books, I am currently taking suggestions for good reads.  My interests include true-life adventures and self discovery through the outdoors and/or animal world.  If anybody knows of any along these lines let me know.  Examples include:
"The Man Who Listened to Horses" and "A Walk in the Woods".  I know, it's not exactly Shakespeare, but give a guy a break.  I only took to enjoying reading a few years back.
    Well, guess I will close for now.  For all of my snowmobile buddies who are wading through all of this self reflection stuff, hang in there, the exciting stories of busting through 3 feet of fresh and slaloming the power poles are coming!
- JD  -
Oh.  I almost forgot.  Here is proof our day was dull and gray.
- November 18 -
    Another uneventful day.  Overcast from sun up to sun down, but we did manage to make it into the 40's with a east, southeast wind creating just enough bite to keep things honest for the end of November.
     I watched reports from Rapid City SD come in with moderate to heavy snow for the entire afternoon and day dreamed of the days to come when we will have such conditions.  Since I have never lived in this house while it snowed for real, it is hard to picture.  When I first came to look at the home it was February and there was 3-4 feet on the ground.  So I know what things looks like in the neighborhood with snow.  The home was vacant at the time, so we had to climb over 4-8 foot drifts to get to the front door.  This was one of the few vacant homes which we did not have to dig out the front door to get into because it is elevated and protected by the eaves.  One house I looked at, we had to dig down about a foot just to get to the door knob!  The snow sure does make for interesting experiences up here.
    Did not take the camera with us today as we really did not do anything too exciting.  Just walked around the lakefront of Torch Lake near town.  I thought I would save the beach for our reward for Friday and then realized after I finished our walk today that it could be raining tomorrow and not good beach weather.  Hope we can squeeze it in between rain drops.
    Not much on the horizon for snow.  If we make it through the next 7 days without an inch or more then we will break the record for the latest 1" or more snow on record.  If we get less than 4.5" in the next 12 days, then we will set the record for the least amount in November.  Not exactly the records I wanted to break my first season up here, but records just the same!  Maybe next year will be the opposite!  We still have plenty of time to salvage a decent season this year, I'm just growing tired of the bare ground.
    So long from the Keweenaw
- JD  -
- November 17 -
    Well, you knew that it had to be too good to be true. 16 days in a row of journal entries.  Yesterday I was in a rather foul mood so I thought I would just be better not to share my mood with everybody.  Today is a new day and I am feeling much better.  To make up for it I have added three links to other local's web sites.  They also contain "journal" entries and even some pictures.  I am jealous of the quality of photos in Dan's and George's sites and I sure wish I could put thoughts and images to words like Sandy can.  Hope you all enjoy!
    Today was another day for a stroll through town.  Clouds looked threatening at one point and I thought that for a moment it would spit some flakes at us like it did yesterday, but all the precip evaporated before hitting the ground.  I managed to stick the camera in my pocket before heading out the door so you will be taken on a little photo tour of "My Town".  But before we go on the quick tour, I had to post a close up of Burt.  He was a little disappointed that his close up taken last week did not turn out so I promised to take a new one.  So without further adew... Heerrrrrrsssssss BURTIE!
    I live at the north end of town in a ranch home at the end of the block.  It's nice to be at the dead end, as I get no traffic and am that much closer to the true wilderness.  Lake Linden is a quiet little town, used to be associated with the mining which went on.  To the north, up the Traprock River Valley, a lot of Finns homesteaded farms as well.  Of course all the mining is gone and many of the farms have gone the way of the Model T, but a few farms still function in the valley and many of the areas which were farmed are still treeless, but they are filling in.
    Lake Linden sits at the north end of Torch Lake.  Torch Lake is part of the portage canal which bisects the Keweenaw from west to east.  We have a nice park right on the lake. This is home to our 4th of July fireworks (4th is really big up here, with just about every town or hamlet having some sort of celebration) and even has a boat launch and docks and a campground.
    Here is a shot of Main Street Lake Linden.  We have a very nice and large supermarket, with great meats and produce.  A hardware store, pharmacy, post office, handful of watering holes, restaurants, auto repair shops, lumber yard and just about anything else one would need to survive (except a video store).  Of course if you can't find it here, the sister cities of Houghton/Hancock have anything else and are only 11 miles away.
    I also managed to take a shot of good ole yooper ingenuity at work.  Here is a shot of the way that some combat the need to shovel out the front walk.  Of course this set up only works until about Christmas or New Years and then the snow is as deep as the bridge, but I thought that you all might like to see some of the processes that go on up here to combat the snow.
    Well, that's a quick tour of my town.  When we get some snow i promise to take some pictures and show you how things take on a new look.
    Bye from the Keweenaw.
- JD  -
- November 15 -
    I know for sure that this is going to be a short one.  Hunting season has confined us to the city for our walks so not much to talk about there.  Took the hounds to the post office with me to pick up my mail and that was about it.  I think that we will head off to the beach one of these days as there will not be many of them left that we will be able to walk on them.  Of course if we get snow, then cross country skiing on the beach will be in order until the snow gets too deep for the dogs.
    Kinda glad I did not have to ride the bike today.  I was a little sore.  I think I need a new, softer seat if you know what I mean!
    I just realized two things today, unrelated.  Number one, Sunday was my 6 month anniversary of moving up here and number 2: I don't think I will be getting much sleep this winter.  I have always had a hard time sleeping when a big snow storm is coming.  Of course as a kid this was normal.  No school, lots of fun to be had in the fresh white stuff, but as an adult, we are suppose to dread the snow, it gets in the way of driving.  You have to shovel it, it's cold, whine, whine, whine.  I must still be a kid, because I still cannot sleep when a big storm is coming and I still LOVE to play in it!  Up here they get a big storm every other day!  I suppose I might get used to it, but we'll see, this is a pretty powerful addiction to the snow I have.  Just last night, I had a hard time getting to sleep because the European Model (one of the computer guidance packages I use for forecasting the weather) said that a decent snow was to come this Friday and into Saturday.  I kept tossing and turning, as my heart raced and I thought about the snow, silly.  Anyway, I am debating what will be better tonight...  Looking at the latest guidance off the Europeans computers or waiting for the morning.  I think I will look tonight.
    We are really getting to the point when it does not take much to make it snow here.  On the news tonight, they had scenes from last years opening day of deer season and all the shots had hunters with their kill standing in a snowstorm!  Man did that look good.  The snow of course.
    Well, I had better quit before I get myself all worked up.  For those of you who are checking in to this journal hear about my experiences in the snow, it should not be long now (maybe days??!!).  I promise to share all the details as they unfold!
    So long from the Keweenaw!
- JD  -
- November 14 -
    I am thinking about renaming this JD's LACK OF Snow Journal!  I think I am just a little disappointed that the latest extended forecast up to Thanksgiving currently does not hold any real chances for snow in it.  The record for the latest 1" or more of snow at the Houghton County Airport is November 25th.  That happened in 1994.  The lowest amount for November was 4.6 in 1984.  I am torn between breaking the records (always fun for a meteorologist to personally be part of a new weather record) and getting on with the snow season up here.  I guess I will just play along with what ever happens and make the most of it.  One thing I can find some piece of mind in is that in 1984 the Airport did record 235" for the year, which is a little above it's average.  More importantly, good snow pack lasted through all of March and the first two weeks of April.  1994 was a different story, "Only" 178 inches fell that year, with a very snowy February at 76" making up for a poor December and January.  I remember that year, it was poor all over the Midwest.  I came up here in mid January to only 12" in the ground.  Since this was the only place (I do mean only place, including the rest of the UP) that had snow, the trails were really beat up.  It was like snowmobiling on brown sugar.  The DNR put an electric eye down to measure traffic and in one of the busier spots recorded 500 sleds in one hour!
    Now before you get the idea that this place is crammed with snowmobiles, that was a very unique situation.  It can get busy here on weekends, but nothing like that.  During the week, you can put on 100 miles and see less than 10 other sleds.
    Granted, even if it did snow now, I would not be able to snowmobile on it because of deer season, at least during the day, but being a snow freak I'll take it whenever I can.
    I hope everybody like the AL Cam.  I know that is one thing I would have died for when I was living back down south.  I used to try and gauge the snowfall by visiting the MTU web cam and the Eagle River web cam.  It took some moving around to find the best position for the camera's limitations, but I think that it should suit its purpose.
    Last day for walking in the woods.  I took them out this morning while I rode my bike and we had a good 4 mile "hike".  My chins were feeling better so I walked this afternoon and I think that they are about back to normal.  That is good, seeing as though we will be doing a lot of town walking and I have to keep them on their leashes and thus cannot ride my bike.
    The woods were very quiet this morning and afternoon.  I suppose it is the "calm before the storm" so to speak.  I saw a lot of loaded up trucks driving around the past 2 days.  Good luck hunters!  The woods also seemed to be almost waiting for the snow.  I know it sounds funny for me to say that, but with the leaves down and not much animal life to be seen, it was just sort of sitting there.  So it seemed like it was waiting for something.  The snow is late this year, so that is what I figured it was waiting for.
    So goes it for another day in the beautiful Keweenaw.  Have a good one.
- JD  -
- November 13 -
    If yesterday was the perfect inside work day, today was the perfect outside work day!  It started out a little on the shaky side, with thick, I mean thick, fog.  Visibility in the Traprock Valley at daybreak was less than 100 feet and more like 50 feet, I could barely make out the fence in the back of my yard.  Strong sunshine and a push of warmer air from the southwest had the fog dissipated by about 10 am and it was another record breaker up here, with highs in the upper 60's.  Yes, that's upper 60's, which is about 30 degrees warmer than the average high.  It got even warmer in places like Marquette, where they really benefit from a southwesterly wind.  It was said that temps in downtown Marquette were in the 70's, with the official airport temp at 66.  To put this in perspective, the old records around MQT were smashed by 12 degrees F.!  Records for MQT date back to 1871.  I doubt these records will be broken for some time to come.
    The front has come through, came through at 1:27, marked by a wind gust which almost broke my garage entry door as it slammed shut with the wind shift and gust.  As I said, today was a perfect outside work day.  Being a meteorologist does have its advantages.  I was able to see this coming since early this week and had planned to get a lot of outside work done.  Things to check off the list included: Wrapping my bushes in a snow fence to protect them from the coming snow load, erect the snow station in my back yard, and put up the outside christmas lights.  I do believe that all my outdoor chores are done, so I can now officially snow tons and get cold, I am ready!
    My shin splints were really bad this morning so for the afternoon walk, I put my mountain bike in the trunk and headed up to the trail.  It worked out great.  I was able to pedal along at about 3 mph and the hounds kept right up.  As a bonus, I was able to see how far one of our walking loops is.  3.08 miles.  We usually do it in about 45 minutes.  Not too bad considering there is a good up hill climb and we usually get side tracked by something along the way.  Tomorrow is the last day in the woods for a while, maybe until next April or May.  Sure am going to miss it.
    As I mentioned, I got the snow station finished and it is all set up in the yard.  Here is a shot of it.  As you can see, I need to make some adjustments so that you can read the thermometer and the scale on the snow stick.  This shot will also be the AL cam shot, so everyone can watch the snow get deeper.
    Well, my busy day and all the outside air has made my eyelids heavy so I will sign off for now.
    Bye from the Keweenaw.
- JD  -
- November 12 -
    I believe that this is going to be a shortly tonight.  I did not even bring the camera on our walk today.  Actually I forgot.  Today was one of those get-the-inside-chores-done day's, as it broke overcast with some light fog and never really did clear up.  This time of the year, low clouds and even fog spell cool weather, as the sun is so low in the sky that we need all the help we can get to warm things up.  The high today was only about 45 and we had reached that by mid morning.
    True to form, the dogs and I hit the trail this afternoon.  We headed south to hike the Freda Loop, not the whole thing, we would still be out there if we did!  Just to where the trail passes close by Obenhoff Lake.  Shin splints on the way back made for an interesting waddle to the car!  Man do I hate those things.
    I am becoming a little sad that we will have to give up the woods in two more days, but I was taught at an early age the importance of sharing.  Now, if I could just be comfortable about the importance of sharing.  It will be interesting to see where we go for our long afternoon walks.  I suppose, weather permitting, the beaches, but it looks like next Tuesday and Wednesday a strong northwesterly wind will be blowing and will keep us off the north shore.  Anyway, I'm sure we'll figure something out.
    I got my "snow station" all constructed.  Really it is just a simple platform which will be off the ground by 5 feet.  This will allow me to be able to keep a record of the 24 hr snowfall by taking a measurement and then brushing off the platform every 12 hours.  There will also be a snow stick attached to the platform to be able to read the depth.  To be official, you really need to take 10 measurements and then find the average, but I think that the one will be close enough.  Especially since the location I have picked is nicely sheltered on three sides and only exposed slightly on it's eastern side.  In addition, I got one of those large thermometers so everybody will be able to see what the temp is when I take the picture(s) for the day.   Look for the AL (Almost Live) cam to debut sometime this weekend!
    Well, like I said, this one is a shorty.  Looking forward to posting pictures with some white in them soon.
    So long from the Keweenaw!
- JD  -
- November 11 -
    Actually it is the 12th, but even here schedules can get rather hectic from time to time.  Went for a most enjoyable walk yesterday afternoon.  Got home and made some phone calls and before I knew it, it was time to feed the dogs and I dinner and then head off to Houghton for a meeting on land use issues set up by the League of Women Voters.  A very interesting meeting indeed!
    Anyway, the hounds people and my people were able to hammer out an agreement.  I think things worked out very well.  I promise to feed them twice a day, give an occasional treat and take them for walks and swims whenever feasible.  In return I receive unrelenting and unconditional love, lots of slobbery kisses and a warm, furry foot warmer (Baileys).  Life is good.
    Yesterday's walk was most enjoyable as I mentioned.  We headed up into the woods to follow the snow mobile trail along the bluffs of the Traprock Valley.  Here is a shot of our starting out point.  Unfortunately, the camera was unable to pick out all the details, such as the height above the valley (about 400-500 ft) we were as well as the view of Keweenaw Bay and the Huron Mountains (in the background).  But I hope you get the idea.  This is actually an area where I would like to buy some land and build my dream log home sometime.  The view is really something to behold.
    We headed up the trail and encountered a power line.  This line has my name written all over it as soon as we have a couple of feet of snow on the ground.  Riding powder is great fun!  Continuing on, we took a side trail, not part of the snomo trail system.  This trail ended up hooking up with a country road.  I had no idea that this road was even out here.  I know I have been here for only 7 months, but I have been doing a lot of exploring and thought I knew most of the year round roads.  We walked down the road and the view here was equally as magnificent.  Only difference was the direction.  We were now looking northeast with the valley still below us, but in the distance I could see Gratiot Mtn., Mt. Bohemia and Mt. Houghton off in the distance about 25-30 miles.  There were a few homes on the road, all with beautiful views and lots of land around them.  Boy, did my envy level reached a dangerously high level!  A neat little surprise on one of these properties was a picnic table set up in the middle of a field, with a sign near it.  The back of the sign was facing us so I could not see what it said.  I like to respect the property of others and always stay out of places that are posted.  However, curiosity got the best of me and I had to see what the sign said, so we headed into the field to see what the other side of the sign had to say.  Low and behold, it was an invite to anyone who happened by this spot.  The sign read ""Welcome", Enjoy the View!".  It is moments like this that continue to enforce the fact that I have moved to the right place.  This is just another example of the generosity of the people up here.  I hate to say it, but back down by the big cities, this area would likely have been guarded by a fence or at least barbed wire.  I know I am comparing apples to oranges here, as the situations at each location are different.  I do not mean to offend anyone in the big cities of close to them.  I would likely have wanted to protect this spot had it owned it down there somewhere.  It is just such a refreshing and welcomed change in my way of life to be living in a place where that is not needed.  I do not believe I could ever give it up.  Here is a picture of the picnic table and sign, hope that it can give all of you just a piece of the warm and welcomed feeling I got when I happened along it.
    We reached the end of this side road and encountered a more used, country road so turned around.  Autos and dogs do not mix very well.  On the way back I tried to take some close ups of the doggies.  Not an easy task with them running back and forth in their excitement to happen along some unsuspecting squirrel or other woodland creature.  I was able to catch Baileys taking five.  My luck with Burt was a little less successful, as something got in the way of a classic shot of this guy.  They are both Labrador Retrievers, 3.75 years old and brother and sister.  They are my best buddies and have shown me more about what is important in life than my 16 years of schooling did.
    The walk back was just as enjoyable.  It is fun to jut stop and be perfectly still.  There was no wind and the forest was perfectly still.  Things were so quiet that my ears were actually ringing, struggling to pick up any kind of noise.  There are few areas left in the Midwest where you can be in an area where there is no audible signs of human life.  It seems like there is either a plane, car or truck going by, no matter where you go.  Changes are taking place here too, I just hope the good folks up here realize what a gem they have and do not let things get out of hand.
    I'll close for now, I want to finish the weather station for my upcoming feature, my "Almost Live Cam", for the weekend.
    From the Keweenaw, take care and have a great weekend.
- JD  -
- November 10 -
    Back to reality today as temperatures held in the 30's and we even had some flurries.  No big deal, just a few small flakes from time to time.  However, we got about as much snow as we got when several inches was expected last week.  Darn weather people!  I must also say that is was cool to be the only place in the Midwest getting any kind of snow.  That is a big reason why I moved here and even though it was basically non-event, it was still cool to be the only ones.
    Took the hounds for a walk into the woods today.  I think that we will spend the next several days up there, as time is running out.  Gun season for Deer begins Monday and continues for the rest of the month.  Then, weather permitting, the snowmobile trails open up December 1st! Yes, Yes, Yes!!!   We will definitely stay out of the woods during the hunt and if there is snow to ride on we will be off the trails until the snow is gone.  So we need to take advantage of the last few days we will be able to trounce around in the woods.
    No pictures again, as the hounds and I are currently under going contract negotiations.  Their people are doing lunch with my people tomorrow and we hope to have the situation resolved.  Something about corporate sponsorship and stock incentives.
    It's strange how our bodies adjust to the weather conditions.  I know that our blood does not really thicken, but before the past warm spell we had, 30 degrees felt relatively comfortable.  Today it felt downright frigid!  I did warm up once we started getting into the walk, but it sure was a cold going in the beginning.
    Usually when we walk the snomo trails we have them to ourselves.  Today was a much different story.  Did not run into anybody else walking, but a bunch of cars and trucks were driving on them.  We must have seen 4-5 vehicles in our 2-3 mile walk.  I figure that they were out scouting for a hunting spot or looking for signs of deer.  I know this is not really possible either, but it seemed like the deer knew what was going on, as we usually see several on the walk and none were to be seen today.
    My first deer season is going to be interesting.  I do not hunt (not against it, I just like my meat pre-packaged in plastic wrap!) so that means I will be staying put.  From what I gather, just about everybody goes somewhere.  The men into the camps and the women down south into the malls.  When I first moved up, I was invited to two camps during deer season, but have not heard anything from these folks since.  Guess they forgot and I am not going to invite myself.  Oh well, I should not have any problem getting the best stool at the bar!  I did experience elk and antelope season while at the University of Wyoming, but that was different, all the men left, but all the women stayed.  I think I had the better time staying put!
    Well, I have to close for now, off to a snowmobile club meeting.
    Bye, Bye from the Keweenaw.
- JD  -
- November 9 -
    Another beautiful day in the sun belt!  I knew it was going to be a warm one when Marquette set it's new record high for the day at 5 am this morning.  I don't know what the official high for the day was, but bank thermometers read in the 70's in several places today.  I let the dogs out for their early morning "walk" and it felt warmer outside than it was in the house!  The only unfortunate thing about today was that I had to spend the better half of the afternoon in the car driving to Marquette for business.  However, it was rather unique to be driving the car in November in the UP with the windows down.  Reminded me of the days back in Chicago when we have that first warm day in late March or early April when you get to drive with the windows down and not freeze.  Sort of gives you a shot in the arm and a bounce in your step.  But I digress.
    The drive to Marquette is about 2 hours from my house, but I must admit, it seems to go much faster than that.  It really is a beautiful and diverse drive.  First the scenery is that of the homes, commercial property and even wilderness along the Portage Canal, then the road branches away from the Canal and heads into the farmland around and to the south of Chassell.  You don't get to see much of the the farms from the main highway, but during berry season you know they are there by all the signs advertising the different fruits for sale.  Next year I definitely need to get a nice stockpile of berries to freeze and enjoy during the winter months.  Beyond the farmland the road sweeps back along the shoreline.  This time along the waters of the Keweenaw Bay.  This is a really neat, and in my opinion, under rated place of beautiful scenery.  The bay is almost always calm and tranquil looking, and in its backdrop are the Huron Mountains, home to the tallest spot in Michigan, Mt. Arvon at 1979.  That puts it almost 1400 feet above lake level.  From the vantage point of the road, the mountains truly look like mountains.
    After passing through the sister cities of Baraga and L'Anse the road actually heads up into the mountains.  It obviously follows an easier route than up and over the tallest peaks, but does rise enough to change the native vegetation to more of a Boreal forest of Pines and Birch.  This type of vegetation is noticeably different from the predominate Maple forest of the Keweenaw.  The scenery remains intriguing as mixed into the hills of the Huron Mts. are lots of lakes and the road passes right along a handful of them.  By the time I am starting to get a little anxious being in the car...  Tada, Ishpeming (home of the National Ski Hall of Fame), Negaunee (home of the worlds largest golf ball, actually a radar dome for the NWS) and then Marquette all seem to blend into each other and I am there!  The return trip is just as enjoyable, even though I just saw everything in reverse order an hour ago.
    So that was my day.  Sorry no pictures, but hopefully my awesome narrative didn't need any...... I'll remember the camera next time.
    So long from a warm Keweenaw!
- JD  -
- November 8 -
    This was a November day that even a snow freak like myself cannot deny loving.  We hit 63 degrees officially at the Houghton County Airport and Ironwood in "Big Snow" (BS) Country hit 73.  The sun was out and only filtered by some high cirrus clouds.  Weather like this once again sent us to the beach.  This time it was the south shore's turn.  One of my favorite beaches on the south shore is due east of me and makes up the south shoreline of Big Traverse Bay.  The beach is pure sand and always quiet, even on hot summer days.  It is also one of the longest beaches in the Keweenaw, and the hounds and I have yet to reach the end before turning back.  It was so nice I even got to sport my summer shorts for the walk this afternoon.  I kept a wind breaker on as it was a little cooler by the lake, but really a wonderful day.  We took the camera along as the hounds agent said they needed some more press.  Here is a view looking south.  This shore line continues on for about 20 miles before encountering the south entry to the portage canal and then it is about another 20 miles to the towns of Baraga and L'Anse.  For those of you who would like to know the correct way to pronounce these two cities (I sure as heck wondered for a while), Baraga is pronounced Bear-a-ga and L'Anse is pronounced Launse.  Anyway, like I said there is not a whole lot of build up (even for the UP) along this beautiful shoreline.  An occasional "camp" (yooper name for cottage).  From Big Traverse south to Baraga, it is also the "Banana Belt" as it is in a snow shadow and receives quite a bit less snow than points further to the west.  The south shore also has a lot more sand beaches on it as the Keweenaw Current picks up much of the sand along the north shore, wraps around the north tip of the Peninsula and then deposits the sand as it slows down on its trip south.  There is also a very beautiful beach up by Lac La Belle called Bete Gris.  I'm sure some of the locals will hate me for this, but the pronunciation of Bete Gris is Beta Gree.
    The trip to and from the beach only takes us about 10 minutes and is a very pretty drive first along the Torch Lake (picture did not turn out) and then up through the old farm country and finally past Rice Lake.  Rice lake is one of the many "hidden" lakes in copper country.  I say hidden, because not too many visitors discover them, but they are readily accessible and have camps dotting their shoreline.  The sun was about 2 hours from setting and the lake was a blaze in silver from the low sun.
    Back from the beach I took the opportunity to break out the hose from winter storage and wash the car for one last time before winter sets in.  I was also able to make repairs to the house from last week's wind storm.  So I have a clean car, a ship-shape home (at least the outside) and another day of 60's before reality sets in for the second half of this week.  Life is pretty good in the Keweenaw.
- JD  -
- November 6 & 7 -
    Ok, so I'm skating by this report-a-day thing by combining two days into one report, but it's the weekend!  First off I want to thank all of those who have sent me an e-mail with their hometown.  The count is up to 17.  I have also added some from the "net friends" who corresponded with me before I set this feature up.  If you haven't yet, don't be shy, e-mail me.  I promise that you will not become part of some e-mail marketing scam and that all info sent to me will remain confidential.  Anyway, on to what has been going on.  The weather has continued to provide nothing for a snow lover to get excited about.  The forecast is going the wrong way with 60's anticipated for Monday and Tuesday of this week.  There is a cool off indicated, but no snow, for the end of the week and into next weekend and it looks like more mild air could be in store for early next week.  If true, it would mean no snow of significance through November 16th.  This would make most locals happy as they know it will come eventually, but nuts like me just have to wait.
    Well I experienced another right of passage into yooper-hood yesterday.  I was driving home from Houghton last night traveling north on hwy. 26 and as I got out of the glow of the city lights of Houghton and Hancock... Low and behold the NORTHERN LIGHTS!!!!!!  What a site to see for the first time!  WOW.  All I can say is: WOW!!!  They so entranced me that I got pulled over by the local Lake Linden Police for doing 37 in a 25.  Sounds like I was being dangerous, but in reality, there were no other cars on the road, the town had rolled up it's sidewalks for the evening and the parking ban is now in effect so there were not even any cars on the side of the road, so 37 was not unsafe for the given conditions.  I think that the officer must have felt the same and let me off with just a verbal warning.  Thank you sir.  I did add some humor to his evening by telling him that the sight of the northern lights for the first time caused me to not pay close attention to my speed (this said after he said he was just giving me a verbal warning), which caused him to chuckle.  Bet that was the first time he heard that one!  More good news as they are predicted to be even more active the next three evening.  A good reason to take a nap this afternoon I'd say!
    Things are pretty quite up here right now.  Most people are in the calm before the storm stage before dear season and the holidays.  Locals are also busy covering up bushes and other objects they don't want crushed by the snow load this winter.  It is really interesting to see the different contraptions and set-ups people use.  I have seen everything from old wash tubs to plastic fencing propped up by old shipping crates from snowmobiles to some well thought out and well built wooden structures.  Interesting to think that these were always there when I visited during the winter, they were just buried, busy doing their thing!  I have my plans all drafted out and plan to get the materials this week and take advantage of the mild weather to secure the bushes and maybe even put up the Christmas lights.  Don't worry I wont light them until closer to the season, but we are entering the time of the year when a big dump can occur and the snow can remain for the rest of the season.  I'd rather put up my lights in 50's than in 20's and snow.
    Well, guess that will do it for now from a quiet Keweenaw.
    God speed #34.
- JD  -
- November 5 -
    I think that this is going to be a short journal entry as not much went on.  The weather provided another wind storm, but they are getting to be rather old-hat by now.  Anything that could be blown around or down already has and its weird to think that winds of 35-40 mph, gusting to 55 are no big deal, but in this autumn of big winds and low snow these wind storms seem like no big deal.
    I am working on my "weather station".  It is just a platform where I will be able to measure daily snowfall as well as measure snow on the ground.  Hopefully the hounds will not trounce down the snow too much in this area and I will be able to make accurate measurements of snow on the ground without having to go out and take them on the other side of the fence!  I will also have one of those big outdoor thermometers on it to show the temperature.  Once this station is done and in the back yard, I will then add a page to the web site which I believe will be called "The Almost-Live Cam".  I will take a picture every day to show current conditions and if (or should I say when) we are getting a big dump I will likely update through the storm.
    I read in the paper where Ski Brule in Iron River has one slope open on man-made snow.  Always wanted to get one of those snow-making machines.  My neighbors would think I was nuts, especially up here!
    Well, like I said, this was going to be a short one.
    Bye from the Keweenaw.
- JD  -
- November 4 -
    After the past two days of low clouds and temperatures in the 30's, today's sunshine and 50's meant only one place to go... The Beach!  Had to work on my yooper-tan!  We actually went to a beach on the north shore up by Five Mile Point Road.  That is about 5-7 miles to the south of Eagle River.  There is a place I like to park and climb down a sand dune onto the beach.  By the time I finished up the errands I needed to run and got to the beach it had clouded over, but we did have the whole place to ourselves. Here is a view of the beach looking north towards Eagle River and here is a view looking south towards...towards...well, towards not much civilization!  There is the Sand Hills Lighthouse.  An old lighthouse converted into a Bed and Breakfast.  I'll give a little plug for them, they are open all year round for you lighthouse fans.  If you followed the shore line south, the next towns you would come to (about 20 miles south) are Redridge, Beacon Hill and Freda.  These are south of the north entry to the Portage Canal and to the south of them (about another 30-40 miles) is the town of Ontonagon.  There are some cottages along the lake, but not many major towns.
    It was about as relaxing and tranquil on the beach as you can get.  Small little rollers (less than 1 foot) lapping at the shore line, A few birds flying around and nothing else but the hounds and I.  In fact, the only other signs of human life we saw was a lakes freighter headed west towards possibly Duluth or Thunder Bay.  This was one of many of the moments I have had in the past 7 months which have changed my perspective about what is important in life a lot.  No amount of money is worth the peace I felt on that walk.  There is not a drug or therapy around which can eliminate stress like this place and moments like that.  Persons who have visited this place all speak of it's magic, how it draws them in and keep them coming back time and time again.  I can tell you this, living here has not reduced that magic, not one bit for me.  For those of you who have yet to visit, I would put this area as one of those "Must See" locations.  Nothing flashy or dashy, just pure natural beauty and the best people on the planet.
    Well enough of the Tourism Department talk.  We went home via Eagle River and then Phoenix.  On the way through Phoenix we passed these three trail groomers all ready to do their stuff December 1st, weather permitting.  Hard to believe that given enough snow, only 27 more days!  Forget Christmas!  This is more exciting!  I just hope the pattern changes in the next couple of weeks so we can build a base for opening day.
    I would like to take this time to thank all of those who have sent very kind words via e-mail.  You all are the reason why I do this and it is great to hear from everybody.  I think I might make a map and people can send me their location and I can put a marker on the map from where they are from.  Sort of like those maps on the walls of a business where people put a thumbtack in from where they are at.  If you want to be part of this, send me an e-mail with your hometown and I hope to have the map done by tomorrow.
    From the Keweenaw, by for now.
    PS.  I got my firewood all stacked for those of you who were wondering!
- JD  -
- November 3 -
    I'm going to try my darndest to update this journal daily.  I am a big fan of other journals on the net and look forward to when they are updated and I would imagine that those reading this one also would appreciate to see it updated daily.  I may not have pictures to include everyday, but at least something new to read.
    Today was a cool and overcast day in the Keweenaw.  Lake effect clouds, but no precipitation.  The sun is just setting and all of the clouds are going bye-bye so that means a cooooold night.  Our high was about 35 degrees so I would think the low will be in the low 20's at the airport and maybe even the teens here in the Traprock Valley.
    I did get out with the camera today.  The hounds and I headed up Whealkate Bluff.  It is a high point up near South Range.  Some of you might be familiar with this as it is where they used to have the hill climb in the winter.  Anyway, took some pictures.  The photos just do not do the view justice. This photo is looking north towards Houghton and Hancock.  The white blurs in the center of the photo are buildings on Quincy hill in Hancock.  The visibility was very good today and I could see Gratiot Mt, Mt. Bohemia, the Huron Mts., Keweenaw Bay and Lake Superior on the north side.  This is one of those times I wish I had more than a $78 camera, because then you too would have been able to see all of these features.  Anyway, here is what the bluff looks like from the bottom.  The clearing up the middle is where they have the hill climb, it is a lot steeper than it looks.  One of those three steps forward and 2 steps back types of climbs.  I am already about 200-300 feet above most of the Keweenaw where this picture is taken and the bluff is another 400-500 feet higher.  It is the highest point around houghton, actually one of the highest in the Keweenaw at 1502.  It does not have the vertical drop of 1465 ft Mt. Bohemia or the panoramic view that Brockway Mt at 1328 has, but is still neat to hike up and look out over.
    The hike up the bluff was not enough to wear out the dogs, so we headed for the snowmobile trail to do a little more hiking.  Here is a shot of the "kids" on the trail.  Those familiar with the trail system might recognize (or not) the spot.  It is just outside South Range on the way to Houghton.  Infamous for being rather bumpy section as it is highly traveled, not the groomers fault.  We headed out on the Freeda loop, but did not go to far out on the loop as it was getting dark and I did not want to be out in the woods alone in the dark.  Ooooh Scary.  Those looking for a neat side trail that is rather quiet and has some neat bridge crossings, I recommend the Freeda loop.  There is no gas and I am not sure if the restaurant is open in out there, but it is a really nice loop to take and get away from it all.  Plus it is a true loop once again, as the logging closures of years past are over for now.
    Guess that about does it for this report.  No I did not get my firewood stacked, maybe tomorrow.
- JD  -
- November 2 -
    Double bummer.  Number one, the forecast was a bomb.  All we ever got was a few flurries and never really enough to even make it look like it was snowing.  To add insult to injury here, I believe I was calling for more snow than anyone up here (NWS, local TV guy).  Oh well, tomorrow's another day and another forecast!
    Bummer number two is I deleted all of the October entries.  I had meant to save them and create a separate page for groups of dates and I goofed up and renamed the current one the same name I had called Octobers.
    For anybody still with me here, I was expecting to be able to do a before and after picture of the trail by my house with no snow and then with snow, but like I said, mother nature did not cooperate (she's been that way recently!).  I did manage to get over to the lake yesterday and take some pictures.  The winds were not at their peak yet so the waves were not too big.  I would guess about 6-8 feet.  I know the winds did increase after dark.  I lost a piece of my house (rake board) at about 9 pm and heard gusts in the area were to 56 mph.  I also picked up some roofing shingles from my neighbors vacant garage which had come off and landed on my front yard.  Until I fell asleep, the house was literally creaking and at one point, I was a little worried my big picture window might give in (it was bowing).
    I got my load of firewood for the season today.  About 20% is stacked.  I think I have my project for tomorrow.
    From a not-very-snowy Keweenaw.  Good night.
- JD  -
- November 1 -
    I got my new toy (digital camera) yesterday afternoon.  Is a real cheapo ($78), but it looks like it will do the trick for the time being.  Quality is about the same as a live web cam so you all will be able to at least get an idea what things look like.  It might not be crystal clear, but for 78 bucks what can we expect!
    I will likely be putting pictures in many of my journal entries, as well as adding a daily updated picture page to my web site.  To steal a phrase from one of my close friends up here: "This is going to be a fun winter!".
    Hounds and I went for another AM walk today.  Frost again, but we did not hit the trail until about 10:30 so all was melted.  In fact it was very warm.  Temperatures in the mid 50's and clear skies.  Took my jacket off and walked in short sleeves.  Hard to believe the flakes will be flying by later this evening.  The front did come through just as we were finishing up our walk.  Kinda neat, the winds switched from the southwest to west and gusted, picking up the leaves on the ground.  To actually see and feel the front (noted by the wind shift was a unique experience.  Soon the temps will begin to drop like a rock.  Looking for a couple of inches by tomorrow mid morning.  Here is what the trail looked like this AM all dry and brown.  I will post pictures from tomorrow if we get the white.  We are also expecting winds out of the northwest at 30-35, gusting to 50 mph so I plan to head to the north shore to get some pictures of the rollers coming.  Will post them later today or tomorrow.
Bye for now from the Keweenaw.
- JD  -