Here we go! Snowmobile
season opener eve! That sure is a mouthful and probably not the best way to
say trails open tomorrow, but it is what it is! I would have to say that in
all the years I have lived here, this will probably be one of the best
openers we have ever had.
We did take that hit last weekend, with the thaw, but
still kept a nice solid base down and then it started dumping Monday and by
the time it was all said and done, another 15 1/2" of snow fell last
week. This was the
look outside our door on Tuesday morning, shortly after Nora and Gracie
had headed off to school. A fresh 7" and just a few inches shy of our
depth before the thaw over the weekend. We only picked up around 1/2"
on Tuesday itself, but another 6 on Wednesday and another 2 on Thanksgiving.
The thaw yesterday was almost a non event. My temp only got to 33 and the
snow settled, but really did not melt. Only the 12/12 portion of the roof
The old snow after last weekends thaw froze up nicely and
is an awesome base, the new snow was like frosting on the cake. The groomers
have not been out yet, but will be heading out in force tomorrow. Lots of
snow on the trails. I would say at least a 12-14" base, if not more.
Most of our trails run old railroad grades, which means that they are
elevated above most of the natural grade and are not prone to wet spots.
There may be a few here and there and the two trails I would be most
cautious about would be the Lake Linden to Gay trail and the Gay to Lac La
Belle trail. Both of those do not use railroad grades in many areas and can
have issues with wet spots early in the season. I am sure I will be hearing
about the conditions of all trails and may even get out on them a bit this
week, just to scratch the itch.
Thanksgiving day was just beautiful up here. At times we
had a bit of sun shining and at other times it was dumping snow. I took the
pups on our morning walk and as we walked through the neighborhood, looking
at all the fresh snow, it really looked like it should have been Christmas
Day and not Thanksgiving day. We started out in a pretty nice snow squall,
but then on the way back, the sun peaked out just in time to bathe the house
in some bright light and a "Thanksgiving
Day in the Keweenaw" photo-op.
After the walk, I fired up Big Red and cleared the snow.
I still cannot get used to how awesome it is to just hop in that thing, fire
it up, turn on the heat, tunes and move snow with the greatest of ease.
Man-o-man, I sure wish I had gotten it before last winter set in!!!
While I moved snow, the girls got gussied up and headed
into the Kitchen to get going on the feast. Nora had actually done some of
the prep work on Wednesday evening and I was in charge of the turkey, but
Nora loves to put out a HUGE spread for holiday meals, so there was still
plenty for the girls
to do come Thursday morning. Gracie is getting old enough now that she
really loves to help and does lighten the load a bit. A close eye still
needs to be kept on Gracie to make sure she does things properly, but there
certainly is no lack
for enthusiasm when it comes to her helping out in the kitchen. There is
talk of some Christmas treats being made starting next weekend, I can't wait
Ever since Gracie watched me build the addition, she is
always coming to me with ideas for things she wants me to build her. Some of
them are doable, others have to be put on the back burner until more time
permits. Friday, she came to me saying that she needed me to build her a
ballet bar. I know that we let her watch some TV and some movies and most of
them involve a princess, fairy or Barbie, or some combination of those
three, so I was interested to see what had gotten her into the ballet. So
after dinner, she invited me to watch her do her ballet moves while she
watched a ballet instructional video. As much as I love hockey, I am
hoping that she sticks with things like ballet than wanting to jump into
hockey. Pretty much all traveling for girls hockey up here!
So with the holiday, not a lot of work got done. I did
finish off enclosing the lean-to. They did not come out to finish putting up
the garage door this week, but I will give them a call tomorrow and get the
ball rolling on that once again. Once the door is in, then the insulation
can go in, the walls can be finished out and the heat added and the lean-to
will be all done until spring and the outdoor siding work.
My next building project is a kind of a top-secret one,
but I can drop the hint that it is for the ride-in. It will not take me too
long to do, probably around 20-25 hours, but I also do not want to put it
off until the last minute and have the stress associated with
Speaking of the ride-in. I just received a very special
prize from Togwotee Mountain Lodge.
It is a 3 night Classic Winter Package for two in a standard cabin. The
package includes round-trip transportation to and from the airport (if
needed), 3 nights in a cabin, the meal package- which includes dinner,
breakfast and happy hour, plus guide service for two days of riding. So all
two folks need to do is get themselves out to Togwotee and either bring
their sleds, or rent and they are golden! The prize is valued at $1442.00
and will expire on April 13 of 2015, so rather than wait for the ride-in to
silent auction it off, I am going to set up an auction for the package on
the discussion board tomorrow and will run it through December 31st, with
the highest bidder taking the prize and then setting up their trip.
I am also happy to say that all of you who have purchased
raffle tickets on line will be getting their tickets soon! Nora and I sat
down last night and spent around an hour or so getting them all into
envelopes and recorded into a spread sheet. All I need to do is pick up a
bunch of stamps and put them in the mail. All told, we have sold 176 of
them! The two main guys responsible for the restoration of the sled are
coming up next weekend to get it dialed in perfectly. Kelly said that there
was a bit of a bog in the mid-range with the sled, so he and Adam are coming
up to get that taken care of, then it will be off to a hosting spot and will
be sure to let you all know where those spots will be.
I guess that about covers it for this one. Hopefully I
will get in some riding before the next time I write!
Good night from the Keweenaw..
|This business directly
Its been another busy
week, both in the weather department and other departments. In the weather
department, we picked up another 18 inches of snow, bringing our seasonal
total to 56". The snows stopped Friday morning and we warmed to above
freezing both yesterday and today. More on the weather in a bit.
The main excitement for the week was the
arrival of the sled to be raffled off at the Ride-In. I have only seen
pictures of it as the restoration has gone on the past 6-8 months and the
transformation was phenomenal, so I was very excited for it to arrive in
person. The man behind the restoration, Kelly, brought it up all the way
from the Minneapolis area yesterday and we unloaded it soon after it
arrived. As good as it looked, the other man behind the restoration, Adam,
did an equally phenomenal job with the engine rebuild/restoration. Kelly
pulled on the starter cord just once and the sled fired right up!
We got it off the trailer and let
it touch the Keweenaw snow for the first time. Kelly wanted to take it
for a short spin, so he hopped on it and drove it around the neighborhood a
bit and then we pulled it into the shop for safe keeping until it goes off
to a local business for display and to help sell raffle tickets. I believe
that first stop is going to be the Mosquito Bar in Toivola. I just need to
coordinate the delivery with Don and Donna, the owners.
Before leaving, I nabbed a shot of Kelly
on the sled he restored to full grandure. Like the sled he restored 2
years ago, this one is just incredible. Better than the day it rolled off
the assembly line. The winner of this sled is going to be one lucky person
and I cannot express how thankful I am to both Kelly and Adam for all of
their hard work.
As for the ticket sales, they are still going great. I
have not counted the latest tally, but figure we are at around 200-250
already. Nora and I are going to sit down in the next day or two and get
them out to those that have already purchased them. My apologies for not
getting them out yet, but it seems like just as it looks like I will be
getting some free time to do send them out, something critical pops up and I
have to do it. The weather does look to be a little quieter this week, so I
should be able to keep my word this time around and get them out.
Now...about that weather...As mentioned, we got quite a
bit of snow this week. It never really stopped until Friday morning. We
never had it just dump on us in any one 24 hour period, but other areas up
here did. It looked to me that areas around Lake Gogebic and then just east
of Munising got hit the hardest this week, with several feet falling. Of
course there was the even bigger snows that hit the Buffalo region in the
past week or so. The pictures I saw from that area were just amazing. A snow
lovers dream come true!
Even though we did not get the dumping they got or even
the amount of snow other areas of the UP got, we still had a lot of snow
fall and a lot of snow on the ground. All week it felt and looked like mid
January, not mid November. I was very happy to have the blower mounted on
Big Red. Throughout the week, I was able to work on my technique as well as
establish the best progression of steps to clear the snow on both our
driveway and the neighbors that I volunteered to clear. It may sound funny
that I was working on a progression of steps for blowing the snow, but
because of all the snow we get and time involved to move it, it really does
help to dial in a system to become as proficient to cut back on the time as
much as possible. By the end of the week, I was able to do both our driveway
and parking area as well as the neighbors, plus clear the snow away from the
fireplug between the two homes in around 25 minutes. The neighbors home is
around 800 feet down the road, so it takes a couple of minutes to get there
and back. Those times will not change too much with more snow to move
either. Quite the difference from a minimum of 40 minutes to just clear our
snow and that was with just a couple of inches. I had times of over 2 hours
last year in some of the bigger storms!
With all the new snow and some winds, the snow drifts
were really starting to build on some of the roofs. The shop
roof probably had the biggest overhanging drift. Thankfully, those come
down with the greatest of ease. All I need to do is grab the roof rake and
give them a little tug and they drop right off. As for the roofs, I figured
that the warm temps would likely let them self-clear, but the roof on the
lean-to is not steep enough that it would naturally slide, so yesterday I
climbed up on it to shove it off. I lasted all of 1.3 seconds on it before I
found myself on my backside and sliding off of it. I do make it a point to
not climb up on a roof to shove it off unless I know that I will not slip
off, or if I do, that the drop is not big enough and the snow is deep enough
to prevent any real injury from a drop off the roof. The lean to roof is
only about a 6 foot drop and there was still around 2 feet of snow on the
ground, so the landing was nice and safe.
None the less, I did have to abandon the idea of climbing
up on it to clear it off and had to resort to the roof rake. I actually had
picked up a new one that is made of plastic, with aluminum poles and it is
not only very light (around 5 lbs), but also well designed. It digs into the
snow as you pull, but floats up and over as you push. So I
did my pushing and pulling and Grace got a kick out of watching the snow
drop off the eaves and soon the lean-to roof was clear. It was then time
to move the snow that
had piled up on the ground from all the raking, so Gracie
and I fired up Big Red and used the blower to move the snow in quick
Later in the day yesterday and then into the overnight,
mother nature and her warm up allowed the
shop roofs to clear as well as the side of the cabin and the back of the
addition. The front of the addition has not cleared so far and I am having
my doubts that it will. There are just too many valleys as well as the dormers
to allow them to slide naturally. We'll see, but those may be areas that
need to be cleared by hand.
None the less, I am actually kind of grateful to have had
this little thaw and allow the roofs to clear. Such was not the case at all
last year and it was a lot of work to keep the snow from getting too deep on
The shop roof clearing did deposit another
load of snow along side the lean-to and with the prospect of more snow
to want to go there, it hade to be moved, so Grace and I once again fired up
Big Red and moved that out of the way. What a wonderful machine!!! In less
than 5 minutes we had moved
the tons of wet and heavy snow, all while sitting in a nice comfortable
seat inside a heated cab, listening to our favorite tunes. I am SO thankful
that I decided to get this machine and that Nora saw the need for it too!
One of the things I did before winter set in was to
change out the old pex tubing that ran from the boiler to the shops and
house. Instead of one line feeding the two, I now have one line that feeds
the shops only and another that feeds the house only. I also replaced the
thermostats inside the shops. They were nice programmable ones, but only
allowed the air temp to get down to 48. I really wanted to let them sit more
in the low 40's, so I picked up a pair of the "old-school" dial
thermostats and have them set to 42. I'm not sure which of those changes
made the biggest difference, but I can say that combined, my wood usage has
dropped significantly. So much so, that we are using the same amount or even
a bit less than we used before we even had the addition! So that takes a big
stress off me that we will have plenty of wood to get us through the season
and it is nice to go in and see that even though we are almost to December,
I have barely put a
dent into the wood supply.
With all the fresh snow so early, Nora and I decided that
it would be fun to start cross country skiing again. The only problem was
that Gracie did not have a pair of skis yet, so we headed over to Cross
Country Sports in Calumet and picked her up a nice used set of skis,
boots/bindings and poles. Everything actually looked like brand new and
they have an awesome program there for kids. You just go there and exchange
your old set of gear for another set of used gear (that fits the growing
child) and you just pay $5! That continues until the child has stopped
So naturally, Gracie was pretty excited to get out there
and give the skis a try. We did have some things to do in the afternoon, but
after dinner, we turn on the front lights and bathe the front of the house
in light and let her tool around a bit. She
really did great for it being her first time. She did take a
few spills, but laughed each one off and got right back up and continued
on. The snow on the driveway was pretty icy to boot, so I think when we goes
in better conditions, she will do just fine.
So now all we need is some new snow to freshen up the
old. It does look like we will get just that. Not a ton, but we also do not
look to get a ton of rain. Probably around .25" or less and then it
looks to change to snow tomorrow morning, with a few inches of fresh
tomorrow, maybe another inch or two tomorrow and then a couple of inches for
Thanksgiving and over the weekend. Our trails look to still be in good shape
and I am hoping that the snow mat on our driveway can survive the next 12-14
hours before the snow starts to fly again. In any case, it looks like we
will be just fine for the opener in a week and a few hours.
I guess that about covers it, except to wish you all a
Good night from the Keweenaw..
Not much to talk
about, so it will be a short one. Just kidding! The forecast for
"whopper" snow panned out and most areas picked up more than what
was expected. My official total from when it started Monday afternoon to
when it stopped Friday was 33.5". There were places that picked up even
more than that. Some spots in the higher terrain just west of Marquette
picked up 40+" and as best as I could tell, Gile WI, reported 50"
as a storm total. If you are wondering where Gile is, it is sort of a "suburb"
of Hurley, sitting about a mile WSW.
Needless to say, a storm of this magnitude was quite the
event for even the snow hardened folks of the UP. Schools were canceled on
Tuesday here and the kids in the Marquette area got both Tuesday and
Wednesday off. The road crews were not taken too off guard. They seemed to
be on top of the storm, but the earliness of the storm did catch a few of
the general population off guard. This week would have been the week when
there would be an ATV sitting in the back of most pickup trucks (in advance
of the firearm deer season that started yesterday), but I think I saw just
as many snowthrowers in the back of trucks as ATV's. Perhaps that was the
method that was going to be used to get to camp or a hunting spot!
I too was not totally ready for it. I did get the
"have-to" things done before the storm hit. The
load of rock was delivered around midday Monday and I was able to put
Big Red to use in spreading it around nicely. About half way through the
spreading process it started to snow, but not too heavily and I was able to
get the job done before it really started to pile up. However, I did not get
the loader swapped out with the blower in time for the storm. So it did take
a bit more time to move snow with this system than if I had gotten the
blower put on, but I still got to move snow from the heated comforts of the
cab and it was still much quicker than if I had to resort to the old
ATV/plow and walk behind blower.
So while I would have probably preferred to have the
storm hit this week or even next week than last week, I am not going to
complain at all. The woods went from their dull brown and gray to a
beautiful flocking of Keweenaw Kamo. In what seemed like the blink of an
eye, we went from autumn to mid-winter around here. Here was the
look of "downtown" Mohawk Thursday afternoon. Usually the plow
banks are not 3 feet high until January.
Most residents I talked to seemed to feel like after only
24 hours into the storm, we had been in winter for months. In some ways, it
seemed like this past summer never happened. I guess when you figure it was
only around 6 months since it all melted around here, summer did barely
The pups did not have to make too many adjustments to the
snow. They got right at playing
in it and playing
in it and playing
in it. There are few sights that bring a bigger smile to my face than
watching a dog or dogs play in the snow!
After having the day off Tuesday, Nora and Gracie has a 2
hour delay on Wednesday, so they did not have to get to school as early.
Plus, the district has what they call early release days every 2nd and 4th
Wednesday of the month. On those days, the kids get out around 90 minutes
early so that the staff can have meetings and such. The early release days
are mine to pick up Gracie from school, so I did and then we spotted this
snow pile while driving home. It's not too often that a snow pile over
10 feet high appears before the start of deer season!
Since I was moving snow with the loader, rather than the
blower, we had some decent sized piles of snow around here as well. So when
we got home, Gracie got all bundled up and had fun playing
on some of them.
I suppose a lot of you are wondering if I got a chance to
play in the snow? Well, I probably did have the chance, but did not take
advantage of it. I came down with a cold last weekend and it hung around all
week. Nothing too nasty, but I do find myself running out of steam and
needing a little 20-30 minutes break to re-energize so I can do more work.
So I did not want to use up that energy playing when there was still quite a
bit of work that really had to get done (namely moving snow and forecasting
it!). Plus, since the last time I was on my sled, I broke my back while out
west, it still was set up for the higher elevation. So I would have had to
change out the clutch weights to ride it here and I really did not have the
spare time to do that. Although going past the
trail on Wednesday sure made it tempting to abandon all and go for a
The size and timing of the storm did throw a wrench into
the typical deer hunting agendas up here. Just about all areas had too much
snow for an ATV and many even had too much snow for a truck. So there have
been some hunters using snowmobiles to get to camps or hunting spots. I got
a call from Troy/Cathy from the Lac La Belle Lodge to see if they could
borrow my sled for hunting and I gladly offered it up. I just cautioned that
I needed the clutch weights swapped out, so when their son Zach came to pick
it up, he swapped out the weights and then off
it went to perform it's duty. As fate would have it, Cathy
got this buck opening day!
I also figure that with the rambunctious start to this
snow season, am I wishing I had not made the prediction I did in my seasonal
outlook? The truth is, I was never happy to make that forecast in the first
place. As far as what has happened last week giving any stronger ideas on
what the rest of the snow season will be like, I have done a look back and
there really is no strong connection between snowy Novembers and what the
rest of the winter will be like. The last November we had that was similar
to this was in 1997. The snow season for 1997-98 was not so good as a whole,
with only 130" for the season. Then you look at another year like 1978,
when big snows fell in November and it ended up being the biggest snow total
season this area has ever seen. The rest of the handful of years did not
bring any more insight.
So I guess the bottom line is, anything is still
possible, even a poor season as a whole...or perhaps a record breaker. I can
say that I am encouraged by what I see going forward. This week will be
quite snowy in the Keweenaw and I am ready for it as we got the
blower put on Big Red Friday afternoon. Lake effect snows look to fall
almost every day this week and we could be looking at 12"+. There were
some ideas of a thaw coming to all of the Midwest (even with the potential
for some rain) by early next week, but now no such thaw for the Northwoods
is seen and maybe even a bit of snow. Only time will tell what happens going
forward through the rest of the season and nothing would make me happier
than to have my seasonal outlook be a total bust!
The final story I have to share is that the Dee's have
not waited for Thanksgiving to come and go before putting the house into the
Christmas spirit this year. This weekend, we decided to put the tree up.
Nora and Grace had mentioned putting it up before Thanksgiving and I love
Christmas enough to not fight it. Nora suggested it because the days
immediately following Thanksgiving are so busy, it seems like we are in such
a rush to shoehorn time in to put the tree up that is it stressful and not
fun. Gracie was just plain ready to put the tree up!
So Friday evening we broke out the tree, got it up and
lit and then the girls put the ornaments on yesterday. Gracie was so excited
to be decorating the tree that she started out by hanging the first half
dozen or so in a very
small space. After a little coaching from Nora, she got the hang of it
and the tree looked beautiful once all done. It is a new tree to us. We
picked it up last winter after Christmas (on sale of course) and it is much
larger than our old one. The old one was around 6 feet tall and this one is
9 feet. It fills up
the space by the stairs nicely! So please do not give us grief for the
early jump on things. We did have lots of fun putting it up and there was
even close to 2 feet of snow on the ground while we did it!
Good night from the Keweenaw..
Uh-oh! Ready or not,
here it comes! The seasons first whopper snow storm looks to be headed for
the northern Plains and northern Midwest. Truth is, it is already starting
to impact portions of the Dakotas as I type and the other truth is, I am not
as ready for it as I would like to be. I will be able to handle it without
too much problem, but if I could have gotten just one more week, I would be
This week threw some curve balls at my outdoor work
schedule. Nora was out of town (not really a curve ball as I knew she would
be) and then Gracie got sick. The poor girl, I went to pick her up on
Tuesday and I have never seen her so worn out. She was barely making it down
the hallway and at first I thought that it was just a reluctance to leave
school, but as she got closer, I could see by her face she was not feeling
well. She got to me and literally collapsed in my arms. So I carried her the
rest of the way out the school and to the truck. Got her buckled into her
car seat and she was asleep before we even got out of the parking lot!
I carried her in to the house from the truck, set her
right in bed and made her comfortable. I took her temperature right away and
she only had a low fever. She complained of a head and ear ache, so I gave
her some medicine and she fell quickly to sleep. Slept for another 3 hours,
woke up long enough to grab a bite to eat and then fell back asleep.
She awoke feeling pretty good and was disappointed when I
did not allow her to go to school, but the school likes parents to keep
their kids out of school until they have been free of a fever for 24 hours.
She went back to school on Thursday, but I did take her in to see the Dr on
Thursday afternoon. Things checked out pretty good there, with a mild ear
So I was not able to do much outside work Tue, Wed or
Thur of this week, but did get stuff done Monday, Friday, Saturday and
today. So the lean-to
for Big Red is all set to it and keep it dry. Warm? Well, not yet. There
is a garage door coming, but it will not be here until early next week. I
also have some more work to do before I am ready to insulate it, but I was
able to finish off the rear portion (unheated part, no cement floor) of the
lean-to as well as get the walls up and the Yooper-Siding (housewrap) on it.
I did run out of the Yooper-Siding, but will pick up some more tomorrow. So
the bottom line is, Big
Red is out of the elements...except for the cold and in a little over a
week, it's barn will be heated too. Plus, we moved the ATV's into the
lean-to and now Nora's car can finally be kept in the front shop and is
sitting there now. No more scraping snow/frost/ice off her car and she and
Grace will have a clean and somewhat warm vehicle to get into every morning!
My main concerns for this storm are that I wanted to get
some rock delivered and spread out across the driveway and parking area to
level things off. I am going to call first thing tomorrow morning to see if
they can get it to me before the end of the day. Even though it is snowing
right now and may snow lightly trough tonight and tomorrow, the main snows
look to hold off until after sunset tomorrow. So perhaps I can get that task
done before the big storm hits. If not, I probably will not worry about it
until next spring as this storm may bring enough snow (12"+) that it
would stick around for the rest of the winter.
The other thing I would like to have had done before the
storm hits would be to have the blower mounted on the front of Big Red.
However, I have held off putting it on, as I wanted to keep the bucket/forks
on to help me with the construction and rock spreading. Plus the backhoe is
still on it and I remember that causing some challenges when we went to put
the blower on last spring. It can be done, but with the backhoe still on, it
more of a 2 person job, whereas if the backhoe is off, then it becomes a
pretty simple 1 man job. If you want to watch a video of just how easy it
it out here. The interesting thing is, the easiest thing he does in that
demo of the swap from the loader to the blower is probably the hardest to do
with the backhoe on and happens at around 6:55, putting the pin in the rear
Anyway, it will not be too long before I have the blower
in place and in the mean time, I will still be able to move any amount of
snow from the comforts of my heated cab with the loader. So no worries!
The sled raffle ticket sales have been going very well. I
have taken orders for 70 tickets so far. I have not filled those orders yet!
But have patience. Last week was pretty busy for me and I will be sure to
get them out this week, as well as to keep up with new orders. The engine
was mounted into the chassis, so it is almost ready to go!
So not much else happened during the work week. Nora got
home late on Thursday and it was great to have her back. We all went on a
family date night to the bowling alley last night. About 10 years ago (or
so) a new bowling alley with a bar and restaurant went up behind the Walmart
in Houghton and while I have been in the restaurant to eat several times, I
have never bowled there. In fact, I have never bowled at a facility where
the modern features of today's bowling world are in place. Automatic scoring
was nice as was the fact that they had a
ramp that Gracie could use to get her ball rolling down the lane. The
lane would also automatically pop the bumpers up when it was Gracies turn to
avoid a gutter ball.
I don't know where I have been lately, but my sweet
little innocent girl has sure become competitive! I got a little ahead of
her, so she decided to follow
behind me chanting "gutter ball, gutter ball, gutter ball".
Then she ditched the ramp in
favor of a new style. Which was followed up by lots
of body english and a
bit of frustration when a strike was not made. Actually, truth be told,
she had great sportsmanship. She was not barking "gutter ball" at
me but rather was just excited and liked to stand there while it was Nora
and my turn. There was also no real disappointment when she did not get a
strike, although she did actually get her very own spare and her totals were
in the 50's for both games! In my willingness to try and pick up the last
pin for a spare, I
tried Gracie's style, but ended up missing.
So I guess that about covers it for now. It looks quite
likely that I will have the opportunity to take some nice snow shots this
week. Not only does the system snow look to fall, but LES does as well. If
we are under the main band of snow for the system and then get several
inches of LES to fall after, it is possible we could be flirting with over 2
feet of fresh snow this week. I guess there is only one thing to say...Bring
Good night from the Keweenaw..
Well, if the week
before was the productive outdoor work week, then this past week was the
productive indoor work week. I can say that not a single thing got done on
the lean-to, and the only real outdoor work I got done was to cut down the
stumps from the trees that were cut near the wood boiler the previous week.
They were sticking up and in the way when I moved wood from the shed to the
boiler. So even though I bragged about how I was pretty much indemnified
from the weather with my remaining work, I did let the nasty weather we had
this week keep me indoors and I kept busy on some desk work type of things
that needed to get done.
I do have plans to get back at working on the lean-to and
I may or may not finish it this week, but should be able to get it a lot
closer to being done.
So some of the desk work I got done this week was to set
registration for the ride-in. We usually have a lot of folks register at
the last minute. I am hoping that we can get most of you wanting to attend
to sign up as soon as possible. This being the final event, I am hoping to
make it the biggest and best and have some special things in the works.
Because I am hoping for a large turn-out, I have moved the venue back to the
Memorial Union Ballroom at MI Tech. I doubt that we will fill it, but it
sure would be cool if we could! So if you have never attended and have
always wanted to, then this will be your final chance. If you have attended
in the past, but were hoping to get to one more, then this will be your
final chance too! I sure hope that all the familiar faces will be there as
The other ride-in related desk job work I did was to set
up the page to purchase raffle tickets for the vintage sled restoration. If
you have not been following, the same two persons that did the majority of
the work on the first sled restoration 2 years ago have done it again and
1977 Polaris TX 340 to mint condition. Like I did two years ago, I have
set up a
webpage where ticket for the sled can be purchased. I also plan to have
the sled showcased at a few businesses up here as well as having some
businesses selling tickets for the sled raffle. Once I have the tickets at
those businesses, then I will let you all know.
So most of the week had us in the upper 30's and low 40's
for highs, with off and on rain. Not really the best weather to be trying to
do outdoor work in, even if you are under cover. Then on Thursday night and
Friday morning, the rain changed to snow and we picked up our
first accumulation of the season. Not a ton, only about a inch and a
half at our house, but when it fell, it was very wet and sticky and frosted
the woods nicely.
I am grateful that it was not a big dumping as those that
occur at this time of the year just make a big mess when they melt off.
However, I can also fully admit that both the pups and I did fully enjoy walking
in the snow covered neighborhood on our morning walk Friday. Typically
the dogs spend most of the walk with nose to ground and I always wish I
could know what they were smelling. On mornings after a fresh show, I can
get a good idea of what they are smelling in many cases. This time around,
it was some tracks left
behind by both a fox and a coyote. There were no human prints in the
snow, so I knew they had to be from a wild animal. The smaller tracks were
laid out like that of a small dog, but were way too small to be a coyote, so
they had to be a fox. The others were also laid out like a dog, but were a
bit smaller than Millie's prints (the
print on the left in this shot). I have also seen a fox and a coyote
roaming around the neighborhood in the past month or two.
While we picked up around 1.5", more fell not too
far away. We are around a mile or so, as the crow flies, away from Mohawk
and when I made the afternoon run to the post office, I was a little
surprised to see that they
had picked up close to 2.5-3" of snow. Certainly enough to take a
rip across on a sled if one were desperate enough to do so. The town of
Mohawk is not only around a mile or so away, but is also around 100 feet
higher in elevation. These early season snows can really differ in their
amounts based on elevation. I wished I could have driven up to some of the
higher terrain up by me, but did not have time, but I would not have been
surprised to see 4-6" in those spots, based on past experiences with
One thing is for sure, that being we sure were blessed
with the weather we had for cutting wood last weekend vs. this weekend! The
snow had stopped falling by Friday evening, but then the skies cleared and
temps dropped into the upper teens by Saturday morning and little of the
snow that had fallen Friday had melted by Saturday morning. Combine that
with the fact that nearly an inch of rain fell prior to the snowfall and the
spot where the logs were piled for cutting was a bit of a mess with half
frozen puddles and around an inch and a half of snow.
The reason why I could not head up into the high country
Friday afternoon was that it was Halloween and Gracie's kindergarten class
had a party the final 45 minutes of class. Parents were asked to provide
something for the party, so I brought some sandwiches for the kids and then
hung out and watched all the kids have fun at the party.
Once school was out, we hooked up with Nora at home, got
bundled up to go out into the cold and snow flurries to do some trick or
treating. Thankfully Gracie's
costume this year was able to accommodate some warm layering underneath
it. Although we did have to forgo the ruby
red slippers in favor of snow boots! The trick or treating went well and
Grace came home with a pretty good stash. She has been chipping away at it,
but her sugar tooth is not huge, so it will probably last here a few more
Earlier in the week, we managed to carve up the pumpkins
we picked out last weekend. Nora handled the three smaller ones by carving
BOO on them and Gracie and I used one of those kits to make a design. They
all turned out pretty good, although Grace did tell Nora that it did not
look like a "B", but rather a "13"!
Last night when we got home from being out, the sky was
clear and the 1/2 moon was shining brightly in the sky. We had given Grace a
telescope for her birthday, but not until a few weeks ago was it getting
dark enough, early enough, for us to be awake when it got dark! So this was
only the second time we have used it, but it was really neat to be able to
see the moon so close up. We could actually see all the craters on it and
even the terrain of the craters that sat on the edge of the surface. Here is
a shot of Gracie doing
some moon gazing.
Today was a pretty nice day, with temps reaching into the
mid 40's and some sunshine. So it was decided over lunch that we should hop
into the car and take a ride down to Jacobsville and White City Beach. So
that is exactly what we did. By the time we got there, some clouds had
filled in and there was a pretty good breeze, but we dressed pretty warm and
it was nice to be on
the beach. It did not take long for the
pups to find their way into the water. Gracie
contemplated it, but thankfully common sense prevailed!
A few weeks back, there was a strong storm that caused 15
foot waves to crash onto that shoreline. It also caused a lot of driftwood
to pile up and Grace had fun climbing
around on the pieces of driftwood. The
pups and Gracie also played a game of chase (which they one quite handily)
and then the elements started to get the better of us, so we piled into the
car and took the long way home. All in all, a very nice time was had at White
City Beach this afternoon.
So that about covers it for this one. I can mention that
I will be starting up the snowfall forecasts this week. I plan for Tuesday
and if not that day, then Wednesday for sure. Nora is going to be gone much
of this week, so that means a bit more work for me in the mornings to get
Grace ready for, and driven to, school. But I should have found my groove by
Wednesday at the latest. So until next time...
Good night from the Keweenaw..