March 27, 2016-
    Happy Easter Everyone! We are experiencing a true Keweenaw Easter, a white one. I get into that a bit more in a bit, but first want to share with you the project that I was finishing up when I last wrote. Thankfully I am pretty much done with the big projects for the house and am on to the stages of building furniture and other smaller projects. Ever since we were done with the addition, there has been a large empty space on the fireplace above the TV. We pretty much knew what we wanted to have go up there, but were not quite sure of the style. I finally decided on a style a month or so back and about 2 weeks ago got onto to making it. It was certainly not the most difficult project I have had to tackle, but did provide a few challenges. Mostly taking wood that was in near pristine condition and making it look old and hand hewn.  
    Normally, I am taking wood that might have some rough edges and cleaning them up for a project, so this was a bit of a change. I actually did end up using the same tools that one would have used to make the cross out of a log, some draw knives and chisels. I did use the table saw to make the half laps where the two beams meet and also used modern stain to get the patina, otherwise, it was much like making a cross 2000 years ago. I am happy with the way it turned out and fills the space nicely...and done with a few days to spare from the Good Friday/Easter holiday.
    There has been some other work going on in the woodshop this week. Gracie and I have been busy building her Grand Prix car for Awana. It's been many, many years since I last put one of those together and the results were less than spectacular from a looks standpoint, but for some reason, the thing was fast and ended up winning some kind of trophy, although I don't think it was THE fastest.
    Times have changed since then. We started out doing wind tunnel testing on several designs and managed to come up with something where the friction coefficients are as close to zero as can be. We then uploaded the design into the CNC machine and let it do most of the rough in work, then it went through several stages of sanding to get it ready. It is off at paint and powder coating right now and the engine is at the speed shop on the Dyno getting the fuel and timing settings all worked out for the different atmospheric conditions that we might encounter through the course of the racing. We are still over a week a way from the race, so there is plenty of time to get it back, do final assembly and then make a few dry runs to get any last minute bugs worked out. I will be sure to provide you with pics of the final product in next weeks entry.
    The weather this week can probably best be described as "blah", or boring. We hovered in no mans land for most of the period. Not really getting warm enough to do much melting, but not having any big storms come and dump snow on us either. We completely missed the storm that hit parts of MN, WI, the eastern UP and northern lower MI and even managed some sunshine for Friday and Saturday. The temps were not super warm, but with the sunshine, it was still a nice enough day for me to try out my new bike and for Gracie and the pups to join me. Nora got a new bike too, but decided to sit this ride out and take the pictures.
    It's been a while since I did much bike riding. I did have an aged, but nice mountain bike that I picked up way back in the 80's. It was a Schwinn Woodlands and at the time I purchased it, it was close to top of the line. It was in pretty decent shape, so I almost did not want to get rid of it, but it was quite heavy and the bikes of this era are really a huge improvement on many scales. One being the weight scale, this new bike probably weighs half of the old one. I have disk brakes, rather than the old pad on rim and are hydraulic vs. cable. Plus the gear shifting is also far superior. I still need to get a basket and bell for it, but I really did love how well it felt to ride and also how easy it was. I am not meaning to actually ride it, but to go up hill or accelerate. I did ride the old one a few times while living up here and it felt uncomfortable and kind of hard to peddle up hill, even in the right gear. So if the ride the other day is any indication on how well this bike will do for me, then I can see taking lots of bike rides with my family this year! Who knows, I might even get a little into shape! Oh, and I am going to get a helmet before I start riding it regularly. 
    So as I mentioned, we had a white Easter up here. Not only with the snow that is still lingering from the winter, but also from some new stuff that fell yesterday and overnight. The pups did not seem to mind the new snow and made sure to eat as much of it as possible this morning. I am in the state of mind where I am ready to move on in the season. I know we are not even into April and that month is probably the hardest to take living up here. It still has it's bright moments, the days when we sneak into the upper 50's or low 60's and have some sunshine, or the occasional big snow dumping and then we can go out and play in it, but for the most part, I could seriously go hang out somewhere else for most of the next 4 weeks, so if anyone has a home or condo in the Caribbean that they are not using for the next few weeks and need someone to keep an eye on it, just let me know! :)
    The new snow did make it a bit more challenging for Gracie to find her Easter eggs. We bundled her up and sent her on her way and told her we thought most of them were around her swing set. After about 30 minutes of her looking and digging and looking and digging, Huck and Millie could not bear to watch anymore, so they went and told her that the eggs were INSIDE the house. So after she got out of her snow clothes, they helped her do the finding. She has gotten all of them but one. I suspect that she will find it when she goes to put her winter hat on tomorrow morning. 
    So I guess we are in the grin and bear it mode for the next few weeks. It really will not be all that bad. I have several projects that I can get done in the shop and have really enjoyed being out there recently. Gracie loves to be out there with me too. She is not yet up to using any of the power tools, but I did let her chip away a block of wood with a mallet and chisel. Maybe a hand saw and drill can be next.
    It does look like we have some snow and even cold coming later this week and weekend. It is way too soon to be saying how much, but there is the chance that it could be enough to make snow-play fun again. I would not mind the snow so much, but hope that it does not get too cold for too long. The main reason is that the wood supply is dwindling. That does not look like much at all, but if we were to have average temps this time of the year, what was left in that picture would probably last us through the rest of the heating season. In a few weeks, the temps are usually warm enough that I can stop running heat to the shops and then the house does not use too much. I do have a back up supply of logs that just need to be cut to length, the only problem is that they are still buried under 18-24" of snow. So I guess we will see what comes first, being out of wood or enough warm temps that we can get through with what we have until we can get at the re-enforcements. In either case, I am not going to worry about it.
    I guess that about covers it for this one. Strange to think that this will be the final week of snowfall forecasts for this season and the next time I write it will be April. Hopefully there will be more to talk about next week!
Good night from the Keweenaw..
JD-

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March 21, 2016-
    Ok, lets try this again. I really did not feel that tired when I put out the little announcement last night, but I figured I had better just get settled in and go to bed at my normal time, rather than stay up and write. Turns out I probably could have stayed up, as I tossed and turned for several hours after I went to bed, but oh well. 
    I don't have a ton to share and some of it might even be old news, but here goes anyway. After a pretty solid start to spring, old man winter returned last week. The storm started on Wednesday. It rained for around 15 minutes at our place and then changed to snow. It did not take long for these big old silver dollar flakes to start falling. That pic was taken around 10 minutes after it started and for a while it looked like we might be in for a doozy. It did keep snowing, but as the suns rays got stronger (even through the clouds and falling snow), they melted the snow about as fast as it fell. We picked up around 2" of new snow for the day, but about half of that ended up melting. 
    Then not long after sunset (which is around 8 pm these days), the snow started to accumulate and we woke up to around 5-6" of new snow and it was still snowing pretty good. It turns out our 5-6" paled in comparison to the totals just to our south. Areas from around Calumet south to Toivola had already picked up around 10-12" and it was still coming down good. 
    At around 5:15 am, Nora came into my office to say good morning as she always does before getting ready for the day and was grinning ear to ear and if I remember correctly, she was even singing!  I normally do not get such a reception at that time of the morning, seeing as though she has typically been up for less than a few minutes. It turns out the storm was enough to cancel school for the day, so she and Gracie got St Patrick's day off. Finally, the famed St Paddy's day storm hit!
    I say that because soon after I moved here and started doing the weather for some local radio stations, every March the big talk was about the St Paddy's day storm that would hit, as if it was something that hit every year. Truth be told, March is a month that produces some big snow storms, but up until this year, the closest we had come was 13" falling 3 days ahead of St Patrick's day back in 2002 and a couple of years in which it snowed a couple of inches of snow, but no big storm.
    It turns out that the famed St Patrick's day storm is really any snow storm that hits around 7-10 days either side of the 17th of March. But this year, it hit on the day and for all was a storm and for some a really big one. Final totals just south of Houghton in the higher terrain were in the 12-16" range and the snow was quite wet and sticky. We had our own flocking of Keweenaw Kamo occur, but it would have been neat to see the coating that areas to our south got! 
    This time of the year my feelings for snow go both ways. A big storm is always welcomed, pretty much any time of the year! However, if we get missed, or get the lower amounts, I am pretty good with that too. It means not as much to have to move around and also since snow this time of the year typically does not hang around for too much longer, it is not like we missed out on snow that will be around for months like a Dec or Jan storm produces. So a part of me was envious of the bigger totals just 10 or so miles away, but I also enjoyed not having to do much work with it.
    Had the storm hit around 24 hours later, it would have given Nora her birthday off. She turned 26 on Friday, but had to go to school with the rest of the kids. So while she was away, I wrapped her presents and also baked her dessert of choice, Jake cupcakes. The "Jake" coming from the fact that the recipe comes from the Jacobsville area up here. 
    So upon her arrival home, she got to open up her presents and then we headed out to dinner to celebrate. I was able to sneak a cupcake out of the house, give it to our waitress so she could bring it with some ice cream and a candle to surprise her for dessert. 
    Saturday was the first day of swimming lessons for Gracie. MI Tech has a nice swimming lesson program in the spring and even though Gracie made great strides in learning to swim last summer all on her own, we figured she would benefit even more from some official lessons. They put the different kids into different groups based on their swimming skills and as Gracies group made a bee line to the "dive tank", a pool that is around 15-20 feet deep, with no shallow end, I was worried that she might not have been put into the right group, but the instructor said they would keep a close eye on her and if she seemed to be struggling, they could always move her to another group. It turns out that she did just fine and even made a good friend on the first day. The last 5 minutes of the session was "free time". Some just got out of the pool, others swam around a bit and others took to the diving board. Gracie was part of that last group. I was not surprised that she took to the diving board and just wonder how long it will be before she does the platform behind her!
    The rest of the day was spent working on a little project for the house. It is not completely done yet, but will be in the next day or so and I will try and remember to share with you in the next entry. It will even be a little apropos for the day.
    On Sunday, we all piled into Nora's vehicle and headed to Marquette. There is a boat, sport and RV show they have in the Superior Dome every spring and we have never gone, so we figured it was time. For those that do not know, the Superior Dome is part of the Northern MI University campus and is where they hold their football games. So it is pretty big, although not nearly as big as a professional football stadium. In all the years I have lived up here, I had never been inside it. Heck, I had only been by it a few times! It's a cool dome, made out of wooden beams with steel connectors. I really should have taken some pictures of the inside, but just plum forgot.
    We had a lot of fun checking out the campers and boats. I am a boat lover, even though we do not own one at the moment! I have never been that big into the whole camper thing. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that the only camping we did when I was a kid was the kind in tents. Many of the times hauling everything you needed on your back. Anyway, I was pretty impressed with the campers they have these days. I'm not ready to have one yet, we pretty much live in the type of woods that most would die to be able to camp in and we have just recently picked up some property that will be a lot of fun to take the SxS out to and camp. However, the idea of getting a really nice, comfortable 5th wheel or other large rig and touring the country is growing on me. So maybe something to do in the off months when I finally retire. A boat is much closer to happening, but not just yet! Unless there is a manufacturer or dealer that wants to get some great coverage of their product on this site! :)
    So it was nice to see what all these toys cost. About the time we first got into the dome, Gracie immediately spotted some "bouncy houses" that were set up at the one end. She did very well in not begging too much to go in them while we viewed all the displays and when we were done with that, we did take her to go play in them. It's funny, because just a few years ago it seemed like she was too little to go in them and now she almost seems to old. None the less she did take advantage of the fun as this blurred image shows. They also had a little pool filled with some trout that kids could try and catch. There had to have been at least 50 fish in the pool and I thought it would not take her long at all to hook one, but for some reason, they were not biting. She tried for around 10-15 minutes and was skunked. 
    After the show, we did what most folks from the Keweenaw do when in Marquette and that is shop! It's not the shopping Mecca that most reading this are accustomed to, but there is a handful of shops/stores that the Keweenaw has yet to get. Places like Target, Lowes, Menards, Yonkers, Best Buy. We hit most of them and then headed home and by the time we got home it was after 7 pm. So a pretty long day for all of us, even the pups
    I guess that about covers it for this one. A shortened week for me, with having Friday off. Nora and Gracie also get Friday off and then all of next week for spring break. We do not have any big plans for spring break this year, but sometimes just staying put and relaxing can be fun. So...until next time...
Good night from the Keweenaw..
JD-
March 20, 2016-
    Just got back from a LONG day trip to Marquette, so will write tomorrow.
Good night from the Keweenaw..
JD-

March 13, 2016-
    Hey! I got a prediction right! I was just reading the first few sentences from last weeks entry and I talked about how we would not likely lose all of our snow, but would take a serious hit. That is about the best way to describe things. We took a serious hit, but are not down for the count. In fact I did manage to get in a wonderful spring ride yesterday with a couple of buddies. More on that in a bit.
    We rose above the freezing mark every day in the last week. Thursday's high was only 35, but was still above freezing. The snow depth at our place went from 29" a week ago to around 15" today. There is more snow in some spots and less in others. It's the typical setup, with the higher terrain having the most and areas down along the lake having the least. I talked with Kelly from the Eagle Harbor Inn today and she said things are bare down there. I would suspect the same can be said for Copper Harbor too. It does not take long for you to get into the snow once heading out of town, but those areas are bare for the time being.
    I say the time being because it does look like some snows will fall by the second half of this week and into the following weekend. The verdict is still out on how much and I have a sinking feeling that will be the case until the snows pan out. The snows have been indicated by the models since the middle of last week and the models are jumping around all over the place, with ideas ranging from just an inch or two to feet of snow. The very rough estimate I have right now would be for a general 6-12" to fall in northern MN, the UP and possibly into sections of far northern WI and far northern lower MI. So stay tuned...those wanting to get in one last ride this season may just be able to do that...or not.
    The snow in the woods was not the only thing to take a hit this past week. The trails were hit even harder. Because to the foreign material (mostly dirt) on the trails, they melt quicker. I can say that most of the trails in the woods are still fully covered, with perhaps the occasional bare patch. In town it is a different story. Between the grime from the snowmobiles and the grime from the roadways, most of those trails are bare. 
    One spot that is always first to go is the stretch of trail in Hancock that runs along side the road. It was pretty much toast when I went by on Tuesday and then on Wednesday when I went by, there was a city front end loader dumping "plow snow" onto the trail. They managed to get about 2 feet of pretty clean snow on the trail there. For some reason, the did not do that entire stretch, but were able to get about half of the area that was toast covered up. 
    The two days that were hardest on the snow this past week were yesterday and Friday. Friday we got to around 50 with tons of sunshine and yesterday we hit 55 with tons of sun as well. Despite, or perhaps because of, the forecasted temps in the upper 50's for yesterday, I hooked up with some friends to ride south of the bridge. I have always loved spring riding. No need to get all bundled up against the elements. Taking a pit stop is a joy as you sit in the sun and mild temps and the sun shines until about my bedtime!
    Yesterday's spring ride was one of those joyful ones. The temp was already in the 50's and the sun was fully ablaze by the time we took off at around 10:30 in the morning. We rode a bit of the trails, but mostly the backcountry. The snow was softening up nicely and sunglasses were the call at our first pitstop.
    The melting snow has all the rivers and creeks running pretty hard, which made for even more to view and enjoy as we cruised around. As mentioned, in most areas, there was plenty of snow to ride on, with only a few spots being a bit thin. The goal for the day was to make it out to the shoreline of the big lake. I do not know the area south of the bridge all that well, but was riding with two that know it about a well as any and it was no challenge for them to get us to the lake in time for lunch. The snow was very thin there and had we waited until the end of the day to leave, we might not have even had any snow to ride on for the first mile or so, but the trip through the thin snow was well worth the view. If any of you are wondering if I photoshopped that last image to make the sky and water as blue as it was, the answer is no. That is the beautiful blue sky we have up here and the clear waters of Lake Superior need to photoshopping to make them look beautiful!
    The weather was so beautiful that I even decided to take a quick dip in the big lake. Not quite all the way in...well, actually just past my ankles, but still a dip! The look on my face pretty much says it all. I was happy, but also in excruciating pain! I suppose if I had stayed in a bit longer my feet would have gone completely numb and it may have not hurt as bad, but I had no interest in seeing if that would work. Soon after that shot was taken, I scampered back to shore and put my socks and boots back on and waited for the feeling in my feet to return! I can say that I do have the bragging rights to being the first one in our family to go into Lake Superior this season. I'll let Gracie have all the rest of the honors as the season progresses!
    Not long after heading back from the beach, a sled in our group developed a slight mechanical mishap. The bolt that holds the upper A-arm to the top of the spindle had its nut back out and so it needed some attending to. The first attempt to fix things was to try and replace the nut/bolt with some bailing wire. That held up for a bit, the most important being getting the sled and its rider, Scott, over the biggest creek crossing we had to do on the trip. Once the bailing wire gave out, we tried zip ties, but that did not last long at all. The final fix was the one that ended up being the best. The bolt was able to be found back where the nut backed out, so we put the bolt back in and then uses some rope to tie the upper A-arm and lower A-arm together and that held the whole thing in place until we got home.
    We let Scott lead on his broken sled to set the pace. It was slow, but I did not mind in the least. In fact, I enjoyed cruising through the woods at around 25 mph with the sun shining brightly and the temps so mild. I was able to just relax and take it all in and it was very relaxing. Therapeutic almost. 
    We did make a few stops. One of them was at a set of falls that are quite dramatic when the water is flowing. The water was sure flowing yesterday, but unfortunately, the falls were still covered by its thick cover of ice from the winter. In this shot, had the river been totally open, there would have been a nice 10 foot drop about 6 feet to the right of Scott standing here.
    As we got close to home-base, we came upon a bridge and I was able to drop off to the side of it to show you all how much snow was still on the ground there. Again, not all areas were like that, but probably around 80% of the areas away from the lake are like that right now.
    So that may have been the final ride of the season, or maybe not. We will see. It was a very, very enjoyable one, so I am certainly not going to force the issue, but if a significant amount of snow were to fall later this week, then I could see getting out for at least one more ride. Then maybe it will be time to dust off the side by side!
Good night from the Keweenaw..
JD-
March 6, 2016-
     Welcome to spring! I seriously debated about adding the exclamation point to the end of that greeting, but what the heck, life is about being happy and making the most of what you are given...or in the case of the next 10 days, taken away. I seriously doubt we will lose all of our snow, but will take a pretty serious hit, with temps rising to above freezing just about every day in the next 10 and little to no new snow in that same time frame. 
    It always amazes me how come early March, it is almost a guarantee that we will start seeing noticeably more sunshine during the day and clear skies at night. That leads to some warmer days, but also some chilly early morning lows. Its not something that our heating system likes too much. Our in-floor heat loves small fluctuations in temps in a 24 hour period. The big ones gives it fits. At night, the temps drop and at around 1-3 in the morning, heat is called for, so the boiler water starts flowing through them and they heat up. The only problem is that there is a several hour lag between when they go from not being hot to being hot enough to heat the air inside. So just about the time the floors are really nice and warm and heating things up, the sun is already up and temps are warming, so we end up overshooting the set temp on the thermostat as the morning goes on. So its not the best system for the big temperature swings of early spring, but that is just a couple of week period in most seasons and really is an awesome way to heat in the regular heating season period. Nice warm floors, Gracie spends most of the winter running around in her bare feet indoors!
    So this will likely be a fairly lengthily entry. I do have quite a bit to share. In fact, I get to go back to early February when I snuck out of town for a top secret mission. I actually did mention in the Feb 7 entry that I went out of town, but did not go into detail, the reason being is that I could not...until March 1st...say what was up. I was invited by Polaris to go and demo some of their 2107 sleds in northeast Maine. They were kind enough to say I could bring along a couple of friends if I wanted, so I asked two of my buddies (Dave and Luke) from up here if they wanted to go and they did. It was a very fun trip. A bit of a travel mess, as a sizeable storm hit the UP the night before we were suppose to fly out of Iron Mountain to Minneapolis. So we go a jump on things and ended up driving to MSP instead. That was a good idea as the flight from IWD to MSP was cancelled. The rest of the trip out was fine, but the trip back also featured a snow storm that had our flight from Portland Maine to Ney York canceled. So we got booked on a flight out of Boston that same day and took a bus from Portland to Boston. They we sat IN the plane AT the gate for over 3 hours while they dealt with the snowstorm hitting Boston. Finally got out of Boston and back to MSP and then drove home, but it ended up being more than a 24 hour day for us!
    The place where they had the rides was called Rangely. It is in far northeast Maine, not far from the Canadian and New Hampshire borders and sits in the Blue Mountains. The town itself reminded me a lot of the UP, with the older buildings and timid economy. This was not a good snow season for them and when we arrived, they had just dealt with a ice storm that finished up as an inch or so of wet snow. There was less than 12" on the ground in town and a bit more in the mountains. 
    For obvious reasons they did not want us to have cameras or smart phones with us when we rode, but I was granted permission to carry my phone with me and did take this picture of some of the terrain out there. The mountains are not as tall as the Rockies, but because your valley floors are much closer to sea level, the change in height between the valley floor and the tops of some of the mountains is very much comparable to the Rockies. Logging is one of the main industries out there and I was told that much of the land is state owned and open to riding. So given a more typical snow pack of 3 feet or more, that area could be a lot of fun to go to. A lot of the logging they do leaves cleared or semi-cleared areas much like ski runs, which would be a lot of fun to go up, given enough snow. So perhaps a trip out east may be in the cards some day when they are getting good snow. I know my heart and lungs would like it much more than the west!
    So, Polaris did not have their entire fleet of 2017 sleds for us to demo, what they did have was their crossover sleds the Switchbacks. New for 2017 they moved the Switchbacks over to the Axis chassis from the Assault chassis. I have to admit that I did not have much experience in riding the Polaris sleds (new or old). They had two of the 2016 sleds that were in the Assault chassis for comparison, so I chose to ride one of them first. We rode mostly trail, but I thought the sled handled things pretty well on the trails. It was pretty steady and seemed to handle the bumps pretty well. Then I got on the 2017 Axis chassis and could immediately tell the difference in rider/weight position and the improvement in ride quality. There were around 10 riders in our group, plus 4 from Polaris and we would stop every 10-15 minutes to switch sleds to get the feel for the different setups. I felt a little bad, but I made sure that after each stop and switch of sleds, I ended up on a 2017! The difference to me was so large that I just did not want to go back to the old setup, even though my ride on one at the start of the demo had me thinking they were pretty good sleds too!
    So my 100% honest assessment of the new Switchback is that the improvements to the Axis chassis made a big difference. If I were currently riding one on the Assault chassis models and had the opportunity to upgrade to the Axis, I would not hesitate one bit. The same sentiments were given by Dave and Luke. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Polaris for inviting us to the demo. Even though the snow conditions were less than good, that was completely out of their hands and Dave, Luke and I had a lot of fun in all of our travels. And I got to see parts of Maine, a very small part of NH and a bit of Boston!
    Fast forward to the latest 7 days and I can say I was able to get out and ride twice! On Monday I was invited by some friends of the site to go and ride in their neck of the woods. I promised not to say where it was because they would like to keep it as quiet in the woods as it currently is, so I will just say that I had to travel south a bit to get there!
    As luck would have it, there was around 6-8" of new snow down from snows that fell Sunday afternoon and again Monday morning. The temps did drop into the single digits by the afternoon and the winds were blowing pretty hard too, but we were in the trees most of the day and did not feel too cold. There were four of us, which was a nice size for the riding we did. Most of that riding was off trail. The conditions consisted of the 6-8" of new snow on top of the old, frozen snowpack. So most things that could be hit were buried under the existing pack, but not quite enough fresh to really lay the sled over as much as one would have liked to. Still, some nice climbs were made and it was a ton of fun seeing new places and playing in some of the many bowls that existed in the area. Plus it was great seeing some old friends and making some new ones
    On Thursday, I got to ride right from my garage. I paired up with a local that I have gotten to know. The sun was shining brightly and temps were in the upper 20's and it was one of those great early spring rides. Our riding was a mix of trail and off trail and since the 6-8" we picked up earlier in the week had settled to just a few inches on top of the existing snow-ment, the trails were actually more fun to ride that some of the back country. Other than to just get out and ride, the other purpose of the ride was to give the Helo from EZ Ryde a real work out. As mentioned, most of the trails were flat as pool tables, which made for nice riding, but not to put the Helo to the test. So we did spend more time in the bush, seeking out some trails that were tracked up, but not brutal. We did find some tracks, but not exactly what we were looking for! 
    With the visibility grand, we did seek out some of the vistas this end of the Keweenaw provides. We also stopped to take some shots of the sleds. The green on that sled sure does pop!
    We did end up finding some bumps in our travels and I can say that the Helo did make a difference in the ride. I was not pushing things too hard, but the extra bit of cushion the mount gives did make a difference and it was nice to not bottom out in that section of the suspension. It is a pretty straight forward operation to put it into any sled and I would say that for anyone wanting to get a bit more from their rear suspension (especially in the bumps) you might want to look into this option. Since it just bolts in, it means that you can also remove it and return the suspension to stock and keep the Helo for your next sled. I know that is what I plan to do!
    Friday night was a big game for the MI Tech team. Not only was it their final regular season home game for the season, but it was against their arch rival Northern Michigan University and both teams had strong reasons to win. Tech was still in the hunt to win their conference and NMU still had a chance to secure home ice for the first round of the playoffs. So with that much going on, it was pretty hard to pass up going. So we made a daddy-daughter date out of the night and cheered the Huskies on to a 4-0 win. Tech also won the Saturday game at NMU and thus shared the conference title with the Minnesota State Mavericks. They did beat the Mavericks in the regular season twice and also had more wins, so they will be the #1 seed for the playoffs for the WCHA. If you ask me, they should not have to share the macNaughton Cup with the Mavricks, but that is just me! Next week starts the playoffs for the conference and then hopefully a destiny with the Frozen 4!
    While we did sneak above freezing yesterday, today was really the start of the thaw. Our temp is 54 and still rising and the sun is out. Earlier in the day we took to the woods to go pay a visit to Old Granddad. The snowpack is pretty firm, but we still donned our snow shoes to make the walking in the snow easier. It was only around 40 degrees when we went out around midday and there were still some clouds, but it was beautiful and very refreshing to be out in the woods. We even spotted this snow-goddess! The pups did not have snow shoes, but it is cool to see them spread their webbed paws and stay on top of the snow. They had a blast running around and checking things out. Huckie is still favoring his left rear wheel, but is getting around a lot better. In that last shot he was lagging a bit behind her speedster sister, so I also took one of him running on top of the snow. Its been almost a month since we were able to take our regular morning walk, but as long as today's adventure was not too much for him, I think we will be able to resume those walks, especially given the warmer temps for the next 10 days.
    Well, I guess that covers it for this one. Not sure if I will have any sledding pics for the next entry, but hopefully we still have one last big spring storm to play in before the season is over for good. Perhaps the warmer temps will get the rivers running enough to take some waterfall shots.

Good night from the Keweenaw..
JD-

 

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