Past Journals
George's Eagle 
Harbor Web
Pasty Cam
Dan's Wilderness 
January 31-
    Last day of the month, so it must be time to do a journal.  I must say that I am making a bit of a sacrifice to do this one.  Had energetic days the past two days, so I am a bit tired, it just started to snow pretty good and I feel the fireplace calling my name.  But I thought I would get out a journal first.  However, if this turns out to be a short one, now you know why.
    My energetic days have been filled with both great backwoods riding and great backwoods skiing.  I have really been chomping at the bit to do some riding lately.  I have really not done a bunch of riding this year.  Sure some of it has been due to the weather, but some of it just because I have not made the effort to take advantage of what snow we do have.  So yesterday I convinced Brian to take a ride with me.  I would ride by myself if I were sticking to the trails, but riding in the bush alone is not a smart thing to do.  Plus riding alone is just not too much fun either.  Anyway, it was not easy to coax Brian into a ride.  He is our main KSE guide and has been very busy this season, so he was hoping for a day off.  Thankfully he cracked and decided a ride in the bush with just the two of us would be a good thing.  We had a great ride, busting some new trails open and riding some familiar ones.  We even rode the DNR trails for a short time and the ones we were on were in decent shape.  It has been fairly quiet up here and with the groomers going out everyday, the trails are not bad at all.
    It is always amazing to me when I head out into the bush just how many little roads are out there and just how much land is out there too.  Brian and I spent about three hours just making our way to Gay.  Of course there were some rest breaks, but for the most part we were riding pretty hard.  We did head down some trails that no one had been down yet.  How can I be so sure that no one else had been down those trails yet?  Well, when you encounter something like this, it pretty much eliminates all doubt.  Brian carries a little bow saw on his sled for just such events and we put it to good use.  That was me taking my turn with the saw.  One thing that is rewarding about taking care of those trees is that it does allow us to ride on unbroken snow.  At times it was up over the windshield.  Plus, we now have some new trails to take KSE clients on.
    We did find out way to Gay, stopped in at the bar and got some refreshments before heading home.  We took the short way home, as it was getting dark and the bush is not the best place to be when it is dark.  With as mild as it has been all winter, I was very surprised to see ice forming on the big lake.  Especially over on that side.  The lake is usually open there all season.
    When we stopped to take that picture, Brian got off his sled to look it over.  I asked him if everything was OK and he said that it seemed to have a problem steering.  Upon further inspection, we found the problem.  Just another prize for breaking trail I guess.  It came right out and the only harm done was a 2 inch hole in the belly pan.  We got a good laugh out of it too boot.
    Today's exercise came from a ski in the bush.  We started out on one of our traditional trails, but then came across what looked like a path heading off into the woods so the hounds and I took it.  It turned out to be not much of a trail, but we kept going.  No bow saw with me on the ski, so we had to work our way around the obstacles.  Easier on skies than on a sled, but snow shoes would have really been nice.  I will have to get a pair of those.  Actually, I want to get a new pair of cross country skis, ones that are designed more for the bush.  They are wider, shorter and have edges on them.  Great for breaking trail, but not so good on a groomed ski trail.  On they way back to the car we came across a creek that has finally frozen up.  It has been running all winter long.  I guess things are finally starting to freeze up in the bush up here.
    Another interesting event occurred today.  Interesting because of our lack of snow.  Mt. Ripley, the local ski hill near Hancock had an avalanche.  A real one.  It broke about 2 feet deep and 800 feet long.  Obviously it was the result of the snow making equipment they have going on the hill and not our natural snowfall.  However, I remember reading an article in a skiing magazine about Mt Ripley and in it the author talked about an avalanche that occurred on the hill.  One due to natural snow.  Avalanches in the Keweenaw.  Cool!
    Since it is the last day of the month, I can share with you the web stats for the month.  Thanks to everyone for setting a new monthly record for downloads!  There is still about 4 hours left in the month, but as of this moment I have 1.59 million pages downloaded and 4.37 million hits.  Anybody interested in advertising?!  Anybody know anybody at Polaris, Ski Doo, Arctic Cat or Yamaha?  I'm not picky.  I'd be more than happy to mention how great the sled rides in every journal!  Ok, enough begging, I'm sorry.
    Looks like I have three day's in a row of riding.  A KSE tour tomorrow and then some bush riding with friends Sunday.  I hope to have lots of pictures to share with you in a few days.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD-
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January 29-
    Sometimes it is so hard to start these things.  Sometimes I am amazed that I even do them.  I was by no means a writer in school.  In fact, I did not like to do it at all.  Somewhere along the lines things changed, because I do get some enjoyment form it now.  The only thing I wish I could do was to be able to stay up later at night, so that I could spend more time trying to put thoughts to words.  Many times I am writing this as my eyes are drooping and vision is blurring.  I then get all rushed to finish before I fall asleep and the quality of my writing suffers.  I am getting more of an early start tonight so maybe this one will not suffer.
    We did get some snow in the past 36 hours.  Here at my house it was only about 4", but as much as 8-10" fell to the north, up in Keweenaw county.  It was sort of a frustrating event yesterday.  Here in Lake Linden it was snowing, but not very heavily, just sort of light snow and flurry activity.  However, I was talking with Chris at the White House Motel in Mohawk and he said that they already had 3" down.  The hounds and I were going to go for a ski at the school forest and then I thought that I would take a spin up north to see where the heavier snow kicked in.
    The ski at the school forest was ok.  Lots of activity out there, at least lots when compared to just the hounds and I for most of the month.  About a week or so ago I noticed that someone else was going out to ski.  They did not always follow our path and it looked like they also went in the opposite direction.  However, it was nice to have someone else out there breaking and packing down a trail.  Yesterday, as we headed into the forest, there were snowmobile tracks out there.  I realize that their intentions were good, they were likely just trying to pack down the snow out there to make it easier to ski, but their results were not too good.  Lots of ruts, bumps and uneven surfaces.  The sled did not go down all of the trails we use, but where it had, it was very difficult to ski.  So I doubt that we will be going out there anytime soon.  I will check in from time to time to see if they stopped taking the snowmobile through or maybe rode it enough to really get things packed down.  It's not a problem at all, if there is one thing that this place has it's areas to cross country ski!
    Anyway, we finished the ski, I took the hounds back home, gave them their post afternoon-workout treat and then hopped back into the car to explore the north.  I started to get into the heavier snow about 5 miles north of my home.  By the time I got up near Mohawk there was about 3" new down.  I did not go all the way to Mohawk, turning off on the number 6 road and headed down to Ahmeek and then down to Calumet to the hardware store.  It was still snowing pretty good in Calumet and I was excited that maybe the heavier band had made it south into Lake Linden, but as I headed down the hill to Lake Linden, the snows tapered off to flurries.  We did see some heavier snow fall yesterday evening.  About 2" fell from 6:30 to 8 and then about 2 more overnight, but that was it for that.  Makes me glad that I downplayed the Winter Storm Watch posted by the NWS and said most amounts would be under 5".  I wish I had been wrong, but it is also nice to be right.
    With the fresh 8-10 down the hounds and I headed up to the Keweenaw.  I know most of you are reading this and saying "you live in the Keweenaw!".  I guess technically I do live in the Keweenaw Peninsula, but my local friends call Keweenaw County "Keweenaw", as in "...head up to Keweenaw to do some riding".  I wanted to take the hounds for a ski and be able to take in the fresh snow, so I chose the Cliff Range.  Cliff Drive is always a beautiful drive, even on a day with heavy overcast, drizzle and temps in the 40's.  Today it was downright photogenic.  I knew that we would find a trail that had tracks made fairly recently, but was hoping that they were also buried under the 8-10" of fresh.  Unfortunately we were too late, some snowmobiles had already been down the trail we picked.  Still though, it was nice to be in the bush, with all the fresh fallen snow.  The hounds liked it too.
    We did manage to find a path that had not been ridden on since the new snow, so we took it.  It was great to be skiing down a path with the snow coming up to my chins.  Also very beautiful.  I could not help but feel so privileged to be out there, in all of that natural splendor, with the fresh snow making things so quiet that my ears would ring, struggling to pick up any sound at all.  I thought of people who I knew and those I do not know, stuck in an office somewhere, behind a mountain of paperwork or infront of a computer.  Working away with the stresses of the world on them.  Wondering if there was anyone in a more beautiful spot at the moment than I was in.  I seriously doubted it.  I stopped skiing for a minute and just took it all in.  I wished that I could have shared all that was around me at that instant with you.  The crisp arctic air, the flakes gently falling down, the snow frosted trees, and the stillness, the absolute stillness of the Keweenaw backcountry in the winter.  Obviously it was impossible to share all of that with you, but I did take a series of shots in a 360 degree arc and put them together for you in a panorama.  Sorry for the different exposures, but snow and cameras do not always get along the best.  Hope you enjoy anyway.
    On they way back home, I stopped off a the trail crossing just south of Phoenix.  The trails had been groomed.  I was a bit surprised that there was as much brown on them, with the fresh snow and all, but there were not a whole lot of bumps.  I also found out that they groomed the Gay-Mohawk and Gay-Lake Linden trails.  First time all year for the Gay-Mohawk trail and second (I think) for the Gay-Lake Linden one.  Hey, you have to start sometime, I guess!  The trail crossings elsewhere that I saw were pretty good.  Some dirty snow, but little in the way of bumps.  Hopefully with some fresh snow Thursday and Friday and other places in the Midwest getting enough to play in, things will not be quite as bumpy around here next weekend.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD-
January 27-
    Boy, I'm afraid that I am significantly lacking in material tonight.  Not much new to talk about.  No new snow, but we did luck out big time this weekend.  We never rose above freezing all weekend and it was cloudy too, so we did not loose any snowcover.  It did settle a little bit, but all in all, things could have been way worse.  Just to our south about 70 miles temps were in the mid 40's!  I can't even begin to imagine being a business owner in places like northern WI or central MN.  I think I would have lost it for real.  The forecast does look encouraging for many areas of the northern Midwest this week.  A storm looks to take aim on the region.  The exact track is still a little up for grabs, but it looks like someone is going to get about 5-10", maybe even 12"+.  Right now it looks to be the southeast 1/2 of IA, far southeast MN, the southeast 3/4ths of WI, northwestern 1/3rd of IL and northwest 1/3rd of MI, as well as much of the UP that will see the heaviest snows.
    We are under an winter storm watch for the potential of 8 or more inches of snow.  Lake effect looks to kick in by tomorrow early afternoon.  I think the NWS might be overdoing things just a bit, with most locals up here seeing 8" or less.  Hope their right and I'm wrong!  At any rate, fresh snow, which is always a good thing!
    Trails really went to you know what in a hand basket this weekend.  We are one of the only places in the whole Midwest that folks can come and play in the snow and it is very busy.  Hear nothing but complaints from everyone.  I know the mile or two that I was on the trails, I wished I was not.  The only good one was the Dreamland Trail, our local snowmobile club's trail.  Not too many people know about it and it does get fairly regular grooming.  The other trails problems were really a combination of the problems with the Keweenaw's grooming operations and the heavy traffic.  There was no way that the trails could have been kept in good shape all weekend, but without grooming at night in addition to grooming during the day, you are asking for disaster.  Plus, there are trails that have been groomed just one or not at all all season.  The trail from Mohawk to Gay has not been groomed.  I am not even sure if that trail is even open.  Bottom line, don't take it unless you are the first one down after 2 feet of snow has fallen.  The trail from Lake Linden to Gay has been done once or maybe twice all season.  That IS suppose to be open.  A joke huh?  All the others?  Well, same old story, the groomers treat it as their day job, the Keweenaw Tourism Council (organization in charge of things) does not have a single person on it that rides or even knows anything about grooming.  So it is basically a recipe for disaster.  Enough about this garbage, I am getting a headache.
    We did have a busy weekend at KSE.  One tour on Friday, three on Saturday and one today.  I took part in one of them Sunday.  It was a big group, ten in all, so we had more than one guide.  We probably could have gotten away with only one guide, usually we need more guides with bigger groups because of all the digging out that needs to be done.  No digging out needed now.  Still some pretty good riding out there, just not in bottomless powder.  Sure am glad that I did not get a new powder sled for this year!  Glad I did not get a new snow thrower either!  Looking out my window, it sure is hard to believe that we are at the end of January and halfway through the winter.  Looks more like the week before Christmas.
    Well, I warned you that this would be a short one.  Hopefully we will get some decent snow this week and I will be able to provide you some nice powder shots.  Till then...
Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD-
January 24-
    My heart goes out to all of you snow lovers living outside of the Keweenaw.  I used to be in your shoes, praying for the snow, only to watch it turn black with road grime an hour later and then melt a few days later.  This winter has hardly even afforded the opportunity for that nasty cycle to occur.  If it does not snow soon, a lot of cities in the Midwest are going to see their all time record low seasonal snowfall occur, my town included.  However, I really cannot complain.  When this week started, I thought it would be one of those weeks to remove from the memory bank.  Little to no new snow and a couple of days with thawing temps possible and in reality it has not been that bad at all.  We did rise above freezing Tuesday, but only for about 2 hours and that was not enough to do much to the snowpack.  Then some light snows have been falling off and on much of the week too.  3" of fluff overnight last night and it snowed lightly all day today.  Never heavy enough to accumulate much, but still, flakes flying.  We could actually push the freezing mark tomorrow and then again Saturday and Sunday.  However, the latest guidance has been trending a little cooler, so maybe we will keep up the luck and not that at all.
    I have not done any riding since Sunday.  I had thoughts to go out Tuesday and also yesterday, but other activities seemed to take precedence.  I have not neglected to get in skis with the hounds.  I have been really spending as much time with them as I can.  The other day a friends 8 year old lab died of liver problems.  That put a little spook in me, as Burt and Baileys are 6.  I have always thought that they would live to at least 10, possibly more.  So when the thought of loosing them in 2 years hit home, it hit hard.  I realize I really can't think like that, it is not good, but then I started thinking that even 4 or 5 more years with them will not be enough, nor would 10 or 20.  There is just not enough time in life that would satisfy me.  So I decided that each moment with them will be one to remember and will be filled with fun and joy.  Oh sure, there will be times of correcting for something done wrong, but I will quickly move on to loving and praising and appreciating.  I also hope to add more of that attitude to my life in general, seems like a good way to go.
    So the hounds and I have been going out every day for a ski.  Monday was on a trail that needed some blow downs taken care of.  Tuesday was out in the bush by Rice lake, on a trail we have never skied before.  Walked it in the summer and fall, but never skied it.  Yesterday we headed into another new spot.  Up the valley and down a logging road that I have snowmobiled before.  In fact, I believe I was down that trail earlier this winter.  I don't know what triggered me to head out there, I just felt like going somewhere else, somewhere new.  We do have snow up here.  About 14" in my backyard and about 16-18" in the bush.  Here is a shot of Baileys posing by the side of the trail.  Pretty neat huh?
    Like I said, it snowed all day today.  Not hard, but still a very uplifting thing to watch the flakes float down.  Today the hounds and I headed off to the trail I cleared Monday.  I did bring the saw along, just in case, but thankfully all the downed trees we came along were able to be circumvented.  Skiing through the woods, with the snow lightly falling was just what the doctor ordered.  Plus we went about 3 miles today, so I also got some good exercise in.  This was my nordic track today.  We reached the end of the trail and stopped to rest a bit.  Baileys took full advantage the opportunity to rest.  It was a good workout for them too.  Not too much, they both were getting along fine when we finished, but I also hear the sounds of two dogs snoring emanating from the bedroom.
    On the way back, we jumped off the trail and skied the true bush for a while I saw some hills and a depression that looked like fun to explore.  I did not see a good way to get down the hills, but the hounds did and headed down to explore.  I snapped a shot of them on their way back up.  That shot was a double your pleasure one.  You got the hounds and a beautiful snowscape.  See how I am always thinking of the readers?
    Yesterday morning we had fog, but the air temperature was in the upper 20's.  That is called freezing fog.  I will not get into the physics of how there can be water vapor with temps below freezing, but I can tell you a little bit of trivia.  Pure water vapor will not freeze until the temperature drops to 40 below.  If you add something for the water vapor to adhere to like a piece of dust or even another ice crystal, then the water vapor will freeze onto it.  If it strikes a surface below freezing it will also freeze on contact.  The freezing fog did not reach down into the valley, but up in the higher terrain, all the trees were frosted.  Not quite the frosting that occurred in the valley early in December of last winter, but still a pretty sight.  By the way, if you want to see more shots of the hoar frost that occurred in December of 2000, check out the past journals and look for the entry at the beginning of the month.
    I know I will be riding this weekend.  Don't know if it will be going out tomorrow, but I can feel some real riding coming up in the next week or two, especially if we get some new snow.  I did not go out yesterday because I finally got up on the roof and cleared it off.  It was not bad at all, but I figured if I did it now, then it would be easy.  I learned a lesson, don't wait for the snow to get three feet deep before you decide to clear your roof.  Normally it will take me about 2 hours to clear half of the roof and after that, I am so tired, I have to do the other side the next day.  Yesterday I was able to clear the entire roof in under an hour.
    So it looks like I have come to the end of another journal.  Tomorrow is Friday, normally I would be excited, but with the chance for a thaw, I am not that excited.  I am actually more excited for the start of next week, when we could get some snow.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD-
January 22-
    Sorry I've been away for so long, but it was a busy weekend and even a long weekend for me.  Did a fair amount of riding and a fair amount of skiing too.  I was hoping to get one out yesterday, but my ski really took it out of me.  I have been clearing some blown down trees off of one of my favorite ski trails and that is a lot of work.  Not only did I have to deal with the regular exercise from skiing, but then I got the exercise from sawing about a half dozen 12" diameter trees in two spots so I could remove a big enough section to get through.  I am almost done with clearing the whole trail, as long as there are not too many left to do, I should be done tomorrow.
    Yesterday, just as I headed back, my skis started sticking to the snow.  That is not a fun thing to have happen, especially when I was exhausted from sawing the trees and then to not be able to ski back.  I basically had to walk back with my skis, not fun.  So after all that, I basically had enough energy to make dinner and veg.  No Journal.
    The riding over the weekend was fun.  Basically all off trail.  Still not great off trail riding, but enough to play in.  We were even able to find quite a bit of untracked stuff, always a plus.  I continue to learn more and more places to ride and look forward to getting back out.  Since I did not ride the groomed trails all that much, I do not have all that much first hand info on the trail conditions.  The mile or so we rode on Saturday afternoon was pretty beat up and I heard that by Saturday evening they were even worse.  But then I had friends ride from Lake Linden to Copper Harbor and back and they said that all but about 10 miles of that trip was on very good trails.  I also heard other say that the trails were not too bad, so I guess hats off to the groomers.
    I do not have any pictures to share.  I have been bringing my camera along on most of my activities, but I guess that I have just not seen any things that I thought were notable to record and share with you.  No obscene piles of snow, or pics of us breaking bottomless powder.  I did look back at the journals from last winter and it is really amazing to see the difference.  Last year at this time, the piles along my driveway were about 4-5 feet high, this year they are about a foot and a half.  I guess I should not complain, at least we have snow to play in.  If I wanted to, I could open up my garage, hop on my sled and go for a ride.  Not too shabby.  Still, this has really been one for memory.  I don't think that I have ever seen a warmer and less snowy winter across the Midwest as a whole.  It just amazes me every day.  I don't think that I have seen the models do such a poor job of things either.  It seems like if I had a quarter for every time they promised some decent snow chances for us and it did not pan out, I could retire and have a second home somewhere where they are getting dumped on right now.  I just hope that the models get with things in time for the summer.  That is when my main customer group become very interested in the weather in the US.  If they do this during the summer, I am in for one long summer!
    Well, I feel real guilty, but I am afraid that my ski and lumberjack activities of today are starting to catch up with me, as I am starting to fade.  My eyes are actually having a hard time focusing, so I better hit the sheets.  Sorry this was so short, hopefully I will have more to say soon and will be back with a journal in a day or two.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD-
January 17-
    It's funny, last year it took almost nothing for us to get 4-6" of lake effect, while this year is seems to be a major undertaking.  Yesterday at this time we looked primed to get hammered with a dumping of lake effect snow.  It looked like 10" was a sure thing and the remote possibility of 20" existed.  Well, so far we are at 5" and counting.  There is still the potential for 5-10" more tonight, but the way this event and this winter is going, I am not going to hold my breath.  I must admit that what caused our LES failure last night and this morning was pretty cool.  It is a feature called a Meso Low.  What it is is a very small area of low pressure, usually created by the environment it is in and not the general, large scale atmospheric elements that create a typical (or synoptic scale) low.  In this case, the low was caused by the fact that the wind structure of the lower atmosphere was very calm and we had pretty cold air moving out over the warm lake waters.  Because the lake is wide open, it warmed the air and caused it to rise.  Because the wind structure in the region was light, the air rising out over the lake was actually able to form it's own mini low pressure system, or meso low.  This low formed out over the lake between Ontonagon and Isle Royal.  Because the low was off to the west of us, we were actually in southerly and southwesterly winds most of the night and into the morning hours.  With winds out of that direction, they were not coming in off the lake and thus almost no LES was occurring.  By this afternoon, the atmosphere began to put things in motion once again and that meso low started to work eastward, just to the north of the Keweenaw .  The visible satellite imagery was really neat, the low almost looked like a hurricane out in the middle of the lake, with a clear center and two main feeder bands spiraling into it.  Once the low got to the north of us, the winds switched to more of a westerly direction and the lake effect picked up quite a bit.  I have some pictures from that period that I will share in a minute, but it was really coming down, 2-3"/hr.  Unfortunately it only kept up like that for about 30 minutes.
    So that is the description of how we got robbed this time out, at least so far.  Places to our south did better, with 8-9" reported around Rockland and Mass City as of early this morning.  Currently the winds have become west, northwesterly and we are getting into a typical lake effect event, with squalls coming in and dropping the visibility to below 1/4 mile, then about 5-10 minutes it will almost stop snowing.  If this does keep up all night, 4-8", maybe even as much as 10", would be a good bet.  Lots of wind too, so there should be some big drifts out there tomorrow.
    Moving on to our activities of the day, the hounds and I went for a ski at the school forest.  That has become my favorite place to ski, nice trails, no one else out there and very pretty.  Although I must admit, it would have been prettier if our tracks from previous skis had been covered and I would have been skiing through snow up to my knees!  Maybe next time.  Another thing that is nice about skiing in the school forest is that it is very well protected.  Tons of trees.  The wind was howling, but inside the forest, there was almost no wind at all.  Nice on a day like today, with temps in the teens.  At the entrance to the school forest, there are some large fields and the wind was howling out there.  The heavier snow was just getting underway at the time I took that shot.
    When we got home, it was really coming down, so I took a shot of the front of the house, with the hounds posing for me as well.  With all the snow coming down, I was tempted to hop on the sled and take a quick spin.  So I acted on that temptation and went for a quick ride.  The trails were in good to excellent shape.  I made a point to go down the sections I went on Sunday that were bumpy and not a bump on them today and all nice and white.  There was even some traffic on them, passed several groups of sleds headed in the opposite direction.  So they are definitely out grooming.  I did not hit one single bad spot.  Now, I was not on them too long, but rough spots Sunday were flat today.  I was pretty sure I heard the groomer this morning when the hounds and I were getting back from our morning walk.  Hopefully the trails will be able to hold up this weekend.  Looks to be a busy one.
    It is funny, even with the trails being in such good shape, I was drawn into the bush to do a little off trail stuff.  A weak ago when we were in the midst of the thaw and all looked bleak, I told a few friends that I bet a week from then that I would be riding and pushing snow with my bumper.  After the overnight and morning lack of snow, I was beginning to doubt that.  However, on my little bush ride I stopped to check to make sure I could get by an obstacle and when I returned to my sled, I noticed I was pushing snow with my bumper!  The suspension makes a big difference in the bumps and in the bush.  Today I got into a situation where the sled with the old 8" suspension would have bottomed out and gotten stuck while bush riding and instinctively let off the gas so that I would not dig the track in and make it harder to get unstuck, then I realized I had more room to dig in before I got hung up on the running boards, so I quickly decided to give it more gas and see if I could get through and I made it.  That is going to be so nice to get through spots like that.  Will really make riding in the bush that much more enjoyable.
    I was alone on my ride today, so I did not get too carried away with my adventures in the bush.  I did find some new trails to take and look forward to heading down them with friends or even a KSE group.  If you had been with me today, this would have been your view as we headed down through the backwoods this afternoon.  On the way home, I swung down the trail that goes along the Traprock River and was provided with a very pretty winter scene.
    So we are inching our way towards better snow play conditions.  Looks like we will have enough snow to provide for fairly decent trail riding and fairly decent KSE riding this weekend and with the promise of snow every day through the middle of next week, things will only get better.  We took out our first KSE ride since things were canceled due to the thaw last week.  I did not hear how it went, but based on my ride in the bush this afternoon I would imagine that all went well.  They were in good hands with Brain leading the way.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD-
January 15-
    Not a whole lot new to share with you all tonight, but I figured I may as well crank out a journal cause who knows what I will be doing the next few nights.  The weekend looks busy with a lot of riding planned.  I had wanted to get out this evening and see how the trails were.  I cannot find out for sure if they are grooming.  I have heard that they are not grooming up north.  Not enough snow so they say.  Looking at the Copper Harbor cams, I believe them.  I bet the folks in the harbor have never seen anything like this before!  This is borderline insanity, or at least will drive a snow lover there.  As you can tell, I am a bit downtrodden on the weather.  So far the past 24-36 hours has been a bit of a bust in that department.  We did have snow showers most of yesterday, but only picked up about 1/4 inch.  It started snowing lightly this afternoon, but nothing more than a dusting so far.  It is actually coming down hard enough at the moment that if it kept up all night we would get an inch or two by sunrise.  However, I doubt that it will go all night.  The forecast still looks promising for snow everyday from tomorrow through all of next week.  Not a bunch in any one day, but a few inches every day for 10 days straight could sure add up.  Ahhh, my spirits are brightened already.
    Took a ski in the school forest today.  One thing that can be said positive about the lack of snow the past few days is that with the cold temps, things are freezing up.  All the puddles I had to go around the other day were frozen today.  Hopefully the lakes are freezing up as well.  Although please do not take this to mean that the lakes are freezing up around here.
    We better get some snow, we have KSE tours lined up out the ying-yang.  For the rest of the month we only have 3 days open and those are purposely left open so that the guides and sleds can rest.  Anyone that has been on a KSE tour knows that it is a workout.  Just imagine trying to do one every day of the week for three weeks straight!  For those of you wanting to ride with us in January, we are booked.  However, still plenty of openings in Feb and March.  With as warm as it has been the past 2 1/2 months, I can't imagine that we are in for a warm spring.  Since halloween, we have seen only 6 days in which the average temperature for the day was below average.  5 of them happened between Christmas Eve and New Years Eve.  If you remove the snow that fell in that same time period, our seasonal snowfall to date would only be 40.5".  I know that sounds like a lot, but we should be well over a hundred inches in an average year.  Anyway, my point in all of this rambling is that I just can't imagine our streak of above average temps continuing into Feb and March.  If we do turn colder than average, then we could have good riding deep into March.  A man can dream right?
    Not much else to share.  Someone requested that I take a picture of my Pol-Cat.  When I got the sled, it was pure stock.  Not very stock now.  Since acquiring it, I have added a deeper lug track, 1.25" - full wave; a 3" riser block for the handle bars and the Arctic Cat 13.5" suspension.  I don't want to mess around with the engine too much.  It has about 10k miles on it and tweaking it now might just hasten the blowing up process!  Of course, if it were to blow up, it might be fun to put a 700 in it!
    Well, guess that will do it for now.  I am on snow watch, with all fingers and toes crossed.  Since starting this journal we have picked up about 1/4", maybe we will get that 1" tonight.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD-
January 13-
    Looks like winter is returning to the Keweenaw.  We picked up about 4" of the white gold yesterday morning.  Normally 4" is really no big deal up here.  Something to just sort of brush away, let the wind carry it off, or wait until more falls the next day to make it worth your while to clear.  One of the reasons for such nonchalant behavior is that in a normal winter, 4" comes just about every day and the second reason is that it is usually lake effect fluff, that light and very powdery snow that is about 80% air.  Yesterday's snow came with temps at about 30 degrees and the flakes were very small.  As a result, the 4" of snow that fell was very dense.  So the plows and snowthrowers were brought out of their dormancy and put to work, including mine.  A great thing about the snow being so dense is that it did not settle much at all, so it was like getting about a foot of lake effect over the long haul.
    The hounds and I took full advantage of the new snow yesterday by heading off to the woods to do some skiing.  We went to the school forest, to take advantage of the trails that we had blazed the week before.  I sure do love the forest after a fresh snow.  There is a certain atmosphere, a sense of stillness, that can only be found in the woods after a new snowfall.  There were a few new puddles out there that we had to work our way around.  In some cases, our old path was underwater.  That got me a little worried about the status of the snowmobile trails.  We have already had way more than our fair share of problems with wet spots on the trail this year and I was hoping that all of that nonsense was behind us.
    With that in mind, I decided to hop on my sled this morning and see what I could see.  I decided to make my first stop at the site of the big water holes that they filled in about 10 days ago.  Got there, no problems.  Well, I guess it was not perfect, but it was not wet.  That stretch could really use at least a foot of snow as it is bumpy, but like I say, it was not wet.  I decided to then head north and keep riding until I came to a spot that was really ugly.  About 3 miles up the trail I came across a puddle in the process of freezing up.  It was frozen up enough that I could walk across it without causing the ice to break, but I doubt that it could have held a sled yet.  After tonight, it should be frozen solid and then a little fresh snow to cover it up and we'll never even know it was there.
    I continued up the trail, heading north towards Mohawk.  I have yet to be on this section of trail yet this year.  I don't ride the trails that much in the first place, but sort of strange that this was the first time through.  I did not encounter any more wet spots, nor did I encounter any bare spots, but I did encounter plenty of moguls.  The trail really got bad when I merged with the trail that runs from Hancock to Calumet and then north to Mohawk just to the north of Calumet.  The moguls were not sled eaters, but still 6-12" bumps every 6-8 feet, enough to wish for something better.  Don't know when the last time the groomer had been through but it looked to be more than 24 hours ago.  Don't know why it had not been trough, enough snow, maybe he was in church.  By the way the picture really did not do the moguls justice, they were there, trust me!
    I was just about to Mohawk when I reached for the camera and it was not there!  Again!  I turned right around and began the search for the cam.  Luck was with me once more, as I was able to locate it.  Actually it was right where I thought it might be.  I stopped to check the suspension on my sled and thought it might have fallen out of my pocket there and I was right.  I was already on my way back south, so I decided to take a different way home by following the trail through Calumet, continue south for a while and then taking some side tracks back down to Lake Linden.  Lots of bumps from the Northgate Motel south through Calumet.  No bare spots and no water, and still no other sleds.  South of Calumet, the trail got better.  I was able to ride at any speed I desired and did not have to worry about loosing control or having to replace by kidneys.  I will not disclose my speed, but it was up there!
    Back down closer to home, my final pic of the ride was taken where the bare spot a few days ago was.  Not bare today.  A little snirt, but not bare.  So all in all, I would have to say that conditions up here were not too bad.  At least the 15-20 miles I put on.  I know that there are likely areas worse than I saw, but for the most part, the biggest problems were the moguls.  If they had not been there, I could have rated the sections of trail that I rode good to excellent.  Glad I have the pics to back up my words, the shape of the trails was surprising to me and I'm sure that I would have had some doubters in the my readers if it were not for the pictures.
    We do need more snow.  I think that the fact that this place is almost a ghost town right now is helping to keep the trails from getting too beat up.  Also the 4" of dense snow we got yesterday was a huge help.  The forecast actually looks very good.  We look to get into some light snow by later tonight or into tomorrow.  We look to miss the brunt of the next clipper as it passes to our south tonight and tomorrow, giving the northern 2/3rds of WI and the northern 2/3rds of lower MI a 2-6" snow.  It could start to come down at a pretty good clip by Tuesday as another clipper looks to slide directly over us and then bring some decent lake effect conditions.  The lake then looks to supply us with snows for the rest of the week, through the weekend and into the first half of next week at least.  It does not look to come down with the intensity that we saw between Christmas Eve and New Years, but I would not be surprised if we pick up an average of 4-8"/day for that 10 day period.  That would be sawweeeeeeet!  For those of you outside the LES belts, you too will pick up some snow from time to time.  Not a ton, but clipper systems do look to push through every 36-48 hours and bring some 1-4" snows to the northern 2/3rds of MN, WI and lower MI, possibly even into northern IA, IL, IN and OH too.  Plus it will be staying cold, possibly getting downright arctic by next weekend.
    After the ride today I cooked up a big old pot of soup and then took the hounds for a ski.  Not much exciting to report on the ski, but I can leave you with one last winter scene.
Good night (technically afternoon) from the Keweenaw.
- JD-
January 10-
    Mother nature sure is trying my patience!  We still have yet to drop below freezing (so much for my temperature forecast made in last night's journal!) and to add insult to injury it rained for the better half of the morning.  Never heavy, more like a drizzle, but still, liquid precip.  When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, right?  So since mother nature was melting all of our snow and what snow remained was too wet to ski in, the hounds and I piled in the car, popped in a Jimmy Buffet CD and headed off to the beach!  Now I suppose our idea of a good day at the beach might be different than others, but we did have the place to ourselves.  Looks like I won't be riding that stretch anytime soon!
    As you could see in the last shot, the ice castles have formed, so I climbed up the bluff to get a better shot from up higher.  There were two rows of them.  Some smaller ones right along the shore and some huge ones out further.  The hounds and I climbed around on some of the smaller ones close to shore, it was safe, as they were solid and right along the shore where the water was only a few inches deep.  Some of the big ones out further were 25-30 feet tall.  Taking a picture of them just does not do them justice, the depth of field and perspective problems with the cam just does not show their true size.  Even so, I took a pic of them with Baileys in the foreground to try and lend some perspective.
    Walking along the shore of the big lake in winter always offers up some unique sights.  The shore is constantly being exposed to the almost ever-present northwesterly winds as well as the lake effect snows.  This results in some very interesting snow drifting.  The ice castles are also a unique sight and sometimes you can even catch a ice volcano.  This is actually an ice castle in the making.  The waves will smash up against the ice piled up against the shore, then an area of ice will gradually begin to form a cove and eventually both sides of the cove will totally wrap around and join up with each other and form a tube.  The water then gets forced up this tube and the slush and ice chunks in the water shoot up out the end of the tunnel and form an ice volcano.  The lake was fairly calm, so no action was going on today.  Besides, the waters edge was about 100 yards off shore and it is too dangerous to go out there.
    Some of the other neat things to see along the shore are what the water does to objects on land.  Before the ice castles form, the shore is exposed to the water and things on the shore will get coated in a thick layer of ice.  One such thing we came across today was this huge piece of driftwood coated in about 4" of ice.  Walking past that I could not help but respect the power of nature up here.  It is really something to respect and be wary of.  One could loose their life up here fairly easily if they did not respect mother nature.
    Off the beach, we walked a road for a bit and came across a creek, still flowing with good volume.  Usually this creek dries up in June and does not start to flow until the spring melt.  A real example of how mild and wet things have been in the past several months.  I do believe this creek dried up this summer, but has become active again, that is for sure.  A pretty sight, but also part of the woes we have had up here with regard to the the snowmobile trails.
    I almost forgot to mention that as we got out of the car to go for our walk on the beach today, it started to snow.  Not heavy, but still, frozen precip again. It stopped soon after our walk, but has since started up again and has been going for as long as I have been typing this journal.  I doubt that we will get any accumulation (come on mother nature, prove my forecast wrong again - I dare you!), but still nice to see the flakes again.  It has been a very, very long two days!  On the drive home from the beach, I did swing by where the trail crosses the road.  I took a picture of the trail to show you all the conditions up here, but I must warn you, that not all of the areas are this good.  That pic was taken about a mile north of where the picture was taken yesterday that had bare spots showing.  I also saw some bare spots on the trail that heads north from Calumet.  So again, I suppose that if you just had to ride, you could, but I would advice against it.  Not until we get about 8-12" new.
    My last item of interest is a little news on the activity of this site.  It definitely has a peak period, winter of course, but still gets some respectable numbers of persons visiting in the summer.  I don't remember the numbers from last summer, but this past December, the site saw 3,177,121 hits with 1,210,721 page downloads.  So far this month it looks like it will come close to, or even surpass Decembers numbers.  Jeez, that's really amazing to me!  Over a million-two pages were downloaded.  If someone would have told me that this site would have grown to the levels it is at, I would have told them they were nuts.  What is even more amazing is that I basically no no marketing at all!  Thanks all!
    Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD-
January 9-
    Sorry to be away for so long, but my evenings have really been full the past several days.  Days have been busy too, but it is usually the evenings that I do a journal.  Anyway, sorry, I hope to make more frequent updates for the rest of the snow season anyway.  Snow season, what's that I bet a lot of you are thinking.  If it were not for our Christmas-New Years snow, then we would be sitting with nothing!  We did loose a lot today.  Big time thaw.  We started the day with about 11-12" and looks like we are down to about 6-8 now.  Roads are bare again, real bummer.  I do have a picture of the trail taken this afternoon at about 3 pm.  I think that is a good representation of what you would find if you came up to ride.  You can make up your own mind.  I don't think I would, but then again, if I just had too, I suppose I would.  We cancelled the first KSE tour today and the one for tomorrow and the one for Friday also look to be victims of the warm weather we had today.  This really stinks.
    There, I think I have it out of my system, no more complaining, the forecast actually looks promising and we still have snow to play in, so I will stop the crying.  I do have pictures to show from the past few days, things were actually fairly good out there.  On Sunday I took the hounds for a ski on what used to be the trail the groomer took to get to his house.  He is not driving that groomer anymore, he drives the special Keweenaw Research Center's fancy one, so that trail is not being groomed.  There have been a few sleds down the trail so it was packed down enough that the hounds could get through.  It was a great ski, 4-5" of fresh snow and still falling, temps in the 20's, I could not really ask for more.  After the ski, I went for a ride to scout some trails for what was suppose to be today's tour.  I wanted to make sure that it did not have any major obstacles to get around.  Thankfully, it was clear and we had a great ride.  The only pic I took from that ride was of the old mud hole I showed you all back on the 1st.  They filled it in and with Sunday's snow, it was very passable.  Compare that shot with how it was less than a week prior.  Nice work guys.
    On Monday, the hounds and I took to the woods again to ski.  This time back to the Lake Linden-Hubbell School Forest.  Plenty of snow to ski on and with the snow settling it was also very good for the hounds.  We could basically go anywhere we wanted to and the hounds did not have to fight snow up to their shoulders.  We were able to break our own trail with no problems.  With the cold and snow that we did have, it caused the deer to go on the move and migrate to their winter survival areas.  Lots of migration trails through the woods and at times we found ourselves following in their footsteps.
    I had planned on going for a ski yesterday, but with the temps flirting with the freezing mark, I was afraid the snow would get sticky.  Nothing worse than getting way out in the woods and then having the snow become wet and sticky and then have to try and ski back!  As it turned out, we probably could have skied without any problems, but we had a good walk through the neighborhood.  Took another walk today, sloshing through the slush on the roads.  Some are bare and others have about an inch of slush on them.  Nasty stuff.
    So I guess we are just about through the January thaw.  In a few hours we will be dropping below freezing and then should stay there through most of the rest of the month, if the forecast pans out.  There is some snow indicated too.  I am afraid we will need at least a foot now to get things back in shape.  A foot is not lot up here, less than our weekly average, so I am not too worried.  Just wish we would have never lost what we lost today.
Good night from the Keweenaw.-
January 4-
    This journal is going to be sort of a race against the clock type entry.  I just got back from a KSE tour, dinner is cooking and in about 2 hours I have to go and be a judge at a bikini contest.  Yes, you read right- A judge at a bikini contest.  Mount Bohemia has had college week going on all this week and it climaxes in a bikini contest at a local watering hole tonight.  First prize is $1000, so it will be interesting to see what kind of "talent" enters the competition.  How did I end up being a judge for such an event, you might ask?  Well, the radio station I provide forecasts to is involved in the event and I guess I am the only single and available guy there, so I guess duty calls.  You know, me being the team player and all, I did not hesitate at all to say yes to this assignment.  Sorry, but the digital cam will be staying home.
    I have been a pretty busy man the past couple of days too.  I did a little reconfiguring to my sled.  It is not a Pol-Cat.  After high centering it so many times last weekend, I decided it was time for a new suspension.  My old 94 XLT's 8" job was just not cutting it.  So I new someone that was willing to swap me my suspension for a 97 Arctic Cat suspension with 13" of travel (about 11" after the sled is bolted to it).  He deals in parts and will just turn around and sell my suspension to someone else.  Anyway, yesterday afternoon I undertook the task of getting that suspension to fit and it turned out to be a little more work than anticipated.  First it was too wide, so I had to cut it down to fit inside the tunnel, then mounting plates and holes were too far forward so I had to remove them, re-rivit them and then drill new mounting holes.  I worked on it for about 5 hours yesterday evening and then about 3 hours today and it is in and makes a huge difference!  The back of my sled sits about 3-4 inches higher than it did before and I only got stuck once today and never high centered it on the running boards.  So with the Polaris body and engine and Arctic Cat suspension, I now have a Pol-Cat and I like it very much.
    Like I said, we just got back from a KSE tour and to tell you the truth, I was a little concerned when we first started out.  The snow has settled a ton.  We had about 22" down a week ago, more like 30 in the bush and now we are at about 12-13 in town and about 18-20" in the bush.  Plus it is not exactly powdery, so the notion of a powder ride seemed out.  However, once we got into the bush, we were treated with excellent conditions.  The fact that the snow has settled actually made for a better ride, as we could go just about anywhere and not have to worry too much about getting stuck.  Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule and we all got stuck at least once, but at least we were not having to dig out of snow up past or waist.  Hopefully that will be in another week or two.  Actually, the snow base we have now will make for an excellent base for the rest of the season.
    We did have to work around a few blow downs and one actually required a little handiwork with the saws.  Thankfully we did not have to cut through any others.  I plan to take a ride on a trail tomorrow to scout it out for Wednesday's ride.  Hope there are no trees on it!
    The trails up here are hanging in there.  Actually most of the holes have been filled in, but trouble still can be found.  Yesterday on my way down to the shop to wok on the suspension, I went by the big hole on the trail by town and saw that it too had been filled in.  Not the prettiest of sights, but at least it is safe and dry and with a foot of new snow, someone would never even know the difference.  I have heard mixed stories on the sections of trails without wet spots.  Some are good and others are bumpy.  To be expected I suppose, as we are one of the only places in the whole Midwest with snow, so this is where people will come to play.
    The hounds and I have also been taking our daily hikes/skis.  On Thursday we took to the school forest to give the trail we have been breaking out there another panking down.  It was pretty well panked down so we started to break some new trail.  I did not take any new shots out there, we just did not seem to come along anything earth shattering.  Yesterday I saw that the gentleman down the street from me is breaking trail for our local loop up the valley and thought that I would take the hounds out there.  It turned out to be a real struggle for the hounds.  Their paws kept punching through the pack snow and they would sink up to their bellies in snow.  For me, the trail was perfect and I felt sorry for them.  We did not go too far, only to the creek crossing.  The bridge is not up yet, so that is as far as we went.  I eased up to the edge of the creek and took a shot, but you'll have to hold your head a little crooked in order to view it.
    Well, I am running out of time and things to say, so I guess this will do it for now.  Talk to you all soon.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD-
January 1-
    Boy, take the camera away from me for 24 hours and I sure do learn to appreciate it!  This may not be a long journal, text wise, but I do have 14 pics to share with you.  I actually planned much of the day for both maximum enjoyment for the hounds and I as well as to get some good shots in.  I think that it was actually a good thing that I lost the cam for a day, as I allowed me to explore what was out there for replacements.  I do have hopes to replace by current cam and get one with a good zoom, as well as one that allows me more exposure features and can even record short movies.  I think it would be neat to record some of our adventures on the sleds on a mpeg or quicktime video and there are cams that can do that now.  So I was able to do a little investigating as to what was out there and the best prices, and will spend lots more time when I get serious about a new one.
    I hope everyone had a good New Years Eve, I did.  Went to meet up with friends as I said I would and that was fun.  It was very nice to be able to sit in the hot tub as well as soak my bones.  I really think I need to get one of those!  I also did not last until midnight, at leas midnight local time.  I got home at about 10 to 11 our time, snuggled with the hounds and we celebrated with the folks in places like Newfoundland then went to bed.
    Since we did not stay up late, we were able to get up early and get in a nice sunrise ski.  I thought I would try and catch the sunrise on the east coast of the Keweenaw, so the hounds and I headed off to Big Traverse to ski the beach.  The clouds were too thick to catch the sunrise, but we still had a great time on the beach.  Needless to say we had it to ourselves.  The snow was good quality for a ski and there were also some flakes flying.  It just so neat to be able to ski right next to the Big Lake like that.  Very relaxing and also a little surreal.  Before moving up here, every time I would cross country ski it was always in either the woods or a field, or maybe a frozen lake.  Never next to a body of water that is more like an ocean.  The other nice thing about the beach is that there is no hills, so I did not have to exert myself too much in the pre dawn hours.
    On the way home, the clouds started to break up a little and the sun was able to light up the eastern horizon.  I stopped to take a shot of the sun creating a blaze in the ski across the frozen woods of the Keweenaw.  About a year and a half ago there was a different blaze going on in that spot.  Those woods were the site of the big forest fire we had near Rice Lake in June of 2000.  Another neat thing about that shot is you can see the lake effect clouds bubbling up low in the horizon.  Up the road a piece was the frozen waters of Rice Lake.  Not quite ready to support a human, let alone a human on a snowmobile, but it did present another good photo op.
    We got home and I remained pretty darn productive for a New Years Day morning.  I cooked breakfast, cleared snow, got some Guest Shots posted and even did a few loads of laundry!  After lunch, the hounds and I went for another ski.  This time I chose the school forest.  Arriving at the gate to the road in, I noticed that they are keeping the road to the cabin plowed.  Sure would be neat to be a kid in school being able to head out there for class!  The school forest was a great place to ski this afternoon, lots of different snowscapes.  Just beyond the cabin is a stand of Red Pines.  As I was shooting that shot, my initial thought was to do it in black and white.  The camera will not do that, but my imaging software can convert it.  I could not decide which was better, so here is the B/W version so you can decide.  I kind of like the B/W.
    Beyond the Red Pine stand, we took a side trail that wove it's way through some Douglas Fir.  As we made the last turn that put us on the home stretch we were facing into the afternoon sunshine.  Even though it was sunny out, there was still a good little snowfall occurring (a great thing about living in the Keweenaw, snowing while sunny out!).  The flakes were sparkling as they drifted to earth and I tried to capture that effect with the cam.  Sort of mixed results if you ask me, that blob in the upper left is my glove trying to shade the sunlight from the cameras lens.  As I was setting up that shot, Baileys decided it was a good opportunity to take a break.  I could not resist taking a shot of Daddy's Little Girl resting in the snow.  It was a real workout for all of us, as we were breaking trail most of the way.  Here is a shot looking back at the trail we broke on the home stretch.
   We were all a little tuckered out after the two skis, but I did have enough energy in reserve to complete the last adventure I had planned for the day.  My plan was actually two fold, to show you some examples of the trails up here and to see what the Hungarian Falls looked like.  I figured with all the wetness problems we are having up here, the falls would still running pretty good.  Well, they were running pretty good, but under a massive buildup of ice.  I hiked down to the lower falls to see them, but was not given a very good vantage point.  The lower falls were also well frozen over.  I did take a shot down the valley carved out by the Hungarian River, in the distance is the newly iced over Torch Lake, just frozen last night.
    Phase two of the afternoon ride did provide me with all the conditions that exist on the trails up here.  By now it is likely no secret that we are experiencing major problems with wet spots.  Actually, I think "wet spot" is the politically correct term to use, as they are really ugly mud and water holes.  However, what I found outside of the problem spots were trails that were in excellent condition.  The groomers are definitely out.  I am not sure what they are doing to get around the problem spots, but they are out.  Traffic is also way down, and that may have helped lead to the excellent conditions I experienced today.  Now, I bet you all thought I would not share a pic of the problem spots huh?  Well, I hope you actually all know me better than that.  I do not shy away from sharing the whole story.  I just shared the good with you, now here is the bad and ugly.  I have heard rumors that the first hole in the shot is 2 1/2 feet deep!  The group off in the distance was just finishing off pulling out a sled on my way down to the falls and were still there resting about 30 minutes later on my way back.  In that particular case there has been a trail blazed around the holes.  You cannot see it, but it goes up the hill to the left and totally around the problem area and taking it will keep you high and dry.  I cannot say that all other problem spots have similar reroutes available.  However, I have seen that some trails have been closed and have heard about others being closed.
    Really a shame, those darn wet spots.  If it were not for them, conditions would have been about as good as they get for this time of the year.  We do look to see what we need to help fix the problem.  Temps will be cool, not as cold as we would like, but still below freezing.  Traffic will also be low for the next few days.  If we could keep sleds from opening up the holes every few minutes, they would likely freeze solid in a day or two.  Plus we do not look to get too much new snow, so that will also help to keep the holes from getting insulated.  I guess the one good thing about having such a big and nasty hole right in my neighborhood is that I can keep an eye on it and when that bugger freezes up I think it can be safe to say that most, if not all, of the others will have also.  Many of the smaller ones already have.  There was a big long one just north of 41 in Mohawk, but when I went up there Sunday, it was already frozen.  So the shallow ones are freezing, but the deep ones are still problems.
    So that was my day.  Anybody do more?  Of course, I do think my head will be hitting the pillow by about 8 tonight!  The hounds are already snoring away!  Till next time...
Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD-
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