Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Irresistible Fanny Hooe

I’m pretty proud of myself. I’ve been getting out in the snow everyday for some sweat and fresh air. Snowshoe, snowboard, cross country ski, walk -- and one thing I realized I miss is riding my bike. I can’t quite say that each of these activities was worth writing to you about, but the story I have for you today takes place during the cross country ski.

I really didn’t want to go. You know how you just see gray day after day, and you start to think, “I really don’t want to do anything. I want to sleep.” Believe me, that’s how I felt. But then I looked Duce in the please-Mom-please-can-we-do-something-fun-today eyes and found the motivation to put my gear on.

So I pretended to ski down Woodland Road to the local trail system. I really had to work on my balance without any track set for my skis to glide in, but I figured I’d be in x-c ski heaven once I got to the tracks. It took me a few minutes of skiing on tracks until I realize that there were no tracks set by a groomer, just the skiers who came before me. No wonder I could never figure out which were the right tracks. (Hey, nobody ever gave me the ‘Brightest Crayon in the Box’ award.)

Long story short, I was free-skiing (which I don’t even know how to do) on the lovely snow in beat up skis. I don’t mean to sound like I was doing well because I wasn’t. Someone on snowshoes could have passed me.

But then it happened. I looked over at Lake Fanney Hooe, and she looked back at me with one of those “why don’t you come over and try me out?” stares. Before I thought about it, my skis were off and I was sliding my way down to the lake. It would be my first time this winter out on the ice of Fanny Hooe.

“I think people have already been out here,” I told Duce, just as eager as I was. I was hoping he’d go first. He did, but I weigh more than my dog, and when I got to the shore ice, it crunched under my feet. Oh, that’s not a healthy sound, I thought. But I think I see snowmobile tracks in the middle of the lake, and, you know how that ice next to the shore is so finicky... I convinced myself to forge ahead.

To spare you the drama, I made it to the middle, and what a wonderful middle it was! I could see a mile East and a mile West from where I was standing -- uninterrupted. Nothing grows on a frozen lake, you know, so it was like standing in the middle of a white sand desert. A very cold white sand desert, but that wondrous feeling came over me nonetheless.

This really is the only time of year when I can see Copper Habor from that perspective. The view seemed so fresh and new. The only sound I could hear was Interstate 41 whooshing by. Oh, no, wait. That was Lake Superior who sounds like a busy highway when she kicks up the waves. My mistake.

I wish you could have been there with me to take it all in. I honestly had to stay out there and take a few deep breaths of its majesty before I felt like I could leave. Besides that, Duce started digging the ice under my feet, so I knew it was time to go back to shore.

On the way back to shore, I noticed Duce peed in that boot track. And that one. And that one. Oh, boy, that wasn’t pee. It was the lake soaking up into the snow all around me. Okay... maybe I’ll wait a couple more days before going out there again.

Curious as to the ice conditions on the Harbor? Check out www.aviewfromthefield.com webcam!

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