Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Last 3 Days

It sure has been wintery here in da Harbor!  Let me tell you what I've been doing with it.

We got at least a foot of snow the day before, so my best girls, Rachel and Hannah went to Mt. Bohemia with me.  I snowboarded while they skied.  We got to the hill before the lift started taking people up, and the parking lot was already almost full!  On a Monday!  But I guess school was cancelled due to the snow and a teacher inservice day.

The locals came out of the woodwork to ski.  Even people who were supposed to be at work played hooky and came for a powder day.  Like a snowy reunion!  One notable part was that the ladies and I took our first run down under the chair lift (as most people do).  On the way down, we each got hooted at by all the people who knew us.  I did my best not to look up because then they would just be laughing at me as I took a digger.

But, no shortage of wipeouts that day for this girl.  I think I had a couple cartwheels and flips in the powder.  My limbs and neck bent a few different ways than they normally do, but it was part of the fun!

With so many people there, the good snow got skied up pretty quickly.  But it was still a great time as we were all in good spirits.

Hannah, Tiki (her little red dog), Duce and I went out to Hunter's Point.  I haven't been out there in a week or so.  Once again, when we got to the shore, I couldn't believe how it had changed.  All those ice mounds were gone!  The frozen snow laid close to the shore, not 20 yards out like before.

We hiked west instead of my usual east.  It was like a new adventure traversing around that point.  Lots of the conglomerate was uncovered.  We could go down and walk on it!  And the waves tickled the ice beneath our feet.  It's unusual to be able to see the bottom of the lake there this time of year.  We could see the quartz veins, agates and all the other rocks that form the bottom of Lake Superior.  We sure felt lucky to be out there that day!

Me on the remaining ice above the shore

Here is a picture of the trail from the South Shore to the North Shore of Hunters Point.  I love how the snow sticks to only one side of the trees.

Snow-struck trees

We crossed the frozen harbor to get there and back from the Marina.  On our return trip, we saw a man ice fishing.  He wasn't catching anything yet, but he just got out.

Well, that's today!  School was cancelled today because of all the snow we are supposed to get.  I don't know... I can't foresee it being the foot or so that is predicted.  But then again, I never get my hopes up. I just look out the window.  And shovel.

I took Duce for a snowshoe on the double lakeshore loop.  We only did half of it, though because the snow was so deep.  Have you ever broken trail in a foot of fresh powder?  If you have,  kudos to you.  If not, just imagine yourself sweating out of every pore on what seems like what should just be a walk through the woods.  Oy.  It was hot -- even in the wind!

With that east wind, we went out to the shore in the Harbor.  The waves were crashing in.  Oh, I stood and watched in awe for a while.  I wanted to get a video for you, but my timing was so off, that nothing turned out.  Sorry!  I did get a nice picture of this turquoise pool along the shore, however.

A turquoise pool along the Harbor shore

The wind and waves made it very invigorating out there.  I'm glad I went to the shore.  I bet High Rock and Keystone Bay would have been rocking!

Then I bushwhacked my way through to the Superior Trail.  I was going to check on my little fort.  I had horrible pictures in my head of what it would look like when I got there.  This was it.

Fort Juiper's last days... melting, yet full of snow

Now you can see how much sunshine we've been having!  Yikes!

But tomorrow is March, and I don't think Fort Juniper will be resurrected anymore this year.  At least I found some solitude when I needed it most.  After this weekend (Mardi Gras and Copper Dog 150), the busy part of winter will be over.  Then comes my peaceful springtime.  Ahh.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


It's been dumping flakes of snow all day.  We must have gotten a foot already!  Aaaaaaalleluia!  Bohemia tomorrow it is!  I'm so pumped.

I have shoveled twice today, and the snow is still piling up.  Here's a picture of my front porch this afternoon, but there is more on the grill as I type.

Lots of snow on da porch.

When they said we were getting a storm, I didn't even get my hopes up.  I'm tired of being let down.  But this time was the real deal.  That groundhog was right about a long winter.  Here we go!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

First Book Reading Recap

Sunday, February 19th was my first book signing/reading.  Over 20 people came to get their book signed, buy a book, hear me read, eat cookies, etc.  It was a success!  Thank you, Laurel and Hannah at the Laughing Loon for putting this together for me!

Illustrator, Kevin Blackstone was there as well, showing off his original drawings for the book.  I remember when I first saw them on his kitchen writing table.  I was blown away!

My friend Rachel took some pictures during the event.  Here are a few for your viewing pleasure.

Kevin shows off a book while I sign the next one.

Owner, Laurel Rooks, holds her last copy for the day.

I read with expression!

It was a wonderful event.  Reading my work to others has been one of my favorite things to do since I was a youngster.  I feel like my dream is becoming a reality.  I can't wait to do it again!

On a snow note, we got a heavy 5 inches since I posted last.  Woo hoo!  The snow is great!  And, yup, it's still fluttering down...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Hunter's Point Shore Revisited

Yesterday I was going to take Duce and the neighbor's puppy for a little walk.  But it was so beautiful out, and the dogs were having so much fun, that we ended up hiking the whole double lakeshore loop.  One of the neatest things I remember seeing was the Harbor -- frozen completely over -- if my eyes did not deceive me.  It looked like a skating rink!  But I wasn't going out there!

Today I drove down to the west end of town to drop off my recycling.  While I was there, Duce and I decided to check out Hunter's Point again.  Last time was so magical.

We took the short cut across the frozen harbor.  I saw 9 ice shanties out there.  I don't know if they were catching, though.

Then we got to the north shore.  Remember how I said that the shoreline changes quickly?  Well it sure pulled a fast one on me again.  The first thing I noticed different from my last post was that all the floating chunks of ice had washed out to sea.  The volcano remnants were still there, so the lake splashed right up to them.  

Today the wind was coming out of the SSE, though, so the water was really still.  Man, if we had some rocking north winds, those things would be erupting!  I will be on the lookout for that day... and I won't forget my camera!

Some of those big mounds of ice were cracking too.  Huge cracks, where the edges hang over too heavy. Some smaller pieces already fell in the lake.  Chunks as big as dingies were bobbing along the edges.  It was so neat to watch that I perched on the edge of an ice mound and gazed out for a while.

That scene never gets old, no matter what time of year.  I love the sound of the water blooping under those ice mounds.  Today, the reverberating waves were bigger than the ones coming in.  Really a treat out there today.  I can't wait to bring someone out there with me!

Otherwise, it actually looks like winter up here today!  It's snowing!  Let's hope it keeps on coming!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

In Search of an Icy Shore

Yesterday Hunter's Point called.  "Amanda!  Where have you been?  Come see me!"  So Duce and I went.

I didn't have all that much time, so we hopped in the truck.  I drove down North Coast Shores Rd. and was surprised to see it was plowed.  Woo hoo!  So I popped it into third gear and cruised until OH MY GOD!  HERE'S THE INTERSECTION! without enough time to stop.  I spun around 270 degrees to make my right hand turn.  Wooh!  Made it through that one!  Kinda fun!

But as I faced the road to Hunter's Point, I noticed that it was where the plow person banked it all up.  Oh, shoot, Mr. Butters.  That's a long walk down a snowy road.  

I saw that the left side of the 8 foot high pile was fairly low and tracked up by snow vehicles.  I can make that.  So I gunned it.  Boom.  Stopped dead in my tracks.  The snow was almost half way up the tires.  So I put it into 4WD, and rocked it back and forth and back and forth.  Rooster tailing snow in both directions.  I had to reverse it over the little mound I got stuck on.  Back and forth.  

Finally I made it out.  Whew!  Another close one!  So I decided that was enough of that, and headed toward the Marina.  But that wasn't plowed either.  No wonder I usually walk everywhere!  My friend Jeff let me park in his driveway.  Thanks, Jeff!

I then began the hike along Hunter's Point trail toward the shore.  While hugging the west coast, I noticed all the ice fishermen waaaaay out there.  Hmm.  I bet I could walk across the ice!  I wanted to, but, maybe on the way back.  The trail was nice and panked anyway.

Soon I reached the shore.  I was amazed at what I saw.  I didn't expect it to be this good!

Mounds of ice sparkled in the sunlight.  Their humps paralleled the shoreline in a row.  We're going out there, Mr. Butters!  Climbing ice hills was quite difficult with just boots and mittens, but I was determined.  I slid down a couple times before I got to the top.  Here is a VIDEO of what I saw.

Pretty sweet, hey?  I was enamored while I was out there.  Why didn't we come out here sooner???  The shore changes from day to day during the winter.  I sure was pleased to see this change!

As I walked along the banks, I came across a hollow ice formation.  I was in awe, so I shimmied over the edge and held my camera out as far as I could to get a picture of the underside -- without falling in!

Under the hollow ice.

Blue ice on a rock.

On the way back I was feeling a little courageous.  I'm going to cross the Harbor.  I hadn't done it yet this year, but all those fishermen were way out there.  What could be wrong with the west end?

I wouldn't say that I threw caution to the wind, but I didn't get a gut reaction telling me to go back.  I tried kicking through the ice, but it seemed solid.  I scratched of some snow to try to see how deep it was.  I couldn't gauge it at all.  I'm going for it.

Shuffling, I traversed the frozen harbor, looking around me and listening.  Duce pranced right out in front, so I knew I'd be okay.  When I got to the middle, I could see the bubbles in the ice.  Oh, yeah.  It's at least 6 inches thick.  Woo hoo!  So I skated part of the way in my boots.  What a wonderful sunshiny day!

At the shore by the Marina dock, I looked back and squealed.  My first traverse across the Harbor for the winter.  And I didn't go through!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Winter Weekend Events

It is still winter.  We do have snow.  That is wonderful because we have three weekends of snow-dependent events up here in da Harbor.  If you are curious, here they are!

Friday, Saturday, Sunday February 17,18,19.  The Annual Snowmobile Run for Fun with antique snowmobiles and lots of live music.

Sunday, February 19.  The Copper Harbor Improvement Association is putting on their February potluck in the Community building.  Get there at 6pm to make sure you get some grub.  Bring a dish to pass, your own plate and an appetite!  They are having a Mardi Gras theme.  I'll be there!

Saturday, February 25.  The CHTC's Tri Winter Cup.  An all day event of backcountry ski, snowshoe and "anything" races.  I'll be there too!

Friday, Saturday, Sunday March 2,3,4.  The Annual Copper Dog 150 dog sled race.  Bring on the dogs!

Interested?  Check them out!

Here is a picture from earlier this winter.

Ice Floats on da Harbor.
(Hmm, I think someone wrote a story about that before).

Sooooo, LET IT SNOW!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

New Writing Website


This is just a quick note to inform you that I created a new website for my writing.  It will remain more stagnant than this blog, but check it once in a while to see what's new.  Don't worry, the blog is still the same!  The link for the new site is on the left column at "Amanda's Writing Site."

Also, we do still have snow in the woods.  It's dense, but it's snow!

In the mean time, here is a picture from three winters ago that I find particularly soothing.

A view from the east end with Brockway in the distance.

Aaaaaaaand, LET IT SNOW!!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Ice Mounds and Range Lights

The other day I braved the snowy elements for a double lakeshore snowshoe loop.

First I headed to Ft. Juniper.  Good thing I did because Mr. Sun and his rays were out causing trouble.  I had to patch up quite a few holes that went all the way through.  The patching snow was nice and white, perfect for reflecting those rays if they came back.  I also laid in it for a while.

Although I have spent countless hours building, rebuilding and patching that thing, it is so worth it every time I lay in it and listen to the wind without being in the wind.  Ah, laying by the Big Lake in the wintertime.  That is priceless.

But you know what?  I am the only person who has ever been there!  I better bring a buddy sometime... as long as they know the secret password!

I continued along the Lake Superior shore where the wind whipped me from behind.  I hadn't been out there for at least a week, and I was elated at what I found.  The ice that built up toward the shore built up in layers of mounds.  I walked out to the first set, traversed the crunchy ice, climbed the second set, crunched over more ice then to the third set where I realized I probably shouldn't go any farther!

Here is a video of that adventure.  You can really hear how the wind was blowing the whole time too.  Good thing I wasn't going the other way!

Since I was just walking along the shore, I saw the range light behind the trees.  I usually only see it from the Lighthouse across the bay.

Range Light number one.

When I got past this one, I saw the second one!  (Imagine that).  It was much bigger, so I went inside and got a video for you.  Pretty neat, hey?

From there I went onto Lake Fanny Hooe and laid in the middle for a while.  I do still love to lay in the middle of that lake, but I sure could have used a snow fort in that wind!  I had to crawl back into the woods to make it home somewhat comfortably.

And the last two days have been sunny.  I went for a nice cross country ski today in the sunshine on freshly groomed tracks.  The sunshine is nice when I can get out in it.  But it is only February, so LET IT SNOW!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

How to Stay in the Know

Hey you!  

I want you to know that although I am very excited about my book, I don't want to bombard you with every little piece of news about it.  I think you might stop reading this blog!

So I wanted to let you know where you can find all the info you need whenever you are curious about readings, where to purchase, sequels, etc.  All you have to do is click the little book icon at the top left hand corner of this page (try it now!).  I will keep that post updated with the latest.

Or, you can "like" it on facebook and get notified when I post something new.  Thanks for your support!  

Oh, and LET IT SNOW!!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sunny February

Another beautiful day in da Keweenaw.  Sunny and blue skies for the forth day in a row.  I think we had half a cloudy one somewhere in there.  Luckily the last couple days have been cold, so all the snow doesn't melt.  Right now the snow is cruuuuuuusty.  It's like snow cement.  Can't build a snow fort.  Can't groom the cross country ski trails.  Definitely don't want to go to Mt. Bohemia.  So I'll probably go for a hike through the woods.

I've had a couple fun outdoor adventures lately though.  Hannah and I went on a wonderful snowshoe across Lake Fanny Hooe and up the ridge.  Here is a video of how beautiful it was on the lake.  We should have  brought our lawn chairs!  Suntan!

Toward the top of the ridge, the sun was beating through, so I couldn't resist this either

Hannah and Tiki admiring the sunshine.

The next day Rachel and I went for a cross country ski on all the trails.  Probably about five miles.  Five miles on crust, but we didn't care.  At least we were getting some of that good fresh air!  I hope you get out to enjoy some too!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Double Tour: Snowmen and Fort Juniper

Wow.  A lot has been going on here for me in da Harbor.  I apologize that I didn't get it all to you in spiffy stories already.

I've been cross country skiing and back country skiing.  Working a lot too.  In the winter!  But that's okay.  It's worth it.

Here's some good stuff for you.  My Harbor friend, Staci, owns Into the Woods Mini Golf & Gardens.  She built 21 snowmen so far on her snow-covered course.  Look how cute they are!

The panoramic view of the frosty friends.

A father and snowson.  Wave!

Taking a break.

A couple of my favorite characters -- the sunglasses and fuzzy hat.

Staci said it's nice to see people on the course, but it also brings big grins to all those who pass by!

Earlier today, since it was 34 degrees out, I went to finish Fort Juniper.  When I got there, my window was blown out.  Below is the view out of the window with no pane.

The view out Fort Juniper's window.

After laying inside it, enjoying some rest, and building some more, I finished it.  Here is the video of the tour of the area.

Now let it snow!