Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Back to Winter

If you have talked to any yoopers lately, you know we are all joking that spring is here, and we still have four feet of snow on the ground.  The snow banks are so high that the Keweenaw County Road Commission still goes out every day to shave the banks that they can't plow any higher.  Then they dump it into a black hole.

I wanted spring so badly.  I boycotted snowshoeing and went jogging and walking instead.  Each time I opened the front door, I though, Brr!  It's too cold to go out today!  So sometimes I just wouldn't even go out.  Then I started drinking heavily.  I had to make a change.

So Winter, I embrace you.  I know that you are here, and I respect that.  I snowshoed the last two days, and life is good.  Great, actually.

Let me tell you about those adventures.

Yesterday Tiki and I went out.  I had a trail plan in my head, but got distracted by a ridge that paralleled Manganese Road.  I walked it for a bit, feeling high and mighty at the top while I watched Lake Fanny Hooe and Superior go by.  I can't remember being up there before.

Then it stopped.  Just took a nose dive back to the ground.  Not as dramatic as Brockway, but fun to slide down!

Further up I met the bottom of Manganese Falls.  Not too much to see there since it's still mostly covered in snow.  I took a moment to marvel anyway.  How can one resist?

Then I hiked up the left side of the falls.  I looked at the line I was taking, and it looked like a six inch sled had slid down.  What the heck?  Upon further examination, I noticed intermittent paw prints in the slide.  They were side by side only two at a time.  My first thought was an otter.  Is that what you were thinking?

As I carried on, I realized that there were two skid marks.  Two otters?  Nope.  Check this out.  Now, this is my analysis of the situation.  The paw prints were going forward and backward two at a time.  I deduced that the otter stuck its feet in on the way down, so it had holes to climb back up with while sliding.  From what I could tell, no back legs were used.

I even googled "Otter this" and "Otter that" to see if this theory is relevant.  I got no help.  Oh well.  If this theory is true, then I think otters are one of the coolest animals alive. Their gravitational instincts and equipment is sensational.  I sure wish I could have watched all that happen!

Today was a business snowshoe.  Can you believe that?  For the recreational guide I'm working on, I needed to confirm sign numbers and trail names up at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge for the routes I'm sending people on.

The snow was heavy and deep.  In fact, trees were releasing time bombs of snow boulders.  I watched a few come down, and I wondered when my turn would come.  I escaped without a hood full of snow and a concussion, thank goodness.

And I figured everything out that I needed for my book!  I tell you, though: sweaty, sweaty.  Snowshoeing is a guaranteed sweatfest.  But as a penalty for my actions earlier in the week, I deserved it.  I mean, look what I became on Saturday night for an Ugly Dress party!

Me at the Ugly Dress party

See what the U.P. can do to a person???  We've got to be strong, people!

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