Friday, April 26, 2013

A Magnificent Melt

The snow sure is melting now!  This beautiful sunny and even WARMish day has exposed more ground than I have seen since early January.  I am down with that.  This weekend is supposed to warm up to the 50's and possibly 60's for a day.  Fine with me!

Unfortunately I won't be able to chase the waterfalls for 10 whole days!

Have you noticed that Duce hasn't been in many of my posts lately?  The poor pup blew his ACL, knee ligament, cruciate, whatever you what to call it.  He has been limping for quite some time, and hasn't been able to go on any adventures with Aaron or me.  He has sprouted many more gray hairs due to his increased anxiety and worry about why he can never go with.

Monday he is having surgery in Rice Lake, Wisconsin.  Aaron's parents live near there, so I am going to stay with them for 10 days while he is in his primary recovery period.  Think good thoughts for him!

Hopefully, by the time I get back, there will still be some rushing falls left for me to marvel at and capture.  Finger crossed!

Two days ago, Aaron, his friend Brandon and I had an adventurous day.  First we went to Porter's Island for the boys to fish.  Here are some pictures I took along the way.  (Sorry they are small, but they are clearer this way.)

Facing east toward the Marina dock

The opening on the South Beach

The glorious North Beach

A melting snow block

The wind picked up out there, and the fishing was no good, so we decided to go snow-kiting.  (Remember the flying man in a blizzard?)  I had my first experience flying one of those kites that day on Lake Medora.  Holy buckets, does that thing ever pull a person around!

I have a great video of one of my attempts, but it isn't edited yet.  I'll work on that on the farm.  I also got some cool footage of the boys doing what is supposed to be done as they carved in the snow on snowboards.  A graceful, quiet sport.  Stay tuned for those shots!

Well, enjoy the sunshine.  I'll catch you next time from Wisconsin!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Sunny Day After

Do I really need to tell you that we had another blizzard yesterday?  Do you really want to hear about 40 mph winds shooting snow sideways like daggers into my cheeks?  Do you really care that five minutes after I tromped through the drifts my boot prints were already covered up?  No!  You don't!  And I don't want to talk about it.

Here is what I want to talk about.  Today the sun is shining, and the ice encapsulations from yesterdays, ehem, storm are delightful.  These are some pictures I scored from in front of the Harbor Haus.

A view of The Gap and shore

The Crow's Nest behind the ice-laden shore

Porter's Island from the icy shore

I slid down this to get to the shore

The rocks with their ice shells

Well, that shore is a lot of ice!  

For some more good news, Copper Harbor won the $35,000 grant to build a sweet new trail!  Thanks to you if you voted for us!  And thanks to Bell Bike Helmets for awarding us this opportunity.  This trail project will commence once we can, you know, see the ground.

I apologize that that's about all I have for you right now.  Due to my back failing me again, I have been unable to go out for adventures and capture the moment.  Don't feed me sympathy; I just have to figure it out.  

On the bright side, I've had plenty of time to work on my next book!

Well, you have a wonderful day now, and I'll do the same!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

April Fools!

Whew!  Made it through two blizzards this week.  In this last one, winds were strong from the East.  Accumulation was up to 8 inches in spots of the Keweenaw.  Mount Bohemia is open this weekend, and they have a great base. I even saw snowmobilers out on the trails, and they quit grooming those April 1st.

Happy April 13th!  Here are some pics from yesterday.

Get your bike tuned at the Keweenaw Adventure Co.!

Then hit the trails for a great ride!

Duce will show you the way to the bathrooms!

I hope you sensed my sarcasm.  I rode my bike on the road the other day.  It felt great to pedal, but mountain biking is still far in the future.

We here in da Harbor are not the only people still getting snow.  Most of the U.P., parts of Michigan, parts of Minnesota and northern Wisconsin also got a pummeling in areas.  

I keep seeing winter rants on facebook and hear it from the locals.  Not to spread negativity, but here are some examples:

I am still trying to make the most of it.  I got to go skiing and snowshoeing.  Sometimes the sun peeks through the gray clouds to lift my spirits.  It's not all bad.  Things are just not on their usual schedule.  We'll see how long this lasts.

But, you know, when I talked to people about April Fool's Day they all said that they didn't get the chance to play a joke or get pranked.  Neither did I.  I guess Mother Nature takes the cake this April.  I bet she is still laughing.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

One Day, Two Adventures

Yesterday I went for a couple fun little adventures, so I may as well share them with you before I forget all the good parts.

Early on, I took my medium-sized red dog friend, Tiki, out toward the Nose of Brockway.  Don't worry, now, I know my way around.  I walked along the cross country ski trail behind the park the whole way without putting my snowshoes on.  Even the untouched snow was treadable.  The sun and sprinkle of rain just iced it right up.  The word "crust-shoeing" stuck in my head.

I didn't need snowshoes on the snowmobile trail either.  Just a leisurely walk through da Harbor.  I planned to hike up the snowmobile trail to the nose, but, along the way, I saw a nice rolling section to take me up -- nothing too steep.  Then I strapped those babies on and powered up the hill.

On such a sunny day, the view was gorgeous.  Now I know you have seen this view a million times from a hundred different photographers (probably even yourself!), but here it is again.  It's always slightly different, you know.

View from Brockway's Nose 3/2/13

Whether I pant or drive up there, the view always stops me in my tracks.  

The way down was a hoot.  I pretty much slid on my keester the whole way!  That would have made an exciting video, but you can't have it all, I guess.  We trounced back to town, feeling quite dandy.

Later, Aaron asked me if I wanted to rescue a canoe from Porter's Island.  Heck yeah, I did!

We parked at the Brockway Mountain Drive entrance.  Following Aaron, I power-walked the south beach of Hunter's Point.  It was so beautiful looking at my little town in the evening sunlight.  At the gap crossing, everything was covered in a layer of glare ice!

Looking toward Lake Superior from the gap

A view of Porter's Island and East Bluff from the gap

"Are you coming?  What are you doing?"  Aaron naively asked.  "Taking pictures, for my readers!"  Duh, it's not every day I get come here!

At Porter's Island we found the canoe right away.  Here is proof that we really found a canoe.

Aaron dragging the canoe across the ice

Then for the best part.  We got to paddle across the Harbor!  The water was slightly choppy, but we powered straight across to Jamsen's Fish Market.  I wanted to paddle all night!  Well, at least a little longer, but we were on a mission, not a joy ride.

We pulled the canoe up, walked to the truck, drove back and loaded the canoe.  Do you know what I saw while we were loading the canoe?  A freighter!  Fisherman Aaron said he's been seeing them for two weeks, but that was my first.

Guess that means spring is coming???

Monday, April 1, 2013

Flying Man in a Blizzard

My plan worked for a little while.  I've always found that when I accept things for what they are, they get better.  Whether it's a change beyond my control or just that switch in my brain, something gets better.

Like after my last post where I decided to embrace winter instead of wishing it away.  Do you know what happened within an hour after I posted that???  The sun came out for days!  Roofs were dripping. Ice turned to slush and mud.  Puddles poured down the roads.  Night skies were clear and bright with stars.  So beautiful!

Then yesterday, I was taken by surprise.  I'm not one to watch the weather unless I'm going camping.  I know the Big Lake does what it wants when it wants; no one can predict that.  But imagine my surprise when, after those sunny days, yesterday tossed us a blizzard with gusts up to 40 mph!

Aaron got out his kite (a bit more controllable than a parachute) and we headed to Lake Fanny Hooe.  Check this out.

On that dive that he took, he told me he missed the handle by two inches.  The wind never gives a second chance.  So we drove down the lake to look for that neon nylon contraption.  Luckily, when we finally found the kite in the trees, it was still in one fine piece.  But the winds were too turbulent for us to try it again.  That was it for the day!

But good news: If you don't already know, I am pleased to announce that my next book is drafted.  I am now marking it up with blue ink to make sure it's perfect.  

Superior Silents: Maximize Your Adventures in Copper Harbor will be on the shelves this summer!  If you've ever wondered where to take your bike, skis, canoe, hiking boots or running shoes, get your hands on this book.  I'll keep you updated!

The sun just popped out now... we'll see what happens next!