Monday, April 21, 2014

A New Spring in My Step

If someone blindfolded you, drove you to Copper Harbor, cloaked you in only a light jacket, set you in the middle of Highway 41 in front of the General Store, then took off your blindfold, you would be surprised at the large snow drifts before you.  And everywhere else around you.  Today and yesterday, for the most part, were gorgeous, sunny and warm (relative ~ 50 degrees, maybe?).

The snowbanks are currently melting.  And draining.  And going back to the lake from where they came!  My plan is working perfectly.

However, it wasn't all sunshine and melty banks all week.  The latest blizzard started Wednesday night, and went through most of Thursday.  Aaron and I had to drive to Houghton for a meeting.  Here is the Covered Stretch at about 1:00 pm on Thursday.

Highway 41 in Thursday's blizzard

April 17th, 2014.  Still want to live in Copper Harbor?  Oh, yeah.  Not in the winter.  Or spring.

The following day showed a nice sunset, though.

Sunset after the storm

What's that?  A sunset picture over the lake would be better?  You're telling me.  Hopefully I'll get out there again sometime when the sun looks all lavish.

In the mean time, you're stuck with this Fort Wilkins sign I promised you.  I believe that today, it's a tad lower then when this picture was taken (between the 14" of snow and now), but it's close.  And hopefully it will be lower yet the next time.

Ye old Fort sign, grinning and baring it

For Easter, I took three of my four-legged friends (cuz they're the only ones that will hang out with me) up to Manganese Falls.  The last couple times I was there, I got skunked, so I wasn't expecting much for rushing volume.

On our way up Trail 134/Manganese Road I realized that it's going to be a snow trail for quite a while yet.  Look at all that snow on the road still!

Snow-covered Manganese Road... still

We saw some cool icicles hanging in the moss.

Icicles in the mossy rock

We didn't even get passed by any snowmobilers.  Imagine that.

Also on the way up something new happened.  I was so hot that I had to take my jacket off!  Outside without a jacket since probably early November -- what a treat!  It was truly glorious.

And then I heard it.  The falls.  So loud I could hear them before I crested the hill!

We perched as close to the edge of the top of the falls as we could to see what we could see.  With all those cedars casting shadows, I could barely make out the moving parts, still mostly under snow.  And the darkness made my pictures turn out terribly, so I will spare you that.  At least it sounded refreshing!  I can't wait to go back!

Oh, and I saw Jacob's Falls yesterday as well, on the way to Eagle River.  It was doing pretty well.  Probably triple since the last time I saw it!

I also caught a shot of The Gap between Hunter's Point and Porter's Island.  The ice is still at least 2 feet thick on the Harbor.  People are even out ice fishing yet.  It's a bit slushy out there, but I'll have to get out to Porter's another time yet, so I can check out that lane of open ice on the Big Lake.  I believe it's for the freighters to cross.  Man, are they having a heck of a time this year.  Have you been keeping up with that fiasco?  I'm glad I don't have reservations to be on Isle Royale in early May.  How would I even get there???

Holy cow, look at the train of thought in that last paragraph.  I didn't even show you that gap picture yet.  Please forgive me.  Here it is.

The Gap

It may look a bit puddly, but it's crossable.  And ice for quite a ways out after that.

I think the end of winter is in sight, my friend.  Probably not going to be a swim-in-Lake-Superior kind of summer, but the berries should be juicy!  I am pumped to see some colors around here.  But the forecast doesn't show much more than high 30's for max temps.  Better than earthquakes, I guess!

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