Monday, April 14, 2014

The Refreeze

Today is the first day I have not been able to sing the Snowbank Song in over a week.  It's snowing, and the wind stings my face.  The puddles have turned to ice.

But on the warmer days, I got out to check on a couple things.

One day I went out with my friend Bryce and our dogs.  We went to Porter's Island because he's never been there before!  I knew he would like the blue ice formation.  Here's an action shot of him and his pup (Bryce, I hope I have your permission to post a picture of you on the internet!)

Bryce and Mr. Zi by the ice mound

As I looked to the south, I couldn't believe the wall of dark gray clouds crawling our way.  "Is is supposed to rain today?" I asked.

"I don't know," Bryce said.  "I learned never to watch the weather up here.  Just look outside."  Good answer.

But as you can see by his t-shirt, it wasn't terribly cold that day, so we didn't fret.  I was a little surprised, though, when the rain started as we began our trek back across the lake.  It was kind of an irony: walking across the frozen lake in the rain.  Who knows if I'll ever get to do that again?

Not today.  It's snowing.  Just some flurries, though.  Luckily I haven't heard word of any accumulation.

With all those other sunny, warm days, I thought Manganese Falls might be giving a show by now.  Actually, Aaron thought that.  But a snowshoe to the falls sounded good to Duce and me, so we went.  I didn't even have to put my snowshoes on until we got near Lake Fanny Hooe itself on the JLG Trail.

Then something embarrassingly odd happened.  I was lost.

"Where is the trail?" I asked Duce.  He couldn't find it either.  I knew which way to travel along the lake, but I didn't see what resembled a trail anywhere in the area.  So we bushwhacked.  

Have you ever snowshoed in a forest full of snow that has been melting for days?  Snowshoes don't really work.  Nothing does.  You just sink proportionately to the weight of your body.  I sank down to my knees and thighs in spots.  Ugh.  That was a lot of work. 

Finally, we found the trail.  I was relieved for myself and Duce.  He looked like he was swimming in the snow!  But that relief didn't last long because we sunk in on the trail just like in the middle of the woods!  Holy buckets!  I never experienced that phenomenon before.  Oh, I couldn't wait to see that bridge by the falls.

But before that bridge, I saw the colors in the puddles on Lake Fanny Hooe.  Just like this.

Pretty green and blue ice on Fanny Hooe

Then after a few hundred more grueling steps, we came to the bridge and took a break.  Was the sight worth it?

The bottom of Manganese Falls

It sounded nice, but still pretty snowy under all those cedar trees.

We took a little break, turned around and went back along the snowmobile trail.  The easy way.

Remember that unreadable Fort Wilkins sign from the last post?  Here is is three days after that.

Fort Wilkins is peeking out now!

It's peeking even more today, but I didn't get a picture yet.  We'll save that comparison for the next post (if I remember!).

As I stepped out to bring in some wood today, thankful that we still have some, I experienced a different phenomenon.  The last time I brought in wood, I stepped through snow thigh deep.  In some spots I could barely get my boot back out!  Know what it was like today?  Walking on top of a rock.  This refreeze refroze the snowbanks.  I bet the walk to Manganese Falls would be easy now!

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