Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A Transition for the Shore and a Spirit

It's winter now!

Today I was getting ready for an adventure, and I asked myself, How should I turn the cuffs on my jeans so they don't get full of snow?  Then I laughed because it's time to wear snow pants!  And even snow shoes in some spots.  So yes, it's winter.  Smiley face.

So get a tissue ready because I'm about to tell you who didn't come with me on my adventure today.  Got your tissue?  Duce.  My handsome, sweet, goofy buttery boy has been released from his pain on this earth.  A tumor grew aggressively up his paw making walking and life in general very painful.  On Friday he stopped eating.  I took him to the vet yesterday, so he could be free.  He has all the rocks he cares to chase now.

Duce overlooking the lake at Great Sand Bay

Now he can overlook us anytime!  And work on the trails with Aaron -- something he surely missed when the pain arrived.  I have only great memories of that puppy.  A true adventure buddy indeed.

In fact, he led me to what is now one of my new favorite spots!  Can you believe I found another new spot around here?  And it's so close to my house, that I'm not worn out by the time I get there.

It started as a nice flat area overlooking the lake: the perfect spot to build a snow fort when Brady boy can help me.  But I realized that there were too many trees in the way for a great view, so we ventured further through the forest until we found a cool, flat spot with a clear view.  Well I'm not the only one who liked that spot because I saw the indentations of 4 deer in what little snow we had at the time.

Excited at this point, we went all the way to the shore, and Oh. My. Good-golly-miss-Molly. was it beautiful.  Check it out. 

The ice-covered shore in the sunshine

Okay, maybe you are thinking, "Come on, Amanda, that's not that spectacular."  Well, it was when I was there!  Here's another shot from (I think) the same day.  I love it when the sun shines exclusively on Porter's Island.

Sunny Porter's Island in the background

That was on another part of the shore.  I have gone out there day after day, and it's always different!  Thanks, Ducer, for showing me the way.

Another cool thing from out there is the ice couch.  I can just sit on the ice couch and watch the world go by.  Maybe I'll have to melt a cup holder in there to bring some tea!  In the picture below, my beautiful friend Annele is modeling the ice couch for us.

Annele on the ice couch!

I sit on it each day I go out there.  And now it's covered in snow, so it's a little more comfortable.  Snow cushions!  I bet it sits about 5 people if you ever want to bring a party out there...

Now let's take our ice adventure to Hunter's Point.  I went out there with my parents and little Brady boy.  Since it was almost 40 degrees with no wind that day, the little man was happy to join us.  My dad even commented that he had never seen the lake so calm as that day.

My parents were like little kids out there.  "Woah, look at this!" my mother would exclaim like a 4-year-old.  "Ooh, these rocks are dropping from their ice shelf," my dad noticed.  "Phil!  Take a picture of this!"  My mom would shout.  Just like kids, I tell ya.  That's one of the coolest parts of adventuring -- turning serious adults into curious children.  Let me know if you need a turn!

The ice was stunning that day, so they weren't being dramatic by any means.  Here is the ice parrot we found.

The perched ice parrot

And the lighting was so cool when I saw this ice-covered mass.  It reminds me of oozing lava, except the opposite temperature!

Hunter's Point ice formations

Today the journey was pretty amazing too.  I sat on that ice couch almost long enough for my buns to indent it.  But there was so much going on along the shore that I just couldn't sit still for long!

So remember that first picture I showed you of this shore that I made sound like it was unbelievable?  Well, now it's covered in snow, and the ice is growing out over the Big lake.  I saw several instances of ice volcanoes starting to form, only to be overgrown by other ones starting to form. 

That got my wheels spinning.  I remembered that I couldn't walk along the whole shore before because the ice was too slick, and the drop on the edge was too steep.  But today, ho ho, today that ice extended the walkable area and widened my margin of error.  However, I knew that not all that ice meant that there was solid ground underneath.

I am getting smart in my increasing-responsibility age.

Instead of walking along the edge of the icy shore that was constantly bombarded by frigidly swirling waves, I walked closer to the earth.  And I used icicled branches as holds along the slick spots.  I recognized that a false move would mean death, so I was extra cautious.  Oops, except that one time I slipped a bit down the ice mound.  Shoot, that woke me up!

Enough babbling.  Here is what it looks like now!

Waves changing the icy shore

At one point, I found a nice spot to sit and rest, and the sun was just right to light up these pieces of ice.  It looks like they're glowing!  At least one of my pictures turned out for you.  Pictures just did not do today's vistas justice.

Can you see that ice glowing?

In that picture you can also see that ice is starting to form on the lake.  Today it got broken up by the waves, but it started yesterday in the calm of the afternoon.

As far as inland lakes go, I think they are pretty well iced over.  I haven't ventured out on them myself because the last times I was out, I didn't think it was safe.  And especially when there is a baby on my back, I'm not going to risk it to check!

I always had the rule of thumb that if Duce wouldn't go on the ice, then I wouldn't go.  He had good intuition about that.  However, I would go out sometimes anyway because that's just how I am.  So today I asked him to be my ice guide from above.  I know he won't let me down.