While out in NYC for the St Patricks Day festivities, I got a quick email from BjornDaehlieOfMahtomedi. The ice had gone out on White Bear Lake yesterday, making it the earliest ice out on record for the lake, a record that goes back well over 100 years. I'm waiting for the email from my buddy Jonesy out in Excelsior telling me the same thing about Minnetonka. If the ice is off those two lakes it means pretty much everything in the metro is wide open. Let the cold water rolling begin!
Last Thursday found us in Bayfield on a secret government mission. I wandered down to the harbor and took the attached images. This year there was no ice road at all and it would appear that even Chequamegon Bay will be opening up very soon. In this mornings Minneapolis paper, more cars have gone through the thin ice as well as, inexplicably, a tow truck sent out to haul them out. I may not be the brightest bulb in the candelabra but it would seem that if the cars went through that perhaps the much heavier tow vehicle might as well?
The most interesting ice out shot was when we were crossing the Nemadji River bridge on the back road into Wisconsin. The river had begun to thaw along the edges but the middle of the river where the snowmobiles had packed the ice and snow down had not yet frozen. I was kinda waiting for a snow machine to come roaring around the river bend but that did not happen.
Finally, in addition to being a crappy winter for ice fishing, cross country skiing, and runoff to fill the lakes and rivers, it's also been a very crappy season for syruping. Buy some maple syrup futures because prices around here will be going up. Some say 15-20% of the normal sap run and when you need an ATV to collect your sap instead of snowmobile, that ain't good.
Last winter was spectacular and this one non existent. I just hope its a two year cycle thing and that instead of listening to the thunder and April Showers on March 21st, that I'll be skate skiing the crust on Gross Golf Course on my way to work. Guess I better fix my skeg and start thinking about getting out on the water.