Monday, October 16, 2006

A Brush With Winter

After my last blog, you know that we got a little snow around here. Thankfully, it was not as much as some parts of the East got. Nevertheless, we got about 6 inches of snow at Gunflint. There was more at the highlands around Poplar Lake.

Friday was the actual snow storm day. It was a the perfect day to be inside looking out. We had a blistery wind with snow coming down off and on throughout the day. Bruce and I
cranked up the fireplace. All of our outside garden projects were finished. We felt very smug standing in front of a blazing fire. Our homemade soup dinner tasted great and fit the outside weather.

Bonnie Schudy, our outfitting manager, had a little different experience on Friday. She and a friend from town were on a canoe trip to Long Island Lake. Coming home on Friday they had to go through Rib Lake. As you may know, the water in all our lakes is very low this fall. Rib is never very deep so the water in the lake was down to 3-4 feet in depth. Unfortunately for Bonnie, it was just cold enough so that a skim of ice covered the lake. They had to break ice all the way across the lake to paddle home!

On Saturday morning the temperatures started to rise. Bruce and I went to town on slippery roads. Coming home in the afternoon, the road was dry and bare. The sun was out.

Sunday was also nice and warm. The wind picked up in the afternoon. The staff had started to put the dock across the lake while there was no wind. We disconnect the entire dock from the main cribbing. Then it is pushed like a barge across and tied to the shore in Charlie Cook's bay. It sits there all winter. In the spring the ice totally melts out of the bay with no wind problems. When the ice leaves the entire lake, we push the dock back for the summer. But going over this fall, the guys had to fight the wind that came up in the middle of the project. It is finished now and everyone is happy.

With all the cold weather, some outside jobs got behind schedule. So the crew who is laying the cement blocks for our new staff building was working on Sunday. After the blocks are laid, then they have to pour the cement pad for the new building. We are all keeping our fingers crossed that the warmer weather holds.

When Bruce was pouring the pad for cabin #24-25, the weather did not hold. They poured the cement anyway because there was no choice. Then the pad was covered with plastic. Finally the plastic was covered with sleeping bags unzipped to lay flat. The plastic and sleeping bags provided enough insulation to slowly cure the cement. It was a close call. It was also a mess to clean and wash all the sleeping bags.

Today virtually all the snow is gone. The wind has shifted to the east which is our foul weather wind. Bruce and I are going out to cover the small white pines so the deer don't eat them. I saw two deer at the top of the driveway this morning. We have already covered the maples and lilacs. Then I am going to cut down the last of the burdick seeds and get rid of them.

Tucker is coming down to spend the afternoon with us. He just loves to poke around outside. If he runs around enough, he may even go for a swim. The other day when we hiked into Mine Lake with snow and rain, Tucker took time for a swim in that lake. I can't imagine anything worse.

Have a good day. I know I will.

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