Bruce and I are home from the latest round of conferences and we are both very glad to be home. The best part of the latest trip was catching up with Brian’s family in Sacramento. Grandson Sam had his school’s Christmas concert the night we were there. He and another alto sax player had a duet of Frosty the Snowman. Naturally, it was perfect! Amy and Max are both growing like weeds.
The lodge and grounds are now decorated up for Christmas. Here is a picture of the dining room Christmas tree. The festive atmosphere made a great backdrop for our staff Christmas party last night. Only problem was that I ate too much. I think everyone else did too.
Over the weekend one of those rare events occurred that locals are thrilled with. I called my friend, Kathy, on Seagull Lake to confirm the event. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday the ice on Seagull was perfect for skating among the islands. Kathy told me that she went out each day for several runs. No one up here can skate too long because we rarely do it. The ice was solid but you could see through it to the rocks on the bottom of the lake. Her husband, Mike, was busy looking at where water lines went in. Mike is a builder so it was fun for him to see the lines. They also saw anchors and lures on the bottom. Surprisingly, they did not see a single fish. Seagull is a great fishing lake so where did they all go?
Kathy also told me that they were able to do a little ice skating right after Thanksgiving. Not as big an area was frozen but it was perfectly safe. She said that you could skate on safe ice but see the waves breaking on some open water not that far away. It was a little weird to skate and see the waves at the same time.
I should add a disclaimer: Don't do this unless you have good advice from local people who know the ice conditions. It was be really treacherous.
On this Sunday Mike decided to fly over the area to see where the ice was or was not. The west ends of Seagull and Saganaga were still open. Those have the largest area of open water that is not broken up by islands. The east end of Clearwater was also open. Mountain, Arrow and Pine Lakes were also open as is Gunflint.
With snow yesterday and today, this fleeting opportunity for lake skating is over. If everything holds, there will be a chance to easily ski on the lake. If we get too much snow, it will push the ice down and slush will form. I am always fascinated by the effects of ice and snow on lakes.
Meanwhile we are anxiously waiting for Gunflint to freeze. As I type this, I can hear the wind blowing outside. We need some time with no wind. Kathy and I have both seen the ice just freeze a lake over once the wind dies down. Hopefully, that will happen soon on Gunflint.