Winter Carnival – update from the lake

Saranac Lake’s Winter Carnival starts this weekend.  Last I checked, the ice castle was covered with a blue tarp to stem its melting.

The good news is the upcoming week looks to be colder, with some chance of snow mid week.  Temperatures will drop below zero towards the end of  the week.  The thaw this past week, coupled with some high winds, caused significant melting and may have weakened the ice on the lake.  A snowshoer drowned on Schroon Lake this past week when he fell in open water, while walking on snow shoes, at night.

Last year, the temperature was not getting much above zero and we had more snow than we knew what to do with.

I may actually go back out grouse hunting before the season ends at the end of the month.  This is not a typical February activity for me, as usually the snow is too deep in our woods for safe walking, when carrying a shotgun.

Next weekend there will be a series of jazz concerts at the Saranac Fire Hall (not Saranac Lake!) on February 12-14.  Check out details on the Hill and Hollow Music web page.

This is the strangest Winter I have yet experienced here at the lake.  I still hold out hope for a couple of good storms, and a couple of feet of snow.

North Country Blues

This is shaping up to be the Winter that wasn’t.

Our road has been plowed three times this season.  We still only have the original 5 or so inches of snow, witha hard crust on top.  No need for snowshoes, yet.

This morning started with a light snow and 24 degrees. We have moved to a light drizzle and 34 degrees.  I ran one of the snowmobiles, after making a minor repair.  I soon stopped, as I was too warm.  Not the best conditions, in any event.  I have only heard one sled taversing the power line ROW across the lake.

Lots of tracks in the wood.  There seems to be a host of rabbits out here on the Point, driving the dogs nuts.  Or maybe only one hyperactive bunny.  Tracks everywhere.

Think I will be heading into my work room  for the afternoon. Need to hide as Paula is talking about painting the great room.

Winter– finally!

Well, the road has been plowed, it is cold and windy, and the fire is roaring.  We have about five inches of snow with a hard frozen crust on top.  Pretty easy walking in the woods.  Molasses Bay is mostly frozen over, while the main body  of the lake is not.  I am listening to the grinding of gears on a plow clearing Route 26.

Yesterday, we heard snowmobiles running along the power line trail.  I have not fired mine up yet.  I spent the day figuring out why the snowblower drive wheels would not engage.

Getting a late start on Winter  has happened before.  In 2007, we took a polar bear plunge in the lake on January 7th.  Once the lake freezes, we typically have some ice cover through late April.  Ice went out the third week of March in 2012.

In thinking  about this past year, two events at the Lake stand out.  First, the search for the escaped prisoners, and how it changed our daily routine here at the lake.  We were on the fringe of the search area, and had a State Police checkpoint set up in the Hamlet of Loon Lake.   Second, the loss of the log cabin on Mensink Road (a picture of the fire is in today’s ADE).  The cabin was a complete loss, but the fire was  contained and did not spread to the adjoining camps.

Looking forward, we are privileged to experience the surrounding woods and mountains and especially the pristine lake upon which we are fortunate to live.  This privilege comes with an obligation as well– to be good stewards of the natural resources that make Loon Lake such a special place.

Happy New Year.

Keith “ADKWhaler”