Presidents’ Weekend at Loon Lake

It looks like the weather is going to be great. We had a bit of a thaw and some rain yesterday, but it got colder, and the rain turned to snow, putting a nice dusting on all the trees. There is a layer of ice under a couple of inches of snow on our road. The woods have close to two feet of crusty snow.

There is a lot of snow on the ground. The banks along Route 26 are getting high. Our road to camp is like a tunnel– very high banks, and pretty narrow. The dogs pretty much stay in the plowed areas. Except for Carson, who broke trail through the woods, taking his normal circuit to visit all the camps on our Point; stopping to get a biscuit from Wendy, our neighbor.

Should be a great weekend to get outside. Skiing, skating, snowshoeing, sledding, ice fishing, snowmobiling, hunting….take your pick. There is lots of activity around the lake. Camps that are usually only used in the Summer are occupied.

The snowmobile trails have been groomed. Roads are a bit rough– icy, sanded and some bare spots. Not much activity the last couple of days; it will pick up over the long weekend.

My daughter’s family is heading to camp. I think I will be cooking at least 6 pizzas in the outdoor pizza oven. Always a fun event, involving the whole family.


Good Friends

Went out to dinner last night, with three of my best friends. One happened to be passing through, so we got the band back together.

These are guys with whom I have worked over the past thirty years. Fundamentally, we share a passion for protecting the environment. We each also spend much of our time recreating outdoors, albeit with different interests, ranging from deer hunting to bicycle camping.

One thing we did together, created many memories. A little over a decade ago, we rented the former fire tower observer’s cabin on Loon Lake Mountain. We spent a lot of time rehabilitating that cabin, and on the mountain. I used to hike my family up to the cabin and make a hot lunch. The cabin became known as “Zeke Camp,” and provided the basis for many fond memories. Being the closest to the cabin, I ended up being the de facto caretaker. I’ll never forget carrying two five gallon tanks of kerosene up to camp for the heater when one of the guys made a trip in with his son in December, while on a tour of North Country colleges.

It was good to get together again. Need to make a point of doing this more often.

Work Weekend at Loon Lake

I set aside the shotgun for a shovel and snowblower, this weekend.

After last week’s storm event, we got a soaking rain.  Consequently, there is a hard crust on top of the snow.   Roads are rough from repeated freezing/unfreezing. Dogs having trouble navigating in deep snow, once they break through the crust– mostly sticking to our plowed road.

I did go out on the snowmobile yesterday, early.  Great snow, but icy at spots.  the trail on the old Railroad ROW/Power line  has not been groomed.  We had the most activity of the  season on the trail Saturday–  still hearing sleds roar by at 11 PM. One group of ice fisherman on the lake at Hodge Bay.

One of my sleds is not running well.  I think there is gunk in the carb.  I had two choices:  try and fix it myself (and probably fail) or take it to Roberts.  I opted to take it in for service.

Which meant digging out the trailer, which had 4 feet of snow in it, and around it, and was frozen in place.  2 hours of shoveling and snowblowing, but we got it out.

I am convincing myself that we need a second garage…..

Sunday looks like another great day to be outdoors.  Temps will rise to the teens, with light snow.  Maybe I will pick up that shotgun and take a walk in the woods….

Snowed in at camp

We have gotten about 16 inches of snow so far– it started late last night, and is still snowing. I have cleared the snow around camp, but have not tackled the road. The snowmobile barely made it out off the Point and onto the main road. No way the truck will make it out. We are snowed in.

Plastic Bags on your Feet

New York may soon ban plastic grocery bags.  I think this is a good idea, but it may have unintended consequences, and mark the passing of an era.

As a kid, getting ready to go outside and play in the snow, our mothers put our feet in plastic bags (usually Wonder Bread) before putting our boots on.  This made them slip on and off easily.

When I was actively climbing in the Adirondack Peaks during Winter, I used to wear an expensive pair of vapor barrier socks to aid in keeping my feet warm.  I quickly realized that the vapor barrier socks and Wonder Bread bags essentially did the same thing.  I only bought one pair of those socks (and still have them).

Presently, when I go out to chop wood, snow blow, or hunt, I put my foot in a plastic shopping bag before I put my boot on.  Every time I do, for a fleeting second, I think about being  a kid in Fredonia and skating on Canadaway Creek, or sledding on the Brandts’ Hill or at the Graces’, or the Boy Scout Klondike Derby.

At the Lake, awaiting the storm

It has been snowing lightly, all day. Kinda warm, about 20 degrees. The high overnight is -7. The high through the weekend hovers around zero. Winter weather advisory in place, Saturday to Sunday. Expecting up to 18 inches. Not sure about wind.

Last MLK Jr weekend it was bitter cold– like 20 below. Kept the kids inside. Hopefully we can get them out a bit, this year.

We have food, fuel, wood, beer, and milk. All set for a great weekend.