Thursday, January 24, 2013

We now live on a Glacier, A very very cold Glacier

Right now you can't tell the difference between the road, the driveway, the path to the lake
or the surface of the lake, it's just one big

                                       Definition of GLACIER

: a large body of ice moving slowly down a slope or valley or spreading outward on a land surface

 Two weeks ago we had about 16" of snow on the ground and very nice weather,
then came the 2 days of rain.
During this rain the driving surfaces packed down and turned into solid ice with water on top, this made for one of the scariest rides I have had in years.
 On my first trip out, I only made it  the 3  miles to the mailbox when I turned back for home. This trip, normally 10 minutes, took an hour and ended with the truck parked in the middle of the road at the top of the driveway and I had the feeling I had cheated death.

On day two of the rain, Pat and I decided to make an early run into town for some sand to grit down our driveway and also grocery shopping. We also used this trip to move Pat's vehicle to the storage building so  we would have only the truck to deal with in the driveway.

All the weather reports that day had called for rapidly dropping temps and rain changing to snow in the afternoon. Well, the temps fell and the rain quit without changing to snow.
which turned all the driving suffices turn into skating rinks .

I pulled into the driveway (big mistake) sliding sideways down the hill . I had no choice but to hit the gas driving us into the woods and hoping for the best. We ended up at a 90 degree angle wedged between the tress and rock garden at the top of the path leading to the cabin and lake.
It took all the sand we had just picked up to even be able to get out of the truck, sand our way to the cabin door and sand enough driveway to get the truck freed and looking up the hill.
 If it didn't have sand on it you couldn't walk on it.

If you would like to read another account of this 2 day event have a look at Val and Kathy's blog,
their driveway is a tight sphincter steep hill ride in the summer. As a matter of fact,  there is a local adventurer
Lonnie Dupre who has been trying to be the first solo climber to climb Mt Denali in January,  if he wants to impress me he should try summiting that driveway.

On Day 3 I was lucky enough to get my truck back up the hill and onto the road to make another trip for sand. Slowly making our way out, we happened to see that one of  the sheet rocker's working on Patrick Sullivan's new house has a plow truck with a large sander in the back,. After talking with him we came up with a plan for splitting the cost and the next morning he sanded down the driveways and road.

That night the heavy snow started. With the low temps the snow was very fluffy and without any moisture it wouldn't stick to the ice. The snow continued throughout the next day ending with around 6" followed by lots of  cold and wind.
Ian, another of Patrick's carpenters plowed out the road on day 4 and ever since then we have been driving on roads that look like this.

Since then the temp's have been,
-22, -24, -24, -27 and frozen pipes, -24 and a new bad sound from my truck. All these temperatures are without wind chill  taking windchill in account and they may have reached as low as -55. 
Right now it's +2 with maybe 7" of new snow coming tonight.

Other then that we have 2 bucks at the feeder now, but haven't named the second one yet

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Happy New Years!

Happy New Years to all and yes we're still alive,
although I'm typing this blog with the use of just one arm.
The lack of a left arm is the result of a high speed cross country ski crash that ended 
with a half day visit to our local emergency room.
The trial description called the run "a gentle incline stretch followed by a  long glide back to the parking lot".
Let me interpret this language for you.:
"a very long  steep uphill sucky part, followed by a rocket fast scary death run back to your car!"
After whezzing my way to the summit, I took a little time to gather my thoughts, my air, my courage and let my ears pop. Pointing down hill, I stepped into the track of death , lifted my poles and was gone in a flash.
After breaking the 150 mile per hour mark I began to make what I hoped to be life saving adjustments, :
I pulled down my goggles, tucked my poles under my arms, got my hands out in front and dropped into my high speed aerodynamic tuck.
However, these adjustments had just the opposite affect I had hope for, not only did they not seem to be life saving it sadly just allowed the speed to quickly pass into the high 200 mph mark. 
At 300 miles per hour things started going horribly wrong, hat and goggles peeled off my head, eyes now blurry, the buffeting ski tips chattering in the icy tracks, it was just horrifying,  but then, for just a split second, everything was fine.
silent, everything went quit and peaceful, almost floating like an out of body experience which was interrupted by impact, not some little impact, more like the meteor that killed the dinosaurs type of  impact.

 I was in the middle of a body part survey as Pat made her way into the strewn field that was my gear spread down the hill for hundreds of yards. Now at first she found the sight of her 31 year companion,  4 days after their 25th year wedding anniversary, to be somewhat funny, which was quickly replaced with the realization that I was hurt, I'd be really hard to get out of the woods and she had left her gun in the truck so just shooting me on the trail and leaving for the wolves wasn't an option.
She helped with ski removal, then gathered all my stuff off the hill and we set off walking to the truck followed by a trip to the hospital. The emergency room story itself is a great one, but for now I'll keep it private since I may need their help again.
So here I sit with a badly injured left shoulder but I have learned a few things, skiing up hill sucks, skiing down hill sucks, crashing sucks, a bad shoulder sucks and going to the hospital sucks.
(speeds in story are approximated)

Summer recap
Fishing and boating
The last post in May we had just launched both boats and this year turned out to be great for both fishing and sight seeing year. We are happy to report that fishing at Deeryard Lake has become a Stuart Smith grand kid approved destination spot and this year we entertained the whole clan.
Crew number one,
Stuart & Anita, Shannon & Barry with Emily 15: William 12: and Matthew 9:
Crew number two,
Stuart & Anita, Stacey, Jeff with Crawford 13: Forrester 11: and Robert 8:
Both trips were blessed with good weather, good fishing, great fun and no one got hurt, which is better then they ever do on the alpine slide at the Lutsen ski hill

We also had Tom Christensen with his grandson Soren, his neighbor 
Pete and his son Eric
unfortunately fishing was just slow but the night was fun.

Then came Conner.
I received a call from my friend Gregg wondering if I would take his wife's cousins son from Philadelphia out fishing. They showed up, Gregg, his brother, his wife's cousin and Conner.
We got lucky on this trip, turns out Conner was the only skilled angler in the boat and
he put the rest of his group to shame.
I think the only reason he hangs around with that bunch is Gregg has a nice truck and buys the minnows,  juice boxes and chips
Well the day after the fishing trip, Conner had his driver take him into town were he had a t-shirt
made for me that I now use as my seat cover in the observatory:
Thanks Conner

We also had many sight seeing trips including Tom Christensen, his dad from Arizona, two daughters, stepson and some grandkids. Other trips included my mom and sister Kathy and more.

Later in the year we pulled the seats out so the pontoon could be used as a barge for installing 
over a mile of fiber optic cable in the lake.
spool one
spool 2
Down the lake we go.
Just waiting for next year

Along with the water drop the fiber is now down the road and run to the houses and observatory

It's still not up and running but we're closer then last year and we need it bad . Our Verizon internet and phone service has been dreadful.

Part of the summer projects included removing and replacing  9 windows, 2 doors and 2 storm doors in the cabin.

This included all new trim work and paint.

The observatory had a small open house for the neighbors so supporters could go in both buildings and see it first hand.

Turn out was good

with great food, drink and fire

Flower and vegetable gardens went very well and I have to say we learned a lot

The fall steel head fishing was good, here is just a few photos from the last day in Wisconsin
My net man Doug
Doug's net man swishy Chuck

Great fall colors on Deeryard

Bird feeder back up for winter now with Christmas lights

Thanksgiving with Jim and Michele
and a large bacon wrapped turkey that was very moist.

1st ice

1st snow

Was notified by Full Tilt Power I could start playing  as LayDownSally again but only for play money right now

Sold Pats 20th wedding anniversary present,
I'll bet most of you don't even know that a snow plow is the 20th year gift

Our cat Itchy has found a new friend at the feeder. After losing our resident buck last year, named appropriately Bucky, I have named this new one Tulip, this name is for the 50 tulips Pat planted this fall that he will eat this spring.

Spent a fun Christmas week in the cities with the entire family, then back up north for our 25th anniversary
which now brings us back to.
Sorry for the lack of writing I'll try to do more