Snow way!

Last week I left you with a bit of a cliffhanger…I told you that we were driving across the state in a snow storm and I haven’t been heard from since…until now, that is.

The snow storm started on Friday. It was the first big snow storm of the season. As expected, a lot of Wisconsinites forgot how to drive.

Paul went ice fishing for the first time.

Last time I talked about the weather, I was saying how warm it was in November. Then December came and it seems like the temperature dropped from 60 to 20 below just like that. A few schools in the area already had closures for the wind chills. So it has been cold. Cold enough to form a solid layer of ice on the lakes.

While Paul was out fishing, he had a bit of an accident. His ice auger rolled around in the back of the truck spilling gas all over the place. How was I going to put sleeping bags in the back of the truck for our weekend trip when opening the back of the truck made my eyes burn? We had to do some major cleaning..

Saturday morning we left in the snow storm…after Paul shoveled 6 inches of snow that fell overnight. We made the 3 hour drive across the state in 4 hours. The roads were snow covered and slippery. For most of the trip, the highway was down to one lane. We passed cars in the ditch with people inside of them. While events at home were cancelled, we made the trip across the state along with other friends to visit family for the holiday only to turn around and drive all the way back home the next day.

Then after our 3 hour (4 hour) drive to my brother Luke’s, we were faced with another 3 hour (4 hour) drive to pick up Angel from college. Thankfully my dad offered to pick up Angel from college. I have to give my dad a lot of credit here. He hasn’t always been the world’s greatest dad, but he really helped us out big time. I really appreciated his help.

The time spent at my brother’s went by really fast. We had a great time, then we were back on the road again..The ride back home was a lot easier. The roads were in better condition. The sun came out and pierced our eyes as it gleamed off of the fresh snow. The wind chills were around 20 below.

We came home to a couple more inches to shovel. It was starting to get dark. Since Paul did all of the driving, I offered to shovel. Growing old sucks, but there is something good about being a woman in my 40’s. I don’t feel cold often anymore. All my life I was the girl curled up in blankets on the hottest days of summer. Not anymore! The cold doesn’t phase me anymore. Sometimes I even feel hot when it is cold outside.

What can I say? I am 42 and hot! Ha ha.. Sometimes half of my body is cold while the other half is hot. As strange as it sounds, I sometimes am hot and cold at the same time. Hot flashes, cold sweats…So, shoveling while it was 20 below wasn’t that bad..

Anyway, not what I was planning on talking about..

It has been great with Angel home. She appreciates us so much more since she left for college. The first day home, she bought me flowers. She helped take the burden off at work and has offered to do some of the housework. She said that she feels good when she gets things accomplished during the day. That’s my girl! We spend the evenings in deep conversation.

Now that she is an adult, she has become a really good friend.

I just wanted to let you know that we made it home safe.

I hate following a blog, hearing that the said blogger is taking a trip that may or may not include danger, and then not hearing from them ever again. Seriously, are you okay?? One never knows on this sphere where some of my best friends don’t have names..

I am such a warrior! Did I just say that? Whoops! I meant worrier…Hmm..Oh well.

 

 

 

What frozen tundra?

It has been raining a lot since yesterday. Water pools on the green grass and harvested fields. Wait, what? Green grass? Isn’t the tundra supposed to be frozen this time of year in Wisconsin?

The constant dripping of the rain like a tapping on little drums awakens me from my slumber. Yesterday I awoke to the rumble of distant thunder. It was as if my grandpa woke me up on the 15th anniversary of his death to reminisce about summer. Think of the better days…the days when we were all together, not of the dark days that I have been gone..

I have never heard of a thunderstorm here in December. It should’ve been a blizzard. On very rare occasion, I have witnessed snow thunder probably two or three times in my life. Snow storms and thunderstorms usually don’t mix. But we didn’t get any snow yet, just rain. It has been very warm for this time of year. This month we broke some record high temps and are on schedule to have the 5th warmest year ever recorded. Yesterday I even saw geese flying north. The birds seem as confused as we are. I am not complaining. I was able to run outside several times already this December. I have never been able to run outside in December before.

The ice fishermen are complaining though. In about two weeks, the ice should be thick enough to walk on. In January, you should be able to drive a truck on the ice. But this year the ice hasn’t started forming yet. Some people have been desperate enough to get their boats out of storage. It’s a shame, we could’ve gone sailing. I’m sorry, if I’d known that buying cross country skis last year would have this kind of effect on our winters, I wouldn’t have done it. Geez.

On these dreary days, I just want to sleep or curl up next to the fireplace with a good book. Except I don’t have a fireplace. So I will settle with curling up next to the Christmas tree with a good blog.

Shipwrecks, Superior, Sailing, Survival

Last week I had the opportunity to see Gordon Lightfoot live in concert. I am not a huge fan, but have a great appreciation for his music. It was almost magical hearing him perform The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald considering that today is the 40th anniversary of the ship’s sinking. Over a decade ago, Paul and I had the opportunity to go the Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Bay on Lake Superior near the location of the wreckage. I remember really enjoying the tour of the lighthouse there. I can’t imagine the solitude of being a keeper of the light over the cold lonely winter months. The summer months alone offer cool temps and solitude.

After touring the museum and lighthouse, we walked along the shore of Lake Superior. Even on the warmest summer days, the water is too cold to swim in. A few minutes of exposure gives you the pins and needles feeling. The average surface temps of the water are between 32 F and 55 F, so if you are thinking of visiting in the summer make sure to bring a winter coat. I have seen very hot days of 90 F on Lake Superior, still not a lot of swimmers.

On the way back, we stopped for a whitefish fry in Paradise. Then winding our way  back down Upper Michigan, we stopped at Tahquamenon Falls State Park to view the waterfalls. We decided spontaneously to take a hike from the upper falls to the lower falls and back. It was a total of 8 miles. This was before I became a runner. Why I thought that hiking an eight mile rustic trail in flip flops was a great idea, I will never know. Upper Michigan is an absolutely beautiful area to travel. If you do get the chance to put your feet in the water of Lake Superior that would be a great bucket list item. Or better yet, sail all of the Great Lakes. That may end up on my bucket list soon.

Last night I dreamt that my husband wanted me to go sailing with him on Lake Superior. I remember feeling trepidation towards those trepid waters. I woke up thankful that the sailboat is tucked away in hibernation for the winter. Absolutely no way we could be tempted to take a quick sail on Lake Superior even if it has been a warm November. I couldn’t fathom sailing or being on a ship on Lake Superior in November with hurricane winds and during a blizzard. Imagine if you can getting sprayed with ice cold water with 20 to 30 foot waves. I remember getting sprayed with cold water in 4 foot waves and that was bone chilling enough for me. That was in the middle of summer.

If you want a true survival show experience I would suggest November on Lake Superior. I bet even the producers of Naked and Afraid know that the survivalists probably wouldn’t even make it one day there. A couple years back, Paul went ice fishing on Lake Superior. It was during that weekend that Lake Superior claimed the life of the Lake Superior ice fishing expert and guide. What a fearful place, the lake that is so cold that it doesn’t give up its dead.

The lake does draw people in like a siren with its immense beauty. I would like to see the ice caves, only made under the right conditions, along Lake Superior. I have toured the Apostle Islands. I also toured the Pictured Rocks, someday I will show you those pictures. They are absolutely breathtaking. Someday I may even be brave enough to sail on Lake Superior. It is beautiful enough to draw me in, but it can’t keep me.