Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Skiing to Wolf Point

The weatherman forcasted south wind and unseasonably warm temperatures. Too nice a day to spend at work, so we headed out for our yearly ski to Wolf Point.

The skiing conditions weren't the best. The lakeshore apparently has had below average snowfall, and the snow that was there was crusted and very uneven. Since our skis hardly sank in at all, they were prone to slide sideways as easily as forward.

Still the worst day at the beach is better than the best day at work, and we savored the warm sunshine.

Like I said, skiing conditions weren't optimal. We had to portage a couple of times.

Klister, the nasty goo that gives you kick on crust and on melting snow. It is similar to roofing tar in this, that it inevitably gets on your hands and on your clothes and cannot be removed without solvent. Still, it is amazing stuff.

Shore ice at Wolf Point.

Lake ice, i.e. floating ice, begins where the ice bank ends. The ice banks had a lot of sand on them this year, even here.

This would look inviting to a polar bear.

The temperature climbed to near 50 near the shore I would guess. At home it reached 60.

We stopped for lunch here and enjoyed Marja's homemade pasties, with honey-soaked toast and cookies for dessert.

An ice volcano. I am not sure exactly how these form, but I speculate that they begin as weak points in floating ice as is is thickening to become shore ice, which reaches to the bottom. However they begin, there is no mystery to how they grow. Waves hitting the ice bank undercut the bank more deeply at some points and the water is forced upward through the hole and sprays out the top like a volcano. The water freezes on the surface and the cone grows higher and higher.

We often swim at this very spot in the summer.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

February Sunshine

They say that all sunshine makes a desert, but there is little danger of that in the Copper Country.

The older I get the more I like the Swedetown ski trails. The terrain is relatively flat and you don't have to stop at the top of a hill to let your heart catch up with you.

A nicely groomed track.

Black is a good color to have on your back on a winter day - it absorbs solar energy. The temperature was around 20, but the sun felt warm.

Pretty as a postcard.

Lake Superior in the backround.