February 28, 2001- Today is the
last day of meteorological winter. We still have about 3 weeks of
astronomical winter left, but as far as the meteorologists are concerned,
tomorrow is spring. Now as far as the Keweenaw is concerned, we have
about another 4-5 weeks of what most would consider to be winter left.
There may be some thaws and or periods of rain, but for the most part,
the temps should remain below freezing and the majority of the the precip
should fall as snow. Even last year, after 10 days of very warm temps
at the end of February and the beginning of March, the rest of March was
marked by cool temps and some snow. So we'll see what the weather
decides to do this year. The next few days of weather looks to bring
some mild temps and no new snow, but then the second half of next week
looks to return winter to the region. Personally, I am not yet ready
for winter to end. The main reason is that I know that we do not
see any real, sustained, warm temps until the end of April or beginning
of May. I personally hate days in 40's and low 50's with rain so
I would just be happy skipping spring and going from winter to summer.
In big snow years that is what happens.
Now, onto the events
of the past two days. The leg is still coming along. It does
not hurt much at all, I can move it around and even bump it and do not
feel too much in the way of those sharp pains. I continue to do my
exercises, but the bending of the leg still is not increasing as much as
I would like it too. The muscles in the thigh are still very tight.
I am hoping that they loosen up soon, the doctor wanted me to have almost
full flexibility by the time I saw him again March 16. That is just
a little over 2 weeks away. I am not worried about me not trying
hard enough, but would like to have better results. Patience is the
It was funny, I was
sitting on the couch yesterday, reading the evening paper and inside were
some promotinal advertisements for some chain retailers. They all
were for spring and summer items like outdoor furniture, swim suits, shorts,
t-shirts. Yet, I looked out my picture window and the snow bank blocked
my view about halfway up and the top half revealed snow falling, snow that
had been falling all day. It just seemed a little out of place to
see the ads for summer stuff with winter raging outside. That helped
remind me of just what a unique place I have moved to.
Not much else happended
yesterday. I had a nice dinner with Julie and then after she went
home I created the "Ask Julie" discussion group in the "Ask John" feature
of my site. So far there has only been 3 requests to see her picture.
They way I figure they will be in the hundreds in not too much time.
I think that she will have to break down soon, but I will not pressure
her. Take it from me, she is a cutie. I am to insecure to date
someone with just a "good personality"! I suppose it doesn't hurt
that she becomes more and more beautiful everyday too, but she was pretty
darn cute to begin with. Ok, enough mushy gushy, but don't be shy
to stop in to Ask Julie and start up a chat. I am definately not
the jealous type so I will not be threatened by anything anyone of you
want to ask. I also have complete trust in her.
Today was actually
the first day that Julie did not come over to help out. She was a
competitive ice skater and still teaches figure and power skating lessons.
She even has some pro hockey players as past students, pretty cool huh?
Anyway, she had to be at a meeting today for the ice show she is helping
to put on in a few weeks so I was on my own. So far so good, but
it was strange to not have her walk through the front door at 5 pm.
Brian and Joe came
over at about the crack of dawn to clear my roof. I was still working
when they started, so I could not get out to get any shots of them on the
roof. However, I was able to get out when they were done with the
roof and were clearing pathways around my house. Here is a shot of
clearing a pathway in the back yard. Those banks are about 7-8
feet high, glad my windows are high off the ground, good ole' yooper house.
Here is a shot of Joe
clearing the front. Those banks are not as high, but are still
about 6-7 feet high and the snow out front is about that deep in the whole
front yard. Anyone for dates when it will be all gone? I think
that about April 20th to the 25th.
I then hobbled out
to the street to take a shot of the front
of the house. Joe was still working on the front walkway, you
can see from the stream of snow up by the front door, but you can't see
him and he is at least 6 feet tall. Now that's yooper snow.
I am so glad that we had a good old fashion winter up here. Most
of the locals are ready for spring and I can't blame them, but not me,
not yet. I will be soon. In that shot you can see that they
even cleared off the truck. I am glad for that. I want to start
it up, but it was encased in snow before and I could not open the door.
This afternoon the
hounds and I took a little spin around my end of the block. Here
is Burt checking
out Joe's work to make sure he did a good job. Burt gave it his
approval. I took that shot standing up and I am 6'1" tall, so you
can see the banks are higher than my head. I need to get some film
shots of that for the memories. I am sure that there will be bigger
years, but this the biggest one for me so far.
We also took to the
back yard and Burt climbed up on top of the snow banks there to check Brians
handywork and to be King
of the Hill. He's so cool. Actually, Bailey's climbed up
and they were both up there. I got out the camera to take a shot,
but Baileys preceeded to fall off before I could get a shot. She
fell towards me, I moved my broken leg out of the way and also helped to
slow her desent off the 8 foot bank with my arms and she was fine.
But it was a little scary as she started to fall.
So that was my day
in a nutshell. I am going to finish this up so that I can watch "Atmospheres"
on the Weather Channel tonight. I usually do not get into that program,
but tonight's is on the snow season out west. How can I miss that?
Before I sign off, I got a request from some friends in Curtis MI (eastern
UP) to let everyone know that the trails are in great shape there.
The same goes for this area and I can say that this weekend will be really
great for riding. Maybe a bit warm, but both areas have plenty of
snow and temps in the mid 30's for a few hours in the afternoon will not
be a problem at all. Nite time temps will likely drop into the teens
so things will firm right back up. Don't put those sleds and skis
away just yet!
Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD-February 26, 2001- Mother nature
is trying her best to bury my fence tonight. She decided to leave
it exposed this weekend. We did get hit with the storm, but were
on the low end of the expected totals, not the high end. We did get
a bit of freezing rain Sunday morning, but it was not too much and did
not harm the conditions up here. We got about 8-10" total, 4 of them
coming after the freezing rain. So far today we have picked up about
4-5". Light fluffy LES. Most of that has come in two squalls.
One about 4 PM till 5 PM when we picked up 2" and then about another 2"
with the latest squall that has been going on for about 45 minutes.
I wish that I could have taken a picture during this current squall, it
is really coming down. Definitely heavy snow, with visibility less
than 1/4 mile, more like 1/8th. Nice big flakes that pile up too.
My fence is actually buried in at least one spot. I saw it as I was
slipping into my chair in the office. I still have about 4-5" to
go until all areas are buried, so we'll see.
Not a lot of news to
report. The leg is doing good. I actually took a real walk
yesterday afternoon. We went down the block and then around a few
blocks. All in all, I think that I traveled about 1/4 mile.
That does not sound like too far a distance, but on crutches in a snow
storm, I was happy. So were the hounds.
I got out again today
when Julie came over. I took a new front
of house shot. I wanted to because Brian and another friend are
coming over tomorrow to shovel the roof so I thought that it would be interesting
to have a before and after shot of that. I guess that is one blessing
for my injury is that I have a reasonable excuse to not have to get up
and do my roof myself. I am really grateful this time, there is a
lot of snow up there!
I went on a mini walk
with Julie, but I will let her take over and give the play by play.
So without further adeu...Is that how you spell it? Hey everyone,
it's Julie. It's kinda funny writing my real name (actually it's
Julia) - I was getting used to being called JW and a few of John's friends
still call me JW. I am happy to tell everyone that John is doing
sooooo much better physically. Mentally...I'm not sure from time
to time. That microwave deal and now this obsession with his fence.
Yadda, yadda, yadda. The guy has got to get out more. We went
all the way to the end of the block today - I think his 1/4 mile trip yesterday
did him in a bit. I worry about him wandering off too far so I ordered
him one of those "I've fallen and I can't get up" beacons that you can
put around your neck. It's not too attractive, but that's ok, I don't
want him picking up any gals on his travels. You know what a chick
magnet dogs are and now he can play the sympathy card with the crutches.
John is remarkable. It's been only 3 weeks since the accident and
he is so able to do most everything now. He does too much if you
ask me. I knew there was no keeping him down and the more he gets
outside the better he feels. I took some pictures of him clompin
along on those spiked crutches. At one point though, he was ahead
in the race for home and I heard a whoppin burp come out of the guy.
So I raced ahead to catch a picture of the guilty - I
think he looks guilty. He seemed pretty happy with it, although
he tried to blame Baileys,
who was a good 50 feet away. I think this is a sign that the romance
is over. This is the picture of him fleeing
the scene of the crime and running for home. Lucky for him that
he had made a pretty good dinner for us tonight.
Don't tell John,
but I'm pretty ready for it to stop snowing so much. The bank in
front of my house is huge and I don't want to shovel it anymore.
I'm thinkin that John can get a little ride on his sled in the middle of
March to tide him over and then we could have a nice little thaw happen.
I think most folks around here feel the same way too. Enough already.
Hope he's not too disappointed in me. He's of course hoping for a
second riding season till at least the end of April. Ugg. People
are gonna want to kill the messenger in that case.
Gotta get home
soon and want to spend a couple quality minutes with the weather man so
I'm gonna go. Talk to you again soon.
back. Julie has gone home and I am getting ready for bed time, so
I will sign off for tonight. Don't know if Julie was a jinx, but
it stopped snowing while she was typing and I even saw a few stars out.
Actually, we must be in just a little lull, I checked the satellite imagery
and it still indicated some fairly decent cloud cover out over the lake
and conditions look to remain favorable for at least light snow through
tonight and even into tomorrow. We'll see.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD- February 24, 2001- Let's
see... What's new....Hmmmmm, well, it's snowing. Wait, that is not
new, but it's good! We are now on day 27 in a row with snow and mother
nature is not fooling around anymore. We have picked up about 5-6"
new today and it looks like we could pick up an additional 6-12" between
now and tomorrow at this time. Actually it would be about an additional
12-20" if we were not to have some sleet mix in, but it looks like that
will happen sometime between about 9 pm tonight and 8 am tomorrow.
The really unfortunate part is that during that time period the heaviest
precipitation rates will also be occurring, so a lot of the moisture and
energy will be wasted making sleet. Oh well, a 12-18" dumping for
a storm total is still nothing to shake a stick at and will likely be the
biggest storm we have had all season so far.
My spirits are really
up today. I don't know why, but quite a difference from yesterday.
I think that Julie had a ton to do with it. She came over and just
let me be my sad little self yesterday. Plus she brought to light
that my predicament is only temporary and in not too long I will be back
to normal. That is really the best thing to keep in mind. I
can't even begin to imagine how I could deal with this situation permanently.
Anyway, we got out and about today to do some shopping, which was good
for my spirits. I got to ride the zippy carts at both Walmart and
the grocery store. The one at Walmart was faster, but the one at
the grocery store had a better low end (acceleration). All I can
say is that if I had one, it would be about 4 times faster and would have
snow tires on it. Maybe even a paddle track!
I even ventured out
into the great outdoors for a little bit today. Julie was getting
ready to take the dogs for their afternoon spin around the hood and invited
me to go out so I took her up on her offer. I keep talking about
the snow banks, mainly because they are really incredible. Here is
a shot me me standing
in my driveway. I am 6' 1" and that snow is almost on the level
in my whole front yard. It may drop about a foot way in the middle,
but otherwise, that is how deep it is. Across the street from me
the owner of the lot has an old station wagon. It has not been moved
for the 2 years I have lived here and it is currently buried
under about 4 feet of snow. Believe it or not, the snow is as
deep as the hood of the car, what you are looking at is the what has just
caked on it all season.
It's kind of cute,
the hounds really like it when I go outside with them. I think that
they really miss me taking them for walks, but I also know that they are
really excited to go with Julie and one of my neighbors who has been great
and comes over to walk them in the mornings. I don't mean to sound
conceited, but they know I am their best buddy and here they are showing
me how much they love their daddy.
I have one more shot
of a snow bank. Sorry I can't provide anything more exciting
right now, but I guess something is better than nothing. This is
the one across the street and extends behind me about another 20-30 feet.
I am beginning to wonder when these will be gone once it all starts to
melt. Even with last years early thaw, which was going on at this
very time, my snow banks stayed until the beginning of April. I bet
this year they last well into April.
I guess the only other
bit of news is that when we got back from shopping, my sled was sitting
in the garage. I know I will not be able to think about riding it
for several more weeks, but it is still good to see it back home.
I missed it! Maybe I will sneak out and start it up, just to smell
the 2-cycle. Who can identify?
Well, I am going to
sign off, I have a big date. Julie is over and we are going to have
steaks (I am really keeping to the required diet!), some pasta and then
watch "The Perfect Storm" in front of the fire. So if you don't mind....
I'M OUTTA HERE!
Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD- February 22, 2001- Greetings from
the Keweenaw everyone. A snowy Keweenaw I must add. As I was
updating the "Historical Weather" feature of the site I noticed that we
have quite a string of consecutive days of measurable snow going.
With today's snow we are now at 25. There are a handful of days when
only a trace was reported and not too many big dumps, but still, 25 days
in a row is a good little string. I will have to see just how many
days since the first of December have not seen at least a trace.
I bet it is pretty low. That is not that unusual for this area.
We get our big snow numbers from the fact that it almost never stops snowing,
not because we get a bunch of big storms. Today has really be a bit
of a surprise. It started snowing at about 6 am and has not stopped
and it is about 3:30 right now. At times it has even been coming
down pretty good. We have picked up about 4" new so far and we still
have a few more hours of this stuff to go through before we get into some
lake effect tonight and early tomorrow. The forecast (including mine)
called for a few inches today and a few more tonight, but I think that
we have shot past those numbers already. I am not complaining.
I'd much rather error to the low side!
After finishing up
my morning work, a case of cabin fever set in and I got the urge to go
outside. I decided that I would do just that. I could walk
out to the front of the house and update the front of house shot (has not
been done since the beginning of Feb.) and take a look around, plus I could
let the hounds play out in front for a while. The main danger was
going down the 3 steps from the kitchen to the garage and then back up
them. I have gone up and down them several times so far since being
home and all went well then so I figured that I could do it this time.
I did make sure to have the cordless phone in my coat pocket just in case.
On the trip down, no
problems. I opened the garage door and flipped down the ice
picks on my crutches and stepped out into the snow. This was
not the first time I have been out and about, in fact I went to dinner
with Julie, Brian, Al and some friends up from Chicago on a two day KSE
tour at the Loading Zone II just last night. However, this was my
first solo venture out of the house.
I am just amazed at
how big the snow banks are getting around my house and in town. I
can't even imagine how big they must be up in places like Calumet and Mohawk.
Maybe I will get up there some day soon and snap some shots. Anyway,
here is a shot looking
from my garage down my driveway. The banks on the side of my
driveway are about 5 feet high and that is just about level snow.
It does get a little lower as you travel away from the side of the driveway,
but only by about a foot! The walkway
to my front door has just about become a tunnel and after I get my
roof shoveled off next week it will be for sure. You almost can't
see out of the bottom 1/2 of my picture window on the front of my house.
It is getting really deep up here.
I did manage to make
it to the street to take a fresh "front
of house shot". You can look to the right and see how the snow
is piling up in front of the window. I even compiled a before
and after shot using the last front of house shot I had taken back
about 2 1/2 weeks ago. There looks to be close to a foot of new depth
since then. Especially when you look at the difference in snow on
the far left side of the roof. Really amazing as the snow does compact
to about a 6-1 ratio.
Before heading back
towards the house, I snapped a shot
looking down my street. Some of the banks down the street are
enormous! The one just across the street from me (just to the left
in the previous picture) is about ten feet tall. Now to be fair about
things, these piles are not just mounds that peak at ten feet high, but
usually go back about 20-30 feet too. It is really cool and exciting
to see. And to think that this is only about an average year!
Just imagine what things would be like had we had a record or near record!
I did not want to go
in right away after taking my pictures so I decided to get a little work
done, so I grabbed a spade and went to work at clearing the compacted snow
from my steps. The neighbor across the street as been awesome at
clearing my driveway and walkway and would do my steps I am sure if I had
a shovel out, but it has been in the garage. There was about 3-4"
of hard packed snow on the steps and there are already enough broken legs
around here so I decided to get the steps clear. It was not too hard
and in no time I had the steps cleared. I then took a look at the
2 feet of snow on top of the bushes and decided to clean them off before
the protection setup I have over them collapsed. That also went well,
but I was getting tired after that and had to get back to work anyway,
so I called the hounds and we all went inside.
All in all it was a
successful venture. My bushes are now free of the heavy snow load,
the steps are clear, I got some fresh air and more exercise than I have
gotten in almost 3 weeks and the hounds also got to play outside for about
an hour. They are really great at entertaining themselves if they
have to. After doing my midday work and having lunch, I just about
passed out though. But it was really good to be productive again.
As I have been typing
this journal, it has really been coming down. We have picked up about
1 1/2 inches in less than an hour. Sure is pretty out there.
I won't go into the
leg too much. But as I am sure you can tell, it is feeling better.
In fact the past few days have really made a big improvement in things.
I do not get a shooting pain every time I stand up or sit down and I really
have to twist it or bump it to make it hurt. I think that I am well
on the road to recovery.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD- February 19, 2001- I can sense
a rather short journal coming up this time. Being a shut in does
have a way of stripping me of material. I have not encountered any
new or interesting quirks with my household appliances and the depth of
my explorations is to the front door to check for mail and the afternoon
paper. I do feel that in a week or less I will be able to take a
short venture out and about my neighborhood on the crutches, but I do need
to build up the arm strength. Plus, I doubt that Julie will let me
take such an adventure by myself. With good reason. My crutches
do have flip down ice picks which work great in gripping the ice and snow.
They are on hinges so I can flip them up and out of the way when I don't
need them. A really neat invention if you ask me. I can't imagine
using my crutches on the ice and snow without them.
Julie came over to
keep me company as well as cook dinner and take the hounds for a walk.
I figured that some of you might be getting a case of cabin fever vicariously
from me so I gave her the camera as she headed out the door to take the
hounds for their afternoon
romp through my end of the village.
We continue to get
a steady input of snow up here. No major dumps, but just a good old
Keweenaw style steady light snow. 4 new inches today and it looks
like about another 4-8" from later tonight through tomorrow night.
It is also going to get cold up here. Not as cold as it will in other
areas to our north, west and even south, but we will be lucky to reach
double digits for highs tomorrow and Wednesday. The banks of snow
on the side of the road continue to get bigger and bigger. It is
even more noticeable to me now that I only see them about once a week.
Here is Baileys striking
a pose in front of one in my hood.
The size of the banks
only slow the hounds ability to get into the woods and hunt for bunnies
or anything else that happens to be in the neighborhood, but does not stop
them. Here is the
Beez climbing back onto the road. I was not there, but I am putting
money on the idea that Burt is still in the woods. He really loves
to sniff things out good. In fact, I bet this
shot was taken just moments after the previous one. It is neat
to see these shots, because I can feel like I was there. I can actually
picture them romping down the road, stopping all of the sudden and flipping
on their backs to roll in the snow. I do not know why they do this,
but on my morning walks they always did it in the same spot. I think
that they are trying to mark their scent there. I just do not know
what was so special about that spot.
It is also funny to
watch the dogs go "off road" because they seem to just fly into the deep
snow, forgetting that they will have to climb back. They usually
get pretty deep off trail and then decide to turn around, but by that time
they have already expended most of their energy. Julie caught a good
shot of them (especially Burt) struggling to get back on to the road.
This one could be called "Don't
have a cow Burt". Of course, Baileys probably just got stuck
there and then sat there with her big puppy dog eyes and asked for help.
That is usually what happens when I take them out.
Now to be fair about
things, Burt really is a bit of a stud. If you are ever in doubt
just ask him. Anyway, I could not leave you all with the false impression
that he is not the true King
of the Hill, and master of his domain. When I grow up I want
to be just like him, if I grow up that is.
I think that this handing
off of the camera might be a good idea. I really do not have much
to take pictures of in my home. Brian has a bunch of tours this week
so maybe I will let him borrow the camera so that he can supply some shots.
Tomorrow might even be a good day with the new snowfall. I am still
watching a biggie to roll into the Midwest this weekend. It may not
be the biggest to hit in long time, but may just be one of the biggest
this season. Right now we are dead in it's sights. Things can
change and most likely will, but if it hit as indicated, my fence would
be buried. That has been the goal all season. Only time will
Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD- February 17, 2001- As promised,
I'm back and ready to write. Like I said yesterday, things are going
very well with my recovery. There is still a bit of pain from time
to time, but I have a lot more flexibility that I can do without having
that sharp bit of pain. My mental status is also very good.
I do miss being able to get out and play in the snow, but I am just accepting
that situation and not letting it get to me. Julie has been terrific
as usual. Not only from the standpoint of coming over and making
me dinner, cleaning and caring for me, but also being a huge help in keeping
me company and from going stir crazy. Today we went for a ride, had
lunch and did some shopping. It was very nice to get out of the house.
I was a bit tired for some reason, but it was still nice to feel the cold
on my face and breathe in some fresh Keweenaw air.
One of the highlights
of the shopping trip was to get on one of those motorized
carts and tear through the grocery store. I was glad that we
could get one that matched my coat. However, that one needed some
clutch work and maybe some pipes to get it in good running form.
It was a little slow at the low end and did not shift really well.
Even so, I was able to manage a few wheelies down the frozen food isle
and even some doughnuts in can goods. Speaking
of doughnuts. I couldn't just pass those up. I don't know
if I mentioned this before or not, but before I went home from the hospital,
I got a visit from the dietitian. When she introduced herself as
the dietitian, I could feel my stomach just quiver, thinking that she was
going to give me a list of things to eat like broccoli, brussel sprouts,
kale, you know, all that stuff that is suppose to be good for you.
Much to my amazement and delight, she said that I was to eat a lot of read
meat and avoid vitamin K. I did not know what vitamin K was in and
she said "green leafy vegetables!" YES! So basically, I am
to lay off the veggies and eat as much meat as I want. A really good
thing for this picky eater. I was still under the influence of some
medications, but I do believe that she said that doughnuts were good for
me too, so I have been sticking to a regiment of them as well.
I did have a weird
thing happen this morning, my feet began to itch like crazy. I'm
not just talking about a little itch here or there, but a full blown scratching
frenzy. Almost to the point that I thought I would loose my mind.
It is amazing how such a little thing like an itch can get so out of hand.
I was alone, so I called Julie, she then called the doctor and he gave
her a a list of things to help. She showed up just in the nick of
time and the ointments and pills seemed to work well. That has been
my only down point since coming home. I am getting around more and
more and have a ton more energy since last weekend. Still not 100%,
but enough to allow me to function fairly normally.
One thing for sure
is that I am getting around much more slowly. Although, that is not
always a bad thing. It has allowed me a different perspective on
things. I am noticing things about the house and things in it that
I did not before. One such thing is that I learned that the carousel
on my microwave makes one complete revolution every 10 seconds. Not
earth saving information, but when it takes a lot more effort to reach
something at the back of the microwave that at the front, I know to cook
everything in increments of 10 seconds. That way when I put it at
the front of the tray, it will be at the front when it is done. Exciting
The weather has been
typical Keweenaw fare. Light snow most of the past 2-3 days.
It looks like we picked up about 4 inches yesterday and another inch or
so today. It has also been cold and windy. Today as we drove
to Houghton, I watched as folks rode down the trail and they did not seem
to be bouncing around much at all. I would imagine that the trails
in most places are in pretty decent shape. The forecast looks good
too. No thaws and a couple of decent chances for snow. There
is actually a whopper of a storm indicated for next weekend. It is
a bit too far out to feel too confident in, but one of the models has been
indicating it for three days now, so that is a good sign. I know
that I will not really be able to take advantage of any new snow that falls,
but I don't care. It would still be awesome to be clobbered by a
major storm. We have not had one up here for several years and we
are do. Plus, I really want to bury the fence in the back yard.
Actually, if we have
a cold and snowy spring, then I should be able to take advantage of the
snow. I am about 5 weeks away from possibly being able to start to
use the leg again. I know that it will not be all good as new at
that time, but I am determined to give it exercise between now and then
and have it as ready to go as possible. They do continue to groom
up here through the whole month of March and I could be ready to use the
leg by the middle of the month, so who knows. I'm not talking about
taking any KSE tours, but still, just a little ride down the trail before
the season ends would be fun and might be in the cards. If not, then
I will just look forward to being able to take the hounds for walks in
the woods and on the beach with Julie. Speaking of Julie, she wants
to say a few words, so I will let her take over the controls.
Hey ya'll - it's
me, Julie. John and I had a fun day today. Even though he had
a rough start with his feet, he bounced back and was up for an adventure
- shopping in the Twin Cities, Houghton and Hancock that is. It was
great for him to get out and back amongst the living. As you saw
above, he was terribly excited to get back on a motorized vehicle again,
although the thing went way to slow for his liking, and I had to hold him
back from tweaking the motor a bit for more speed. You should have
seen him though. I cracked up the whole time. He was in reverse
(more of a challenge) most of the time and went down quite a few isles
that we didn't need anything in. John was none too concerned with
shopping etiquette either as one woman had to grab her son out of the path
of danger. And then he pulled up to the lady in the other motorized
cart, revved his motor and asked her if she wanted to race. Of course
I stayed at least 10 paces back to remain incognito. That's when
I caught him checking out the donuts. Oh ya and John was pressing
the morphine button every minute when he thought he heard the dietitian
tell him that donuts were good for him. The picture I didn't get
was when he furrowed his brows in disappointment at the donut selection
and took off and found the Hostess/Little Debbie display. The guy
is a brutal eater. Next Dr's appointment...cholesteral check.
My bet is that it's up there - way up there.
It does just
keep snowing here but as far as I'm concerned, a major thaw around the
middle of March will be perfect. Next season for snowmobile riding
is soon enough for me. I think the walks in the woods and beaches
sound wonderful to me - two feet on the ground at all times. I know
that he's goin back out there, but I need some time to psyche myself up
for it. I don't think I knew enough to worry this year. Well,
did I go to school two weeks ago. This kind of knowledge I can do
without. I know you can take the boy off the snowmobile (for a while),
but you can't take the "faster, higher, deeper" out of the boy.
I should let
John back in here and send this off to you. He really does improve
everyday and he is unrelenting in his determination to be stronger and
independent. He is so strong and will meet every timeline on the
early end I'm sure. I'm loving being with him everyday, but I know
that he's getting more and more capable of doing almost everything himself
- although he keeps saying how that vacuuming and toilet cleaning send
those awful shooting pains through his leg. Hmmm.
Thank you all
again for all your wonderful well wishes to John and your wonderfully kind
words to me - they've meant so much to both of us. Goodnight all.
It's John here.
I just wanted to sign off, but before I do, I want to again thank all who
have sent me cards and e mails and other forms of well wishes. Words
cannot really describe how good it makes me feel. I have been brainstorming
of ways for me to meet all of you sometime and I may just try and organize
a ride-in for next year. It is just in the thought stages right now,
but I have some neat ideas. I'll be sure to keep you all posted on
this, so that we can make it a successful venture.
Oh, and by the way,
Burt and Baileys are doing just fine. They seem to know that there
is something keeping me from getting around and they do not bug me one
bit to go for a walk. However, they do know that the minute Julie
arrives it is "WALK TIME!". So far they have only yanked her down
once. Should have warned her about the "Beagle House". Julie back...(jerk!!!).
Hey, can she do that? This is my journal! I'm loosing control!
Julie back..."THE REALITIES OF DATING BUDDY!" Ok, time for us to
go, I think I will give here some of my pain meds to slow her down a bit.
I'll be sure to give her the ones labeled "for extreme pain". She's
getting to be one! Julie back..."Oh BooHoo John"
Good night from the
- JD- February 15, 2001- Greetings from
a snowy Keweenaw. I have to apologize. I got a much later start
on this than I wanted to and am out of steam already. However, I
did want to say that things are progressing well with my leg, there is
very little pain anymore and I am glad for that. Things are also
going well with my mind. I have not had too many periods of mental
pain since I last wrote. I think that I was just on a low part, trying
to deal with both the physical and mental challenges. My spirits
since then have been very good and the physical challenges are getting
smaller and smaller.
Thanks again to all
who have written in and sent me the words of encouragement, they have been
a huge help. Plus knowing that so many people care, genuinely care,
also makes my recovery easier.
So will cut this one
short, very short, but I promise to give a more detailed recap of things
tomorrow and I promise not to put it off until I am so tired. Till
Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD- February 14, 2001- Hello everyone.
I am getting an early start on things today. I want to get the journal
done, take a nap, and then get all cleaned up for when Julie arrives this
Things are going ok.
It is slowly becoming more of a mental challenge than a physical one.
Not just from the standpoint of the limitations I have, but also the fact
that I have to stay inside all day. I have not gotten cabin fever
too bad yet, but can feel it building. Plus the mental challenges
arise from the physical ones. Just doing every day tasks take a major
effort. One that I need to actually get myself psyched up for.
I'll be going along fine on those, like paying bills or something and then
something happens like I drop something. Now usually when something
gets dropped, you just pick it up. Not in my case, it takes a major
circus act to balance myself and then drop down to pick it up. Most
times I actually break a sweat in a process like that. It is also
amazing how much work it is just to go to the bathroom! I won't get
into detail, but standard toilet seats are not made for a broken femur.
So I don't know if
it is the fact that since my physical pain is dropping I now concentrate
on the mental aspects, or if the mental challenges are just adding up to
the point where they really become hard. I am making it, it just
can become overwhelming sometimes. Especially at night, when I am
tired and alone.
But enough of that.
I want to thank everyone again for sending in all the get well wishes.
I wish I had the energy and time to respond to all of them. They
do make me feel very good though. It is nice to have some many people
The weather has been
fun to watch up here and it is also very nice to have all the tools available
to put out a forecast. Last week drove me nuts being in the hospital
and trying to figure out what was happening with the storm from sources
like the Weather Channel or the local news. We have had fairly persistent
snow since I got home. Of course, the big snow was just when I got
home, but then we have picked up an inch or two every day since.
It sure would be fun to get out and play in it all, but for now it is not
to bad just to watch it fall. This weekend looks to provide quite
a bit of snow. Maybe not a ton in 24 hours, but yet a fairly persistent
snowfall for 3 or 4 days.
I really don't know
what else to talk about. It seems like since I do not do much all
day except for work, I do not have much to talk about. The big excitement
for the week will be Friday when I go to the doctors to get checked out.
I suppose that is when my staples will come out of my incision as well.
The leg is in a lot less pain than it was when I first got home and everyday
things get better and better. I can bet that in another week or two,
my challenges will really be to keep myself from going stir crazy.
But maybe even by then I will be able to get outside myself. If just
to catch some snowflakes on my face.
Good afternoon from
- JD- February 11, 2001- I have a bit
of energy so I decided to sit down and finish the story by telling of the
hospital experience. Of course the first few hours after surgery
were spent in a deep sleep, being so drugged up. By Monday, I was
more alert, but still in an out of some fairly deep sleeps. I had
a thing that I called the magical morphine button, which was a button connected
to a morphine syringe that allowed me to have that pain killer on demand.
They said I could hit it as often as I wanted, but for one, I am not one
to take drugs, even things like aspirin and cold medicine and secondly,
I thought that the button would only work every few hours or so.
After a period of some severe pain, they asked me if I had been hitting
my button a lot and I said that I had a few hours ago. They went
on to explain that I can hit it as often as it want, that I would get a
hit of morphine every 10 minutes if I kept hitting it. So then things
got a lot better after that. I still did not abuse the item, only
using it when I really needed it.
There were lots of
blood tests, pills to take and the ever frequent blood pressure test and
O2 level test. Plus they worry about a patient getting pneumonia
when they are so bed bound, so I had to do breathing exercises with this
funky devise and had breathing
therapy twice a day.
I had ups and downs,
but my spirit was never broken. The food was OK, even better when
I found out I did not have to follow the menu and could order other things.
Plus Julie was awesome at bringing in contraband from places like the Library
and the other finer eating establishments up here. So I did not starve
by any means. The one thing I did not realize was just how much I
slept when I was there. I guess when I look back on it, that is why
I did not get too bored. I was always asleep!
came in the first day to get me up and around. The first day all
we did was go from the bed to a chair right along side. That only
took me 15 minutes! Kind of discouraging, but I did have to realize
that at that point, my leg had been broke for less than 24 hours.
The next day was a little more productive. Up and out of bed and get around
on crutches to the end of the hall. By day three I was really getting
around and things were going good. Day four I was all confident and
ready to get up and around. I had even been doing my stretching exercises
by myself. We worked on climbing stairs on my crutches and then had
an intensive workout of stretching and moving. I think I over did
that because that night (Thursday night) was really rough. Lots of
pain. To make matters worse, my IV bag dried up and so we had to
take the IV out or start a new one. We opted to take it out and thus
I lost my magical morphine button. After spending a few hours in
the most intense pain since the break itself, I had enough pills to kill
the pain and put me to sleep. That pain event really set me back
mentally, as I was to go home the next day and wondered how I would ever
make it without help. Julie would be there a lot to help me through
the weekend, but then by Monday I was on my own. How would I make
it, how would I make it kept going through my mind.
Friday I awoke and
the leg felt great. The morning therapy went well and I felt mentally
and physically ready to go home. One problem, I could not be sprung
until the afternoon, when Julie was done teaching and could come and get
me. Mother nature took care of my wait with a great snowstorm to
watch. The heavy snows started about 10 am and kept up all day and
even through the night. We ended up with about 12-14 inches new in
most areas, with some places picking up 18-22". Julie, true to form,
worked it out that she could get out of work early and was there to pick
me up almost an hour earlier than we had planed. So at about 4, the
hospital doors opened and I felt the chill of the Keweenaw air on my face
and even got to have some flakes land on my eyelashes as I was rolled
out to the car.
It was really nice
to be out and among the well again. One of my first duties upon arrival
home was to get
to the captains seat and regain the controls of the site. I read
a few e mails and responses and then was worn out form everything, so went
to bed. So far this weekend has been pretty good. A few bumps
and one minor fall, but I fell back onto the couch. Lesson learned:
Tell Baileys to move rather than try and get around her.
Brian has been stopping
in to see how I am doing and he even too the camera with him on a ride.
It's funny, I have spoken with a few of my friends and they have been out
riding, but also have been taking it a bit easy. I suppose my injury
brought a little bit of reality to the riding that we can do at times.
I wanted to say that on all of the KSE tours, you are never subjected to
a situation where you will be in over your head. What I did was hit
a large mogul that all the other riders went around. Hindsight is
20/20 and I would have gone around it too, had I known. I just did
not want anyone to think that because of my injury, the risk was high to
anyone who rides. We were very careful to set things up that all
the rides would have ways to get around a challenge if someone wanted to
chose a less difficult way around. I am the only injury of all our
tours this season, which speaks well, as we have likely had about 60-80
riders so far.
Like I said, Brian
took the camera with him and he was not shy taking shots. I ended
up with about 25 I think. Since I do not know the story behind most,
I will just put a list up and you can click through them. I was a
bit jealous of the ride, especially since Brian was on my sled. They
said it is really deep out there. Past the knee in all areas and
past the waist in others. Oh well, next year. I still get to
look out on it. Here's the shots: PIC
1 (my XLT), PIC
2 (Dave cutting some powder), PIC
3, PIC 4,
5, PIC 6,
7 (when a steel Polaris bumper meets a plastic Ski Doo bumper), PIC
8, PIC 9,
10, PIC 11,
26. Looks like I have some
competition for picture taking!
Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD- February 10, 2001- So I am wondering,
who is more grateful to see a date other than "February 2, 2001" at the
top of this journal, me or all of you? I think it might just be a
tie. I am sorry for my absence, but I am sure that it is well known
that I did have a reasonable excuse. Before I go on with the details
of things, I would like to say thank you to ALL those who have sent me
well wishes. I had well over 100 e mails and it looks like as many
in the "Ask John". I sat down to read them all this morning and broke
into tears for a moment at how much I mean to you all and what a great
group of friends I have here with this thing. I would also like to
thank all that gave words of encouragement and praise to Julie, "JW".
I have found the most wonderful woman in the world and do not plan on letting
go. She has been no less than a saint through all of this.
I am sure that you know a lot of what she has done like take care of the
hounds and keep you updated, but there were thousands of other things that
she has done and continues to do for me. I am not sure I could have
kept my mind through all of this without her. With her, all I have
had to do was concentrate on getting myself well and nothing else.
You cannot imagine the complications this accident caused and she took
care of them all with flying colors and even took care of things I forgot.
I have never known anyone more caring, loving and hard working than her.
I cannot wait to repay the favor. Of course, not the same way, but
to baby her and treat her like royalty as soon as I am up and around.
Now onto just what
the heck happened. Well, we were out on a tour and I was bringing
up the rear. We had already been down to see the dredge. I
am sure that a lot of you have seen this thing beached along the side of
the road between Dollar Bay and Lake Linden, just to the north of Mason.
I wonder how many of you have seen
the inside? It was really weird to be standing on a level surface,
but have the whole room tilted.
From there we shot
the lake across and rode some fields and back country trails and were having
a blast, the conditions were perfect with the new snow and all and it felt
really good to be out. We then ended up running the side of the Gay
to Lake Linden Road for a while. I was still bringing up the rear
and noticed everyone go past a perfect jump. I decided not to waste
this one, as I had done in the past and launched off of it. The approach
went well, I hit straight and the sled shot up into the air level.
Even the landing was good, but maybe a little harder than expected, because
my left boot slipped off the running board. My bodies momentum then
continued to push my leg into the snow and this is where things get a little
sketchy. At the scene of the accident, I told the sheriff that my
leg had gotten tangled up with the track somehow, but now I think that
all that happened was the force of the snow just grabbed hold of my boot
and leg and began to twist it. Caution: do not read on if you
are weak of stomach. Anyway, my leg continued to get wrenched by
the snow and all of a sudden I felt and heard a "pop". At that point,
my body pretty much went numb and I let go of the sled and just let is
slide out from underneath me. I have never broken a bone before,
but somehow knew that that pop either was a bone in my leg or my knee or
both. The pain was pretty intense. Maybe not the worst I have
ever been in, but just a really intense, dull pain. Afraid I was
going to loose my lunch in my helmet, I took that off first and then began
to try and examine for any protruding bones. There did not seem to
be any, but my whole leg was going numb and I could not move it at all.
When I tried to move it a bit to free the good leg, I grabbed the top of
my thigh, but the knee and rest of the leg stayed put. At that point,
I knew that I had lost something that was attaching the upper thigh to
the rest of the leg, but I could still not tell if it was the knee or femur.
The rest of the group
was still traveling down the road and my sled was sitting there about 20
feet from me, just idling away. Kind of made me jealous that it was
just sitting there, ready to go, but I knew my season had probably just
ended. I was not cold yet, but was hoping the rest of the group would
notice me not there soon so we could move forward with the whole police/ambulance/hospital
thing. It had been about 3 or 4 minutes when a group of riders came
up from the direction we had come from and I flagged them down. At
first it seemed like they were going past, but then I head the racing of
their engines getting closer and closer. They were coming to help,
and in a big hurry. My anxiety of being alone in the cold with a
mashed leg began to subside and I felt better already. At least I
would not die alone! Anyway, they happened to be some Tech Students
out on a ride through the bush and began to ask what happened and what
was wrong. I told them that the rest of my group was up ahead and
one guy hopped on his sled and raced to catch up with them. The others
offered me things like their coats to keep warm, but at that point I was
The rest of the group
did show up a few moments later and it was determined that we needed the
paramedics and hospital. riding the back of a sled was not going
to work this time. We tried a few cell phones, but they were either
out of reach or low in batteries so Brian sped down the road a bit to a
friends house to call 911. Just got 911 about a month ago, good timing
huh? Brian came back about 10 minutes later and said the call was
put in and help was on it's way. I was relieved, as the pain was
really starting to wear me down. I tried to keep my mind off of it
by cracking jokes and stuff, but the reality of the situation was that
I was in a ton of pain and scared to find out how bad it was. Here
is a shot of me trying
to be brave.
I also decided they
guys should get a shot of the crash scene so that you all would have a
better feel for things. The picture does not show it real good, but
I traveled about 10 feet and I guessed I was about 6-7 feet high.
I was not going really fast, about 20-30 mph. That is what is so
weird about this whole event, that it was not a big jump or a violent landing
or anything. Just one bad thing went wrong as my foot came off the
So I lay there in the
snow, just waiting to get out. I was beginning to get cold too and
was now really wanting things to happen fast. Of course when you
want them to like that, they never do, but in reality the first respondent
showed up about 5 minutes after Brian got back. It was what we call
a "first responder". That is a local who is trained in emergency
aid and has a scanner and can hear when assistance is needed. This
is a great thing, as sometimes things happen far from the towns and villages
where the emergency personnel are stationed. A few more first responders
showed up and then about 10 minutes after Brian got back the Laurium Police
showed up. I immediately asked for a blanket and he came out with
something resembling one of those dinner table cloth, with plastic on one
side and a thin paper material on the other. It did seem to help
a bit, at least mentally. The county sheriff was the next to arrive.
Seeing their guns made me think that had I been a race horse, I would have
been shot already. The one county began to ask me questions for the
accident report and I answered him. At first he did not believe me
when I told him my name, but we were all able to convince him that I was
not trying to make up a name and escape justice or something.
Finally the ambulance
arrived. I say finally, but they had to come from Calumet and they
got there in about 20 minutes or so since Brian had returned from making
the call. They began to ask the questions and feel
for protruding bones. Finding none and seeing that I could still
feel my toes was a good sign. I would not die out there in the snow.
The next step was about
the most painful of the whole ordeal. We needed to get me straightened
out so that I could be put on a back board and then carried to the ambulance.
The whole moving/straightening/securing of the leg just about put me out.
I did black out, but did not loose conscienceness. Meaning that all
went black with the rush of pain, but I could still hear everything and
feel everything. I then got my sight back a few moments later.
They carried me off
to the ambulance and then put
me in for the ride to the emergency room in Laurium.
Once in the ambulance,
the one medic started an I.V. and I was glad to be on my way to the hospital.
I decided to ask her what she thought about my prognosis and she said it
bad. She said she could not say for sure, but that it looked like
my leg was broke and would require surgery. I asked how long and
she said at least a week in the hospital. Suddenly my world was tipped
on edge. What about the hounds? my work? all the other stuff
that makes up my daily life? A bit of a panic set in.
Before leaving in the
ambulance. I asked if the guys could call Julie and they said they
would. We had plans to meet at my house about 1 and go for a ski.
It was about noon and I did not want to stand her up. A lot of the
rest of the ride is a blur, but soon we were backing into the port of the
emergency room and the doors flung open and I was the man of the hour.
3-4 persons were there waiting for me and we began to get my cloths off
so that they could x ray my leg. Julie also showed up, which was
a huge mental boost for me. More pain, as we had to take the splint
off that was put on in the field. I think that my yell told them
I needed some meds so a shot in the arm with some stuff and then one into
the I.V. with some more and soon the room was spinning and my leg did not
hurt as much. We got all the cloths off, but had to sacrifice my
bibs and sweat pants for the cause. Looks like I will be in the market
for some new bibs for next season.
Once the cloths were
off and my leg was visible, it was a pretty gross sight. My knee
was all twisted in a manner than knees should not be. The x ray's
revealed that I had a spiral breakage of the femur. I hope to get
a copy of the x-rays and post them here, as they clearly show the break.
No need to be a doctor to diagnose that. The bones were about 1"
apart they whole length of the fracture, which was about 2/3rds of my femur.
The femur is the bone between the knee and the pelvis.
So I had all I needed,
but a surgical staff and operating room so I needed to be shipped down
to the Portage hospital in Hancock. I do not remember much of that
ride at all. The drugs had kicked in and I was spent from all the
events over the past hour. I basically slept the whole way down.
I awoke when we reached the hospital and was met by the surgeon.
He introduced himself and then escorted me off to the O.R.. Soon
I was feeling the burn in my I.V. and then drifted off into a deep sleep.
The surgery went well.
I have a rod and some screws holding the break together. I have no
cast, only stitches from the incisions made to insert the rod and screws.
I awoke in the ER to Julie's beautiful face. I was shaking uncontrollably,
they keep the OR at about 60 degrees. I don't know why, but I was
frozen after the 3 1/2 hours in there. A lot of the rest of that
night is a blur. I was really drugged up.
I will leave the hospital
details for another time as I am getting a little tired. That is
my main problem now is I get so tired. I really underestimated how
much I slept when I was in the hospital. I thought I would get home
and be all ready to get back into action. I do have pain in my leg
and some meds for it. At times I miss my magical morphine button
I had in the hospital, but for the most part it is just that I run out
of energy. So I am not sure what the schedule for the site will be.
I will just take it one day at a time and I would imagine by the end of
next week I will be pretty much doing it all.
Julie sends her thanks
for all of their kind words, well wishes and support through all of this.
It was a great help and very much appreciated.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD- February 2, 2001- Well, the storm
hit, not with the full effects anticipated, but not a dud either.
I drove down to JW's for dinner yesterday and took my truck. A good
thing because it was really coming down and the side roads on the way back
were pretty deep. I would have to say that we picked up 5-8" in most
areas, but I do know of a few spots picking up 12"+. It has actually
been snowing all day. Very small flakes and some periods, where they
are barely falling, but still, that good old lake effect machine has been
going all day, keeping everything all nice and white.
Before I go on, I have
to make a brief announcement. A lot of my readers were also fans
of the Landings at Lac La Belle. Many of you were very interested
in its status and back this fall it was re opened by new owners and was
renamed the Lac La Belle Lodge and Seasons Restaurant. The new owners
are very great people and also very sled friendly (they have sleds and
are riders themselves). The only unfortunate thing was that the restaurant
was not open constantly from breakfast through dinner. That made
it hard for the folks that were use to just dropping in and grabbing a
bite to eat. I am happy to report that they are now open from 9 am
until 9 pm, 7 day's a week. They also are in the process of re working
the menu back to one that will please everyone. It was a little fancy/gourmet
before and they are working through the old stock of food and are on their
way to having something for everyone. The owners Kathy and Troy are super
people and it is their goal to please everyone, so I hope anyone that had
bad luck in getting in to eat there earlier this season will give it another
try. I know I was one who arrived between meal times with the past
setup and I will also be one to get back up there before the snow melts
and then after as well!
Now back to the events
of the past 24 hours. So my forecast was not a bomb, but was not
right on track either. I am just glad that I did not have two bombs
in two weeks. That is pushing the threshold of peoples tolerance!
My snow depth is 33" and that is as high as it has been all season and
as high as it got last year as well. Given the forecast for the next
week to ten days, I am fairly confident that the snow depth will grow even
more. Some of the new snow will settle, but there is about 24-26"
of snow that will really not pack much more. That is the base from
all of Decembers snows and January's thaws. The snows may not be
too heavy in the next few days, but by the middle to end of next week,
I have a feeling that things could get really interesting around here.
Maybe in other areas of the Midwest too. The one model, the MRF is
indicating the "Mother of all Alberta Clippers" to drop in by next weekend.
Just the storm itself could bring as much as 6-10" of snow, with maybe
twice that in Lake Effect. Now, I need to add that a forecast that
far out is bound to change and I would not be surprised at all to see the
system not even indicated in tomorrow's run, but it is neat to dream about
such a system occurring!
The Village's Snow-go
came down my street again today. That is the second time this season.
Last year it only came once. That thing really cranks! It is
so powerful, I can feel my house shake as he comes down my road.
It is also fun to watch the operator work it. He is awesome at aiming
the snow ends up and is very careful not to pile it where it is not wanted.
A good thing because it could put about 3 feet of it there in less than
3 seconds and I am not kidding! That brings up another announcement
I wanted to make. This is a little more personal, so you all will
just have to bear with me. Anyway, about a month or so ago, the grader
came down to clear the road and used my front yard to turn around in.
That thing is huge, a regular road grader. It really shook the house
and scared the heck out of me. It also left two deep trenches in
my yard, almost all the way to the bushes. I got a little worried
that this might become the regular method they use to do my section of
road. I am at a dead end and they either need to drive in, then back
out, or back in and then drive out or drive in and turn around. The
way they had been doing it last year was to back in and drive out and plow
as they drove out. If they kept turning around and using my yard,
it would look like crap and could tear it up so I asked the village manager
if she could ask them to not drive on my yard. She did, but I think
that maybe they got the wrong idea in that I did not want any snow piled
up on my yard too, because ever since I asked her to talk to them, they
have been very careful not to pile up the snow banks on my side of the
street. I really don't care about that, in fact I'll take all the
snow I can get. So Sue, if you are reading this, you can tell them
that I don't care about having the snow piled up on my side of the road,
I just did not want the grader going up onto my lawn! Anybody reading
this who sees Sue can also pass this message along to her! For the
rest of you, sorry for this little interruption, I could have just called
up Sue or stopped in to see her, but this is kind of a neat way to do it,
I think! Here is one more shot of the snow
go in action!
I took the hounds out
on the JW/JD ski trail. The tracks had basically been covered from
yesterday, but I have been out enough to know right were it goes.
In most areas it is not hard to tell, but there are a few fields where
I need to line up a special tree with a bush or something like that to
stay on track. It is important to stay on track, as the snow is packed
down underneath. If I get off track, I still get through about the
same, but the hounds sink up to their chest. They can not go too
far like that.
Speaking of the hounds,
they still are wanting to go and check
out the culverts. Even though they are filled with 2-4 feet of
snow. It is also getting harder and harder for them to get out, especially
after a storm like we just had. The snow drifts on the edge of the
ditch and get about a few feet deeper than the surrounding snow.
Getting in is no problem, they just otter slide down into it, but once
down, they have a job at hand to get back up. Burt did not even go
down this time, but Baileys did and had a time getting out!
A little further on
we came to my favorite spot on the trail, the
buried creek. The snow really collects out there and is really
deep. I cannot tell for sure, but I would have to guess that it is
at least 5-6 feet deep. It is funny, it would be an awesome place
to take a sled through, but for some reason, I just have no desire to do
so. I guess I just like the idea of keeping that place as pristine
as possible, and only leave a set of ski and some dog prints behind.
I did not ride today.
I was tempted to, but thought that it would be nice to just take it easy
after the ski and then sit down to do the journal. I have a very
important dinner date tomorrow so I will most not be doing a journal.
I am planning on going on part of a tour we have Sunday, so I will bring
the camera. I wish I had been able to get out on the tour today.
I bet there was tons of fresh to play in where they were going. Oh
well, next time.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD- February 1, 2001- Today was has
been an real exercise in patience. Things in the weather department
have been slow to develop and I have a forecast for at least 8-12" of snow
hanging out there. All morning I was watching the satellite imagery
trying to figure out just what the heck was going on. All I can say
is that I was seeing things happen out on the big lake that I have not
seen before. The winds were out of many different directions and
were not uniform as you went up into the atmosphere. That created
a hodge podge of lake effect snow bands. At one point, much of the
Keweenaw from Houghton north was basking in sunshine! Not a good
feeling when I was calling for so much snow. By about 2 pm, things
started to look a little better both in the satellite imagery and just
looking out the window. A band of clouds began to slip south across
the Keweenaw and it appeared to be go time.
I made a quick trip
to the post office and then took the hounds out for a ski on the JD/JW
trail. I figured the sure way to make it dump was to go out there
and run the trail. That way the new snow would bury it and I would
have to do it all over again tomorrow or Saturday. The weather confusion
did not end though. The wind at the surface was still from the south,
but this dark bank of clouds was moving in from the north. Now I
know that it is possible to have differing wind directions at differing
levels of the atmosphere, but that cloud bank I was looking at was only
a few thousand feet up and was moving in the opposite direction as the
surface wind. Strange.
Here is a shot
of the trail, just as the cloud band was moving in from the north (left
in picture). A little further down the trail, we were headed north
and I could see the snow band associated with the cloud bank coming down
the valley. Still really weird to see the snow band traveling against
the wind. I decided it would be neat to take a shot before the squall
hit and then one during the snow. These
two shots were taken about 60 seconds apart. I should have included
more of the view to the left, as that really demonstrated how much the
A little further up
the trail we came to a swamp
buried under about 3 feet of snow. I stopped to take it all in
and just appreciate my luck at being able to be where I was. Many
times when I am out in the beautiful wilderness up here I think back to
my day's of working back in Chicago. Thinking that if I was still
there, I would have likely still been in the office. Yuck! I know
I should knock on wood here, but I don't think I could ever go back to
that, even if I had to. I think I would be much happier living here
and just getting by financially than to head back south and make money.
I guess that old saying "You can't buy happiness" really does hold some
So the hounds and I
are back home, all safe and sound. It is still snowing out.
Not as hard, but not lightly either. We have picked up about an inch
in the past hour and it looks like the forecast will verify. Maybe
not a foot, things just do not seem that organized, but I will be surprised
if we do not get at least 8" new.
I did ski over the
snowmobile trail today and the groomer had been out recently, so I would
suspect that most of the trail conditions are in fairly decent shape.
Temps have been cold and with the new snow and grooming, they will be set
up for the weekend. I'm going to try and get out on a ride tomorrow.
Maybe even cut some powder 8's. There is about 8-10" of powder out
there already and with another 8", that would be plenty to lay'er down.
Before I go, Brian,
the KSE guide keeps reminding me to say hi to Mike and Mark, his ride last
Thursday. Hope you guys had a great time. Speaking of time,
if I ever make some, I will try and set up a gallery on the KSE site for
the tours that we have taken. I have not been able to go on all of
them, so I don't have pictures from every one. But if those of you
who have been out, without me, and have taken shots and want to send
them to me, I will be sure to post them to the gallery once I get it up.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
Dee would like to thank Jim Formanek of Formanek Designs for his expert
assistance in the creation and technical support of this site. For
anyone wishing to have a site of their own developed, I strongly recommend
that you contact him. Design
and layout by: Formanek Designs 2000