March 27, 2016-
Happy Easter Everyone!
We are experiencing a true Keweenaw Easter, a white one. I get into that a
bit more in a bit, but first want to share with you the project that I was
finishing up when I last wrote. Thankfully I am pretty much done with the
big projects for the house and am on to the stages of building furniture and
other smaller projects. Ever since we were done with the addition, there has
been a large empty space on the fireplace above the TV. We pretty much knew
what we wanted to have go up there, but were not quite sure of the style. I
finally decided on a style a month or so back and about 2 weeks ago got onto
to making it. It was certainly not the most difficult project I have had to
tackle, but did provide a few challenges. Mostly taking wood that was in
near pristine condition and making
it look old and hand hewn.
Normally, I am taking wood that might have some rough
edges and cleaning them up for a project, so this was a bit of a change. I
actually did end up using the same tools that one would have used to make
the cross out of a log, some draw knives and chisels. I did use the table
saw to make the half laps where the two beams meet and also used modern
stain to get the patina, otherwise, it was much like making a cross 2000
years ago. I am happy with the way it turned out and fills the space
nicely...and done with a few days to spare from the Good Friday/Easter
There has been some other work going on in the woodshop
this week. Gracie and I have been busy
building her Grand Prix car for Awana. It's been many, many years since
I last put one of those together and the results were less than spectacular
from a looks standpoint, but for some reason, the thing was fast and ended
up winning some kind of trophy, although I don't think it was THE fastest.
Times have changed since then. We started out doing wind
tunnel testing on several designs and managed to come up with something
where the friction coefficients are as close to zero as can be. We then
uploaded the design into the CNC machine and let it do most of the rough in
work, then it went through several stages of sanding to get it ready. It is
off at paint and powder coating right now and the engine is at the speed
shop on the Dyno getting the fuel and timing settings all worked out for the
different atmospheric conditions that we might encounter through the course
of the racing. We are still over a week a way from the race, so there is
plenty of time to get it back, do final assembly and then make a few dry
runs to get any last minute bugs worked out. I will be sure to provide you
with pics of the final product in next weeks entry.
The weather this week can probably best be described as
"blah", or boring. We hovered in no mans land for most of the
period. Not really getting warm enough to do much melting, but not having
any big storms come and dump snow on us either. We completely missed the
storm that hit parts of MN, WI, the eastern UP and northern lower MI and
even managed some sunshine for Friday and Saturday. The temps were not super
warm, but with the sunshine, it was still a nice enough day for me to try
out my new bike and
for Gracie and the pups to join me. Nora got a new bike too, but decided
to sit this ride out and take the pictures.
It's been a while since I did much bike riding. I did
have an aged, but nice mountain bike that I picked up way back in the 80's.
It was a Schwinn Woodlands and at the time I purchased it, it was close to
top of the line. It was in pretty decent shape, so I almost did not want to
get rid of it, but it was quite heavy and the bikes of this era are really a
huge improvement on many scales. One being the weight scale, this new bike
probably weighs half of the old one. I have disk brakes, rather than the old
pad on rim and are hydraulic vs. cable. Plus the gear shifting is also far
superior. I still need to get a basket and bell for it, but I really did
love how well it felt to ride and also how easy it was. I am not meaning to
actually ride it, but to go up hill or accelerate. I did ride the old one a
few times while living up here and it felt uncomfortable and kind of hard to
peddle up hill, even in the right gear. So if the ride the other day is any
indication on how well this bike will do for me, then I can see taking lots
of bike rides with my family this year! Who knows, I might even get a little
into shape! Oh, and I am going to get a helmet before I start riding it
So as I mentioned, we had a white Easter up here. Not
only with the snow that is still lingering from the winter, but also from some
new stuff that fell yesterday and overnight. The pups did not seem to
mind the new snow and made sure to eat as much of it as possible this
morning. I am in the state of mind where I am ready to move on in the
season. I know we are not even into April and that month is probably the
hardest to take living up here. It still has it's bright moments, the days
when we sneak into the upper 50's or low 60's and have some sunshine, or the
occasional big snow dumping and then we can go out and play in it, but for
the most part, I could seriously go hang out somewhere else for most of the
next 4 weeks, so if anyone has a home or condo in the Caribbean that they
are not using for the next few weeks and need someone to keep an eye on it,
just let me know! :)
The new snow did make it a bit more challenging for
Gracie to find her Easter eggs. We bundled her up and sent her on her way
and told her we thought most of them were around her
swing set. After about 30 minutes of her looking and digging and looking
and digging, Huck and Millie could not bear to watch anymore, so they went
and told her that the eggs were INSIDE the house. So after she got out of
her snow clothes, they
helped her do the finding. She has gotten all of them but one. I suspect
that she will find it when she goes to put her winter hat on tomorrow
So I guess we are in the grin and bear it mode for the
next few weeks. It really will not be all that bad. I have several projects
that I can get done in the shop and have really enjoyed being out there
recently. Gracie loves to be out there with me too. She is not yet up to
using any of the power tools, but I did let her chip away a block of wood
with a mallet and chisel. Maybe a hand saw and drill can be next.
It does look like we have some snow and even cold coming
later this week and weekend. It is way too soon to be saying how much, but
there is the chance that it could be enough to make snow-play fun again. I
would not mind the snow so much, but hope that it does not get too cold for
too long. The main reason is that the
wood supply is dwindling. That does not look like much at all, but if we
were to have average temps this time of the year, what was left in that
picture would probably last us through the rest of the heating season. In a
few weeks, the temps are usually warm enough that I can stop running heat to
the shops and then the house does not use too much. I do have a back up
supply of logs that just need to be cut to length, the only problem is that
they are still buried
under 18-24" of snow. So I guess we will see what comes first,
being out of wood or enough warm temps that we can get through with what we
have until we can get at the re-enforcements. In either case, I am not going
to worry about it.
I guess that about covers it for this one. Strange to
think that this will be the final week of snowfall forecasts for this season
and the next time I write it will be April. Hopefully there will be more to
talk about next week!
Good night from the Keweenaw..
|This business directly
March 21, 2016-
Ok, lets try this again. I really
did not feel that tired when I put out the little announcement last night,
but I figured I had better just get settled in and go to bed at my normal
time, rather than stay up and write. Turns out I probably could have stayed
up, as I tossed and turned for several hours after I went to bed, but oh
I don't have a ton to share and some of it might even be
old news, but here goes anyway. After a pretty solid start to spring, old
man winter returned last week. The storm started on Wednesday. It rained for
around 15 minutes at our place and then changed to snow. It did not take
long for these big old
silver dollar flakes to start falling. That pic was taken around 10
minutes after it started and for a while it looked like we might be in for a
doozy. It did keep snowing, but as the suns rays got stronger (even through
the clouds and falling snow), they melted the snow about as fast as it fell.
We picked up around 2" of new snow for the day, but about half of that
ended up melting.
Then not long after sunset (which is around 8 pm these
days), the snow started to accumulate and we woke up to around 5-6" of
new snow and it was still snowing pretty good. It turns out our 5-6"
paled in comparison to the totals just to our south. Areas from around
Calumet south to Toivola had already picked up around 10-12" and it was
still coming down good.
At around 5:15 am, Nora came into my office to say good
morning as she always does before getting ready for the day and was grinning
ear to ear and if I remember correctly, she was even singing! I
normally do not get such a reception at that time of the morning, seeing as
though she has typically been up for less than a few minutes. It turns out
the storm was enough to cancel school for the day, so she and Gracie got St Patrick's
day off. Finally, the famed St Paddy's day storm hit!
I say that because soon after I moved here and started
doing the weather for some local radio stations, every March the big talk
was about the St Paddy's day storm that would hit, as if it was something
that hit every year. Truth be told, March is a month that produces some big
snow storms, but up until this year, the closest we had come was 13"
falling 3 days ahead of St Patrick's day back in 2002 and a couple of years
in which it snowed a couple of inches of snow, but no big storm.
It turns out that the famed St Patrick's day storm is
really any snow storm that hits around 7-10 days either side of the 17th of
March. But this year, it hit on the day and for all was a storm and for some
a really big one. Final totals just south of Houghton in the higher terrain
were in the 12-16" range and the snow was quite wet and sticky. We had
our own flocking of
Keweenaw Kamo occur, but it would have been neat to see the coating that
areas to our south got!
This time of the year my feelings for snow go both ways.
A big storm is always welcomed, pretty much any time of the year! However,
if we get missed, or get the lower amounts, I am pretty good with that too.
It means not as much to have to move around and also since snow this time of
the year typically does not hang around for too much longer, it is not like
we missed out on snow that will be around for months like a Dec or Jan storm
produces. So a part of me was envious of the bigger totals just 10 or so
miles away, but I also enjoyed not having to do much work with it.
Had the storm hit around 24 hours later, it would have
given Nora her birthday off. She turned 26 on Friday, but had to go to
school with the rest of the kids. So while she was away, I wrapped
her presents and also baked her dessert of choice, Jake
cupcakes. The "Jake" coming from the fact that the recipe
comes from the Jacobsville area up here.
So upon her arrival home, she got to open up her presents
and then we headed out to dinner to celebrate. I was able to sneak a cupcake
out of the house, give it to our waitress so she could bring it with some
ice cream and a candle to surprise her for dessert.
Saturday was the first day of swimming lessons for
Gracie. MI Tech has a nice swimming lesson program in the spring and even
though Gracie made great strides in learning to swim last summer all on her
own, we figured she would benefit even more from some official lessons. They
put the different kids into different groups based on their swimming skills
and as Gracies group made a bee line to the "dive tank", a pool
that is around 15-20 feet deep, with no shallow end, I was worried that she
might not have been put into the right group, but the instructor said they
would keep a close eye on her and if she seemed to be struggling, they could
always move her to another group. It turns out that she did just fine and
even made a good friend on the first day. The last 5 minutes of the session
was "free time". Some just got out of the pool, others swam around
a bit and others took to the diving board. Gracie
was part of that last group. I was not surprised that she took to the
diving board and just wonder how long it will be before she does the
platform behind her!
The rest of the day was spent working on a little project
for the house. It is not completely done yet, but will be in the next day or
so and I will try and remember to share with you in the next entry. It will
even be a little apropos for the day.
On Sunday, we all piled into Nora's vehicle and headed to
Marquette. There is a boat, sport and RV show they have in the Superior Dome
every spring and we have never gone, so we figured it was time. For those
that do not know, the Superior Dome is part of the Northern MI University
campus and is where they hold their football games. So it is pretty big,
although not nearly as big as a professional football stadium. In all the
years I have lived up here, I had never been inside it. Heck, I had only
been by it a few times! It's a cool dome, made out of wooden beams with
steel connectors. I really should have taken some pictures of the inside,
but just plum forgot.
We had a lot of fun checking out the campers and boats. I
am a boat lover, even though we do not own one at the moment! I have never
been that big into the whole camper thing. I think it has a lot to do with
the fact that the only camping we did when I was a kid was the kind in
tents. Many of the times hauling everything you needed on your back. Anyway,
I was pretty impressed with the campers they have these days. I'm not ready
to have one yet, we pretty much live in the type of woods that most would
die to be able to camp in and we have just recently picked up some property
that will be a lot of fun to take the SxS out to and camp. However, the idea
of getting a really nice, comfortable 5th wheel or other large rig and
touring the country is growing on me. So maybe something to do in the off
months when I finally retire. A boat is much closer to happening, but not
just yet! Unless there is a manufacturer or dealer that wants to get some
great coverage of their product on this site! :)
So it was nice to see what all these toys cost. About the
time we first got into the dome, Gracie immediately spotted some
"bouncy houses" that were set up at the one end. She did very well
in not begging too much to go in them while we viewed all the displays and
when we were done with that, we did take her to go play in them. It's funny,
because just a few years ago it seemed like she was too little to go in them
and now she almost seems to old. None the less she did take advantage of the
fun as this blurred
image shows. They also had a little pool filled with some trout that kids
could try and catch. There had to have been at least 50 fish in the pool
and I thought it would not take her long at all to hook one, but for some
reason, they were not biting. She tried for around 10-15 minutes and was
After the show, we did what most folks from the Keweenaw
do when in Marquette and that is shop! It's not the shopping Mecca that most
reading this are accustomed to, but there is a handful of shops/stores that
the Keweenaw has yet to get. Places like Target, Lowes, Menards, Yonkers,
Best Buy. We hit most of them and then headed home and by the time we got
home it was after 7 pm. So a pretty long day for all of us, even
I guess that about covers it for this one. A shortened
week for me, with having Friday off. Nora and Gracie also get Friday off and
then all of next week for spring break. We do not have any big plans for
spring break this year, but sometimes just staying put and relaxing can be
fun. So...until next time...
Good night from the Keweenaw..
March 20, 2016-
Just got back from a
LONG day trip to Marquette, so will write tomorrow.
Good night from the Keweenaw..
March 13, 2016-
Hey! I got a
prediction right! I was just reading the first few sentences from last weeks
entry and I talked about how we would not likely lose all of our snow, but
would take a serious hit. That is about the best way to describe things. We
took a serious hit, but are not down for the count. In fact I did manage to
get in a wonderful spring ride yesterday with a couple of buddies. More on
that in a bit.
We rose above the freezing mark every day in the last
week. Thursday's high was only 35, but was still above freezing. The snow
depth at our place went from 29" a week ago to around 15" today.
There is more snow in some spots and less in others. It's the typical setup,
with the higher terrain having the most and areas down along the lake having
the least. I talked with Kelly from the Eagle Harbor Inn today and she said
things are bare down there. I would suspect the same can be said for Copper
Harbor too. It does not take long for you to get into the snow once heading
out of town, but those areas are bare for the time being.
I say the time being because it does look like some snows
will fall by the second half of this week and into the following weekend.
The verdict is still out on how much and I have a sinking feeling that will
be the case until the snows pan out. The snows have been indicated by the
models since the middle of last week and the models are jumping around all
over the place, with ideas ranging from just an inch or two to feet of snow.
The very rough estimate I have right now would be for a general 6-12"
to fall in northern MN, the UP and possibly into sections of far northern WI
and far northern lower MI. So stay tuned...those wanting to get in one last
ride this season may just be able to do that...or not.
The snow in the woods was not the only thing to take a
hit this past week. The trails were hit even harder. Because to the foreign
material (mostly dirt) on the trails, they melt quicker. I can say that most
of the trails in the woods are still fully covered, with perhaps the
occasional bare patch. In town it is a different story. Between the grime
from the snowmobiles and the grime from the roadways, most of those trails
One spot that is always first to go is the stretch of
trail in Hancock that runs along side the road. It was pretty much toast
when I went by on Tuesday and then on Wednesday when I went by, there was a
city front end loader dumping "plow snow" onto the trail. They
managed to get about 2
feet of pretty clean snow on the trail there. For some reason, the did
not do that entire stretch, but were able to get about half of the area that
was toast covered up.
The two days that were hardest on the snow this past week
were yesterday and Friday. Friday we got to around 50 with tons of sunshine
and yesterday we hit 55 with tons of sun as well. Despite, or perhaps
because of, the forecasted temps in the upper 50's for yesterday, I hooked
up with some friends to ride south of the bridge. I have always loved spring
riding. No need to get all bundled up against the elements. Taking a pit
stop is a joy as you sit in the sun and mild temps and the sun shines until
about my bedtime!
Yesterday's spring ride was one of those joyful ones. The
temp was already in the 50's and the sun was fully ablaze by the time we
took off at around 10:30 in the morning. We rode a bit of the trails, but
mostly the backcountry. The snow was softening up nicely and sunglasses were
the call at our first
The melting snow has all the
rivers and creeks running pretty hard, which made for even more to view
and enjoy as we cruised around. As mentioned, in most areas, there
was plenty of snow to ride on, with only a few spots being a bit thin.
The goal for the day was to make it out to the shoreline of the big lake. I
do not know the area south of the bridge all that well, but was riding with
two that know it about a well as any and it was no challenge for them to get
us to the lake in time for lunch. The snow was very thin there and had
we waited until the end of the day to leave, we might not have even had any
snow to ride on for the first mile or so, but the trip through the thin snow
was well worth the
view. If any of you are wondering if I photoshopped that last image to
make the sky and water as blue as it was, the answer is no. That is the
beautiful blue sky we have up here and the clear waters of Lake Superior
need to photoshopping to make them look beautiful!
The weather was so beautiful that I even decided to take
a quick dip in the big lake. Not quite all the way in...well, actually just
past my ankles, but still a dip! The look on my face pretty much says it
all. I was happy, but also in excruciating pain! I suppose if I had stayed
in a bit longer my feet would have gone completely numb and it may have not
hurt as bad, but I had no interest in seeing if that would work. Soon after
that shot was taken, I scampered back to shore and put my socks and boots
back on and waited for the feeling in my feet to return! I can say that I do
have the bragging rights to being the first one in our family to go into
Lake Superior this season. I'll let Gracie have all the rest of the honors
as the season progresses!
Not long after heading back from the beach, a sled in our
group developed a slight mechanical mishap. The bolt that holds the upper
A-arm to the top of the spindle had its nut back out and so it needed some
attending to. The first attempt to fix things was to try and replace the
nut/bolt with some
bailing wire. That held up for a bit, the most important being getting
the sled and its rider, Scott, over the biggest creek crossing we had to do
on the trip. Once the bailing wire gave out, we tried zip ties, but that did
not last long at all. The final fix was the one that ended up being the
best. The bolt was able to be found back where the nut backed out, so we put
the bolt back in and then uses some rope to tie the upper A-arm and lower
A-arm together and that held the whole thing in place until we got home.
We let Scott lead on his broken sled to set the pace. It
was slow, but I did not mind in the least. In fact, I enjoyed cruising
through the woods at around 25 mph with the sun shining brightly and the
temps so mild. I was able to just relax and take it all in and it was very
relaxing. Therapeutic almost.
We did make a few stops. One of them was at a set of
falls that are quite dramatic when the water is flowing. The water was sure
flowing yesterday, but unfortunately, the falls were still covered by its
thick cover of ice from the winter. In
this shot, had the river been totally open, there would have been a nice
10 foot drop about 6 feet to the right of Scott standing here.
As we got close to home-base, we came upon a bridge and I
was able to drop off to the side of it to show you all how
much snow was still on the ground there. Again, not all areas were like
that, but probably around 80% of the areas away from the lake are like that
So that may have been the final ride of the season, or
maybe not. We will see. It was a very, very enjoyable one, so I am certainly
not going to force the issue, but if a significant amount of snow were to
fall later this week, then I could see getting out for at least one more
ride. Then maybe it will be time to dust off the side by side!
Good night from the Keweenaw..
March 6, 2016-
spring! I seriously debated about adding the exclamation point to the end of
that greeting, but what the heck, life is about being happy and making the
most of what you are given...or in the case of the next 10 days, taken away.
I seriously doubt we will lose all of our snow, but will take a pretty
serious hit, with temps rising to above freezing just about every day in the
next 10 and little to no new snow in that same time frame.
It always amazes me how come early March, it is almost a
guarantee that we will start seeing noticeably more sunshine during the day
and clear skies at night. That leads to some warmer days, but also some
chilly early morning lows. Its not something that our heating system likes
too much. Our in-floor heat loves small fluctuations in temps in a 24 hour
period. The big ones gives it fits. At night, the temps drop and at around
1-3 in the morning, heat is called for, so the boiler water starts flowing
through them and they heat up. The only problem is that there is a several
hour lag between when they go from not being hot to being hot enough to heat
the air inside. So just about the time the floors are really nice and warm
and heating things up, the sun is already up and temps are warming, so we
end up overshooting the set temp on the thermostat as the morning goes on.
So its not the best system for the big temperature swings of early spring,
but that is just a couple of week period in most seasons and really is an
awesome way to heat in the regular heating season period. Nice warm floors,
Gracie spends most of the winter running around in her bare feet indoors!
So this will likely be a fairly lengthily entry. I do
have quite a bit to share. In fact, I get to go back to early February when
I snuck out of town for a top secret mission. I actually did mention in the
Feb 7 entry that I went out of town, but did not go into detail, the reason
being is that I could not...until March 1st...say what was up. I was invited
by Polaris to go and demo some of their 2107 sleds in northeast Maine. They
were kind enough to say I could bring along a couple of friends if I wanted,
so I asked two of my buddies (Dave and Luke) from up here if they wanted to
go and they did. It was a very fun trip. A bit of a travel mess, as a
sizeable storm hit the UP the night before we were suppose to fly out of
Iron Mountain to Minneapolis. So we go a jump on things and ended up driving
to MSP instead. That was a good idea as the flight from IWD to MSP was
cancelled. The rest of the trip out was fine, but the trip back also
featured a snow storm that had our flight from Portland Maine to Ney York
canceled. So we got booked on a flight out of Boston that same day and took
a bus from Portland to Boston. They we sat IN the plane AT the gate for over
3 hours while they dealt with the snowstorm hitting Boston. Finally got out
of Boston and back to MSP and then drove home, but it ended up being more
than a 24 hour day for us!
The place where they had the rides was called Rangely. It
is in far northeast Maine, not far from the Canadian and New Hampshire
borders and sits in the Blue Mountains. The town itself reminded me a lot of
the UP, with the older buildings and timid economy. This was not a good snow
season for them and when we arrived, they had just dealt with a ice storm
that finished up as an inch or so of wet snow. There was less than 12"
on the ground in town and a bit more in the mountains.
For obvious reasons they did not want us to have cameras
or smart phones with us when we rode, but I was granted permission to carry
my phone with me and did take this
picture of some of the terrain out there. The mountains are not as tall
as the Rockies, but because your valley floors are much closer to sea level,
the change in height between the valley floor and the tops of some of the
mountains is very much comparable to the Rockies. Logging is one of the main
industries out there and I was told that much of the land is state owned and
open to riding. So given a more typical snow pack of 3 feet or more, that
area could be a lot of fun to go to. A lot of the logging they do leaves
cleared or semi-cleared areas much like ski runs, which would be a lot of
fun to go up, given enough snow. So perhaps a trip out east may be in the
cards some day when they are getting good snow. I know my heart and lungs
would like it much more than the west!
So, Polaris did not have their entire fleet of 2017 sleds
for us to demo, what they did have was their crossover sleds the
Switchbacks. New for 2017 they moved the Switchbacks over to the Axis
chassis from the Assault chassis. I have to admit that I did not have much
experience in riding the Polaris sleds (new or old). They had two of the
2016 sleds that were in the Assault chassis for comparison, so I chose to
ride one of them first. We rode mostly trail, but I thought the sled handled
things pretty well on the trails. It was pretty steady and seemed to handle
the bumps pretty well. Then I got on the 2017 Axis chassis and could
immediately tell the difference in rider/weight position and the improvement
in ride quality. There were around 10 riders in our group, plus 4 from
Polaris and we would stop every 10-15 minutes to switch sleds to get the
feel for the different setups. I felt a little bad, but I made sure that
after each stop and switch of sleds, I ended up on a 2017! The difference to
me was so large that I just did not want to go back to the old setup, even
though my ride on one at the start of the demo had me thinking they were
pretty good sleds too!
So my 100% honest assessment of the new Switchback is
that the improvements to the Axis chassis made a big difference. If I were
currently riding one on the Assault chassis models and had the opportunity
to upgrade to the Axis, I would not hesitate one bit. The same sentiments
were given by Dave and Luke. I would like to take this opportunity to thank
Polaris for inviting us to the demo. Even though the snow conditions were
less than good, that was completely out of their hands and Dave, Luke and I
had a lot of fun in all of our travels. And I got to see parts of Maine, a
very small part of NH and a bit of Boston!
Fast forward to the latest 7 days and I can say I was
able to get out and ride twice! On Monday I was invited by some friends of
the site to go and ride in their neck of the woods. I promised not to say
where it was because they would like to keep it as quiet in the woods as it
currently is, so I will just say that I had to travel south a bit to get
As luck would have it, there was around 6-8" of new
snow down from snows that fell Sunday afternoon and again Monday morning.
The temps did drop into the single digits by the afternoon and the winds
were blowing pretty hard too, but we were in the trees most of the day and
did not feel too cold. There were four
of us, which was a nice size for the riding we did. Most of that riding
was off trail. The conditions consisted of the 6-8" of new snow on top
of the old, frozen snowpack. So most things that could be hit were buried
under the existing pack, but not quite enough fresh to really lay the sled
over as much as one would have liked to. Still, some
nice climbs were made and it was a ton of fun seeing new places and playing
in some of the many bowls that existed in the area. Plus it was great seeing
some old friends and making some new ones.
On Thursday, I got to ride right from my garage. I paired
up with a local that I have gotten to know. The sun was shining brightly and
temps were in the upper 20's and it was one of those great early spring
rides. Our riding was a mix of trail and off trail and since the 6-8"
we picked up earlier in the week had settled to just a few inches on top of
the existing snow-ment, the trails were actually more fun to ride that some
of the back country. Other than to just get out and ride, the other purpose
of the ride was to give the Helo from EZ
Ryde a real work out. As mentioned, most
of the trails were flat as pool tables, which made for nice riding, but
not to put the Helo to the test. So we did spend more time in the bush,
seeking out some trails that were tracked up, but not brutal. We did find
some tracks, but not exactly what we were looking for!
With the visibility grand, we did seek out some of the
vistas this end of the Keweenaw provides. We also stopped to take some shots
of the sleds. The green on that sled sure does pop!
We did end up finding some bumps in our travels and I can
say that the Helo did make a difference in the ride. I was not pushing
things too hard, but the extra bit of cushion the mount gives did make a
difference and it was nice to not bottom out in that section of the
suspension. It is a pretty straight forward operation to put it into any
sled and I would say that for anyone wanting to get a bit more from their
rear suspension (especially in the bumps) you might want to look into this
option. Since it just bolts in, it means that you can also remove it and
return the suspension to stock and keep the Helo for your next sled. I know
that is what I plan to do!
Friday night was a big game for the MI Tech team. Not
only was it their final regular season home game for the season, but it was
against their arch rival Northern Michigan University and both teams had
strong reasons to win. Tech was still in the hunt to win their conference
and NMU still had a chance to secure home ice for the first round of the
playoffs. So with that much going on, it was pretty hard to pass up going.
So we made a daddy-daughter
date out of the night and cheered the Huskies on to a 4-0 win. Tech also
won the Saturday game at NMU and thus shared the conference title with the
Minnesota State Mavericks. They did beat the Mavericks in the regular season
twice and also had more wins, so they will be the #1 seed for the playoffs
for the WCHA. If you ask me, they should not have to share the macNaughton
Cup with the Mavricks, but that is just me! Next week starts the playoffs
for the conference and then hopefully a destiny with the Frozen 4!
While we did sneak above freezing yesterday, today was
really the start of the thaw. Our temp is 54 and still rising and the sun is
out. Earlier in the day we took to the woods to go pay a visit to Old
Granddad. The snowpack is pretty firm, but we still donned our snow shoes to
make the walking in the snow easier. It was only around 40 degrees when we
went out around midday and there were still some clouds, but it was
beautiful and very refreshing to be out in the woods. We even spotted this
snow-goddess! The pups did not have snow shoes, but it is cool to see
them spread their webbed paws and stay on top of the snow. They had a blast running
around and checking things out. Huckie is still favoring his left rear
wheel, but is getting around a lot better. In that last shot he was lagging
a bit behind her speedster sister, so I also took one of him
running on top of the snow. Its been almost a month since we were able
to take our regular morning walk, but as long as today's adventure was not
too much for him, I think we will be able to resume those walks, especially
given the warmer temps for the next 10 days.
Well, I guess that covers it for this one. Not sure if I
will have any sledding pics for the next entry, but hopefully we still have
one last big spring storm to play in before the season is over for good.
Perhaps the warmer temps will get the rivers running enough to take some
Good night from the Keweenaw..