Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Lake Travel Improving

                                                               Lake Travel Improving

As many of you may have heard, most of the lakes in the Ely area, including the BWCAW, have been slushy this early winter.  We received lots of snow before the lakes had thick ice.  When this happens the snow weighs down the ice forcing up water which forms a slushy layer under the snow.  The ice can still be safe to travel on but the slush on top can freeze up on skis and snowshoes and even bog down dog sleds and snow machines.

With the several cold snaps we've experienced over the past month or so (including some -40 degrees Fahrenheit evenings prompting old timers to reminisce about the good  old days) a lot of the slush has frozen or drained back thru the ice making travel much more easy and enjoyable. Skiers and other winter travelers are now venturing back out on the lakes enjoying easier going plus the return of more normal winter temperatures.   Of course veteran cross country skiers always carry a scraper with them knowing that every year there is some slush on the lakes and eventually they will find it.

If you've never traveled on a beautiful northern lake with a fresh layer of snow and a shoreline of snow frosted evergreens you should try it.  One of my favorite things about this activity is the animal sign you can encounter.  It isn't unusual to see wolf tracks, maybe even the remains of a deer kill,  moose tracks and my personal favorite, the unique meandering record of river otters! Think snow!     

No comments: