About all we do right now is answer phone calls about whether the ice has gone out yet on Gunflint Trail lakes. “No,” is not the response anyone wants to hear.
“Do you think it will be out by Saturday?” is invariably the next question. Alas, if any of us had the ability to accurately predict the future, we probably wouldn’t be answering phones at Bearskin Lodge. The signs are not promising. It snowed a few times during the last week. The lake thawed a bit but then refroze, so for awhile there wasn’t even an edging of open water along the shoreline. Ducks are walking around out on the ice, looking perturbed and distressed over their poor travel planning. Unless your boat is a USCG icebeaker, water travel this weekend on Gunflint Trail lakes is not a sure thing.
But then again … the ice is really black and punky looking. Its rough texture right now is reminiscent of heavily grained black leather. Standing on the dock, you can hear a glassy tinkling noise made by millions of little floating ice pebbles crushing against each other in the waves. If we would get a windy day or a heavy rain, this ice might surprise everyone and quickly disappear. It could happen.
We’re ready. Bring on spring.
Regular pictures of the changing ice at http://www.flickr.com/photos/bearskinlodge/