Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Deep Snow, Thin Ice
Such a beautiful blue-sky day today, I planned to walk around Moreau Lake on the ice. I love crossing that dazzling expanse out under the wide-open sky, with the sun warm on my back. The snow is usually not as deep out on the ice, so my snowshoes don't sink in so far. But this is the message that stopped me as I started down toward the lake. Thin ice!? How can that be with this bitter cold weather?
I turned back to ask the staffers at park headquarters about this, and I learned that the ice has become unsafe because of all the deep snow on it. The enormous weight of all this snow has caused the lake ice to sink and allow water to seep up under the snow and turn what was once hard ice to mush. Then the very depth of the snow insulates the slush and prevents it from refreezing, even if the air temperature plummets to below zero. Somebody fell through the other day, so the lake has become off-limits for ice fishing. So that's why the parking lot was so empty today. Too bad. Moreau's a very popular fishing lake.
All that snow may be dangerous, but it certainly is beautiful.
I was happy to stick to the well-packed trails as I made my way around the lake.
As I passed the swimming beach, I smiled to see that these signs have all eventualities covered.
Looks like it will be quite a while before the picnickers return.