January 4, 2011

Skating on Lake Mendota.

We started out from Picnic Point...

P1050727

... and skated across toward downtown....

P1050724

... and then back, against the wind.

Beautiful!

46 comments:

Scott M said...

Did you bog down on the little drifts or plow right through them?

edutcher said...

Uh, you do have a life preserver or something underneath that, don't you?

I would be a little worried about the ice that far out.

Of course, Where we both originated, there was very little ice for only a brief period.

chickelit said...

Regelation rules!

AllenS said...

I just left Bernard's car dealership in New Richmond. I bought a 2011 Jeep Wrangler Sport. Should be here in a day or two. Traded in the 1997 GEO Metro with 181,000 miles on it for $250.

chickelit said...

I used to ski out there as a student. One day I ran across a couple of clowns closer in by the Union: link

deborah said...

Wow, that ice is awesomely smooth-looking. I never did get the hang of ice skating. But I can roller skate.

Hagar said...

Never skate on a snow covered lake. The snow muffles the sound, so that you cannot hear when the ice begins to crack under you.

Lem said...

Must be 11 again..

dbp said...

I love it when the ice freezes black.

AllenS, quite a coincidence: On Dec 31st, I traded in my (also) 1997 BMW 318ti for a 2011 Subaru. I only had 114 thousand miles and still got $1,000 for it--even though it was pretty well beat-up.

garage mahal said...

Some real big northerns are biting by the Union right now in the weeds. We got a few 34" last weekend. Have to be 40" to keep though. For some reason they bite like crazy on first/clear ice. Every flag gets your heart racing, you can hook into a 50" at any time on Mendota.

YoungHegelian said...

Just watch out for icebreakers!

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/01/04/couple-rescued-ice-floe-sweden/

Lem said...

Good luck with your new Jeep AS..

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Oh, isn't snow-free black ice fantastic? What surprised me in the picture was the lack of iceboats, especially with wind.

BTW, you might enjoy the mini-sails -- small enough to hold in your arms -- that allow you to become your own little iceboat. As long as your ankles are strong you'd be amazed how fast you can go, even upwind.

Oh, and 'edutcher,' ice thickness is rarely a problem that far north, and when it is the northerners are usually aware of the limitations.

Nearly 40 years ago we used to haul about six real cords of wood -- two tons each -- on an old fire truck ... along one of the lakes at the headwaters of the Yukon River. On top of 2000 feet of water.

When someone asked how much ice we needed to do that, a friend replied "Way too much is just about right."

traditionalguy said...

You now appear to be qualified as an Ice Road Trucker's apprentice. Just watch out for the melt next spring.

dbp said...

What is creepy and thrilling is when the ice cracks. It makes a booming sound that reverberates. Also, the nice thing about black ice is that when you come to a shallow area, you can see the rocks and weeds below your feet.

chickelit said...

@garage: When you catch 'em do you just leave them out in the open to freeze solid before taking them home?

I heard that freezing is a very humane way to euthanize fish and game.

chickelit said...

Just watch out for icebreakers!

Watch out for ice holes too.

AllenS said...

When I was a kid we used to go skating on White Bear Lake when the ice had no snow on it, with a piece of cardboard used as a sail.

Ann Althouse said...

"Did you bog down on the little drifts or plow right through them?"

The snow didn't snag us at all, but sometimes the snow was there because there was a dent in the ice, and that could grab you.

"Uh, you do have a life preserver or something underneath that, don't you? I would be a little worried about the ice that far out."

The ice was so clear, that you could see down to bubbles (and the end of the cracks), so it was easy to see that the ice was quite thick. About 8 inches.

"Wow, that ice is awesomely smooth-looking. I never did get the hang of ice skating. But I can roller skate."

It's worth learning. I skated years ago, and we just gave each other skates for Christmas. I've gone out 4 times, and I've gotten much better each time. It's really a cool feeling, gliding on ice. Also, it's an important alternative to cross-country skiing for days like today when there's not enough snow.

And, yes, it was awesomely beautiful black ice. I felt extremely lucky, even though I got tired skating back against the wind and, tired, I fell down 3 times, the third time backwards and clonking my head really hard.

The Crack Emcee said...

If you fall in (and live) I will laugh at you. To paraphrase Richard Pryor's joke writer, Paul Mooney:

You won't find a frozen nigga anywhere on this planet!

We also can't be found getting airlifted after being lost in the forest, saved from bear attacks, or needing the jaws of life to help us after crawling into a can of beans.

garage mahal said...

@garage: When you catch 'em do you just leave them out in the open to freeze solid before taking them home?

Yea. I don't think they feel much, if anything. Their gills freeze pretty fast.

dont tread 2012 said...

Awesome, Ann...I'm jealous. I've ventured to Eagle River the last 3 years in February for the annual pond hockey tourney but won't be coming this year. Taking the year off. Always love coming to northern Wisconsin, its beautiful.

Penny said...

Ice skating was a big part of my life growing up. Day skating on the canal, and night skating by bonfire at a friend's pond.

Unfortunately, I had weak ankles and could never make it up to the locks, but I knew just how far I could go before I had to turn around and skate back down on the inside edges of my skates.

chickelit said...

Penny said...
Ice skating was a big part of my life growing up. Day skating on the canal, and night skating by bonfire at a friend's pond.

When I was much younger I lived in Cleveland for a time. I used to go skating at an indoor rink (the river and lake were way to dirty). It was a great place to meet girls and to pair skate listening to Wurlitzer organ music.

Penny said...

Did the same thing, chickelit! Except we went to a roller skating rink where they too played the latest organ pop hits.

My weak ankles never bothered me on roller skates, but I never quite figured out to stop without crashing into the padded half walls or hanging on to someone who had mastered that technique.

I always preferred the latter method, of course. ;)

reader_iam said...

I absolutely love the way the ice looks, especially in the first shot. Really beautiful and interesting, too. Nice capture by the photog.

reader_iam said...

I haven't ice skated in many years and not outside since my grandparents were alive and living in Wheaton, Illinois. This recent series is making me wonder why I ever gave it up--and, more important, why on earth I've neglected to give my own son such winter memories!

Penny said...

"...why on earth I've neglected to give my own son such winter memories!"

Interesting way to phrase that, reader.

My parents never "gave" me winter memories, unless you count where they chose to live, because that was a given.

Country kids had very few outlets other than outdoor activities when I was growing up, so that's just what we did...loving every minute of it.

chickelit said...

Penny said...
Did the same thing, chickelit! Except we went to a roller skating rink where they too played the latest organ pop hits.

That brings me back! I did that too. But they played the latest pop tunes--like this one IIRC.

I guess I have an excuse for not taking the kids ice skating living in SoCal but we really should take them roller skating.

chickelit said...

@reader_iam: I'm sure you're giving them other and different wonderful memories. Our kids grew up near the ocean and have known the beach since they were babies. I never had that.

Meade said...

Next purchases: Two sets of ice claws and snowboarding helmet for A.

reader_iam said...

@Penny: He can't drive himself anywhere and I'm certainly not going to let him scoot on down and skate on the Mighty Mississippi. : )

chickelit said...

reader_iam said...
He can't drive himself anywhere and I'm certainly not going to let him scoot on down and skate on the Mighty Mississippi. : )

I assume you'll let him grow up a bit and raft down the river...that was always my dream.

Penny said...

Not sure exactly where you live, reader?

Perhaps it's easier for your child to "virtually" skate the river from his or her bedroom?

reader_iam said...

I live just up the street from the Mississippi in a smallish Midwest city. Not sure if you're trying to imply something or not, but my son can't "virtually" do anything in his room since there's no computer there, and we're more free-range than overprotective, within our physical context. Hell, we even let the boy shoot--gasp! wait for it!--guns!

: )

reader_iam said...

At a range, to which we drive him. ; )

Penny said...

"I assume you'll let him grow up a bit and raft down the river...that was always my dream."

I saw you from my boxcar, chickelit!

You cut quite the fine swath.

Penny said...

"Hell, we even let the boy shoot--gasp! wait for it!--guns!"

And if he is REALLY free-range, I suspect he will have admirable "guns" when he leaves your home at age 26 or so?

Ha ha By that time, he should have a bevy of female lawyers and doctors more than happy to know him for a night.

reader_iam said...

26? LOL. He shoulda picked younger parents, if that's his [misguided] expectation.

What's your beef, Penny?

Penny said...

Oh, I don't know, reader.

No "beef" as much as an observation.

As long as parents do the "new math" with their own ages, a la 40 being the new 20 or 50 being the new 30...

Well...that would make your kids about how old?

Always remember...other than Solitaire...there is no "game" without two to play.

MadisonMan said...

Nothing better than black ice.

reader_iam said...

My son--I have just one child--is pretty solidly 10.5, under *any* definition, so far as I can tell. Me? I'm pretty much *old* definition in terms of verging on 50, for good, for ill or for whatever.

And you're right, of course, regarding your last point.

Penny said...

I guess what I'm saying is that if parents are really serious about affording their kids "the country life", they need to move to the country.

Oddly, immigrants seem to have figured out this "migration pattern" faster than we natives.

Popville said...

Now THIS is HOW student fees should be spent!!!

Big +1

chickelit said... "One day I ran across a couple of clowns closer in by the Union"

Along with WSA Vice-President Leon Varjian, Mallon oversaw the redirection of the groups budget away from various social causes in the direction of artistic projects, including several startling and amusing public neo-Dadaist stunts. One morning WSA filled Bascom Hill with hundreds of plastic pink flamingos. Perhaps the most memorable stunt created by Mallon's crew was the creation of a replica of the top of the Statue of Liberty. Placed on the frozen ice of Lake Mendota unannounced, it gave the appearance of the statue standing at the bottom of the lake and frozen in up to its nose.

Penny said...

Anyway, need to go, reader.

Always a pleasure talking to you.

reader_iam said...

Likewise, Penny.

But may I just say one thing?

My mother actually was raised on a farm, as were her parents, as were their parents, and so on. Still, my grandmother, my mother's mom, upon realizing my mom's interest and talent, drove her young daughter a considerable distance to Indianapolis, every week, for a long time, in order to provide her with the appropriate music lessons.

Now, I suppose one could say that if she, my grandmother, wanted to provide her daughter, my mom, with the amenities of urban life, she--and my grandfather--ought to have just moved to a city. But that would strike me as both slightly ridiculous and entirely impractical.

In any case, I admire my grandmother. I like to think that as different as we were, and despite living in entirely different times, we have a little bit in common insofar as our attitudes to hard boundaries go.