Monday, February 25, 2019

Hibernation Update

We could still hibernate and frankly, right now I'm feeling like a lie down and possibly sleeping until the crocuses bloom....but I won't.  There's more snow predicted this week.  In fact, multiple snows.

Hanna's car was pulled out yesterday afternoon.  Our driveway there on the corner is glare ice; it was no wonder she got stuck there at midnight after the concert.  I pulled it out once with the plow truck and didn't get it far enough, then had to hook on again and pull it further up the slope until it was able to find traction on its own.

I worked from 3:30 yesterday until 6:30, blew out the worst drifts on half of the driveway and then went after it with the plow truck which I finally buried and had to use the 'blower to free it up.

It was all I could do to not be out there at 6:30 this morning but I told myself I'd wait until 8AM when the Wind Advisory with "dangerous windchills' were supposed to subside.  The upside of plowing was that I was able, in spite of getting stuck, to clear a larger area quickly.  The downside was that the piles I left had turned rock hard today, harder than even the drifted snow.  The blower was adamant about "let someone else do those piles" today.  I chewed through a couple of them anyway, even with the complaining from the Orange One.

So it's a bit after 2:30 and the job is done.  Not in the Premium category or even Deluxe, I settled for Economy this time.  Normally I give our parking area a thorough cleaning, enough for our very large garbage truck and the many FedEx and UPS trucks space to easily turn around.....they're going to have to use a bit more care, very possibly until June.

This was just past where I stopped with the plow truck yesterday.....

This the next drift, shoulder high and roughly 15 feet before I got to the next one.....

As I mentioned to friends, this isn't the romantic North woods fluffy snow.  This snow is packed tight, tight to the point of fighting back.  Those drift blades that I should have bought, contemplated buying but did not, have now been ordered.  There was a lot of tunneling today.

It's a bit after 3:00 right now.  I've had the van to our local convenience store for another 10 gallons of snowblower gas (I was essentially out), a coffee and a 12 pack of Extra Pale.  The first one went down easily along with some of that elk jerky.

And this evening.....

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Hibernation - Being Considered

Hanna and Peg were at Orchestra Hall last night, home around midnight....almost completely home in the Corolla but not quite.

 Gusts of 50mph....

We're trying to cope with it all; there have been diversions.

James and Katlyn's gift to us, Friday evening was live theater night.  It had been a long time for me.  We're in an area ripe with venues to enjoy and I used to attend various shows.  Friday evening and since then, I've been struggling to remember which one (and where) was last seen.

This was to be another diversion, one I've been really looking forward to.  Decoding the Driftless film in Wabasha this afternoon.  I so wanted to go but our driveway won't be open in time.  Looks like I'll have to buy the DVD.

I whipped up my first ever batch of Elk Jerky.  The ground Jerky all the way from western Wyoming; thanks Eric!  Turned out pretty tasty if you ask me, tastes way better than it may appear.  We weren't, so far aren't Preppers but you have to wonder with the way things are going.

 Things will improve.....

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Need Some Sun And Warm - June 26, 2009

 Here's why....

 Watch closely at the 8.3 second mark and you'll see the polar bear run through center right.

Our local news radio station today reporting "4th snowiest February since 1872...." and we're not even half way through the month, not even Heart Day yet!  I'm not even going to try and deal with it until tomorrow morning; it's still blowing, probably worse than it was an hour ago.

Moto-blogging friend Dom recently acquired a dandy TW200 and conversations back and forth with he and some other blogging friends got me kind of worked up again about my Li'l Mule.  I jumped back in time to some old photos of my first longer ride taken on the Yamaha; Delta Diner the lunch destination and then upon arrival, found that it was closed.  It's a good thing I like riding a motorcycle or the trip might just may have been in vain.  That day was a very fine 429 mile excursion.

And it was warm, even in the Wisconsin Northland!

Nesting National Symbol....

Not a bad fireplace but the house could use some work....

I stopped to do what guys sometimes do in the woods.....

 ....and discovered this....

Just outside of Barnes....I forever marvel; it has to be one of the largest small places in Wisconsin.

A North Country Trail crossing....

A warning sign....I can promise right here that I'll not be hang gliding, ever, in a climax forest.

Here it was, my destination and as it turned out, his destination as well.  Over from Superior for the day, he was as disappointed as I was.

Almost the equivalent of my almost famous Bayfield At Halloween rides; those typically ~500 miles on daylight-at-a-premium end of October days.  That June day back in '09 was a nice bright long one.

Now I do feel better!

Sunday, February 10, 2019


One third of the way in and I've had enough.  In my mind, we got away with "it" in November/December....almost as if winter was tardy and wasn't ready to begin until 6 weeks later.

A week and a half ago, colder than -35 and only a couple of days later, during last weekend's IMS show, we had the low 40's, Positive low 40's.  Early this past week a 10" snowfall, then a day later another 7" and today another 2-4" predicted.  And cold.

 And today....

Today because it's cold, we've got light and fluffy.  Is it pretty?  Of course it is. I'll accept pretty....until the wind starts the drifting.  That's when the snow and I stop being on as good of terms.

Yesterday was our local Sportsman's Club annual ice fishing contest and it appeared to be very well attended.  No idea about the successes even though we can often hear their PA system from the next valley; there had to be winners.

Our Wednesday snowfall was just about the toughest SE Minnesota driving that I could remember; over 3 hours to get home.  Heavy snow causing whiteout conditions with glazed over roads caused ditch exploration by drivers every hundred yards there for awhile.  I made it to Frontenac, made it to our driveway and unlike the last snowfall, made it to within 10 yards of my destination.  Size when it comes to ground clearance matters.

That storm's road conditions led to this, these photos taken on bright clear Friday morning.

With skillful driving, it was, the majority of the time, possible to keep at least one of a vehicle's wheel track on dry pavement.  Not always and apparently, not for all of us.  When I returned home from Red Wing, just approaching our turnoff, 6 cars evenly split, 3 in each ditch, the Sheriff just getting out of his squad.

This morning I was all settled in, finally trying to commit to paper and to an email distribution, my summer riding rally/trip plans.  Peg took a call and I heard, "..oh no....he's here....".  Our Hanna left Cleveland this morning in her Corolla, Red Wing bound.  I'm her dad and she's still our little girl, the result, I'm on edge when she or any of her siblings are on the road in weather.  No one is ever supposed to worry about me but I get to worry about all of them, any time conditions warrant.

Today's call wasn't from Hanna, at least not this Oh-No call; she's on her way, at this moment leaving IN for IL.  Rather it was Peg's mom's Spark that wouldn't start in the public ramp in Red Wing, so off I went.

So I'm braving my elements and Eric is texting me his....and he's beside himself with delight!!

Once through the slow traffic in town, I made my way into the Public Parking ramp and find poor Sparky.  All it needed was some more boltages and then all was well.

Once running, I took the Little Green One out for a 20 mile loop to put more life into the battery and to get it good and warm.  I enjoy driving the little thing...this isn't the first time I've been in it.  Gramma wouldn't like a clutch but I would.

Finally, as a reward for putting up with all of this....

I complain but not really.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

International Motorcycle Show Minneapolis - 2019

We were ready for something associated with a different season, a warmer one.

This was last Thursday's weather; the wind had died off to the point that the media had quit mentioning it.  Tuesday we had snow and then the drifting began.  I plowed using the F350 and the world was a wonderful (working) place.  Wednesday morning the plow truck would not start and our driveway was drifted shut.  Late afternoon the new Ariens was fired up, the wind had calmed but not stopped and I quickly remembered why it's so nice moving snow from inside a vehicle rather than behind it.

Drifts removed, an open driveway and AFAIK, vehicles that ran.  Thursday morning a slight wind, just enough to keep things fresh with the lowest reading I saw on our thermometer at -32.  Four vehicles + the plow truck, not one of them would start.  It was a long day of battery charging, playing with battery connections, wires/hoses touched and easily fractured.....all for naught.  Friday around noon, the driveway was touched up and most of the autos were running again.

It's now Sunday afternoon, misty/foggy and we've lost most of our drifted snow.  Water is dripping everywhere and it was awfully nice yesterday in Minneapolis.

Had a really good time this year, focused on things that interested me, the result, I spent much less time around the new machinery.  Did check out those new 650 twin Royal Enfields.  Had a great chance to meet and talk with lots of friends, worth my trip if for no other reason.  Our Minneapolis show has waned a bit these last few years but I was encouraged by the crowds during the 5 hours that I wandered.

Brought home a lot of goodies, these particular items will be kept at least for a time as reference and/or actual use.  Not to give anything away but I was very disappointed that the Irish bike rental folks weren't there this year (I looked).

I didn't spend any money this year though the temptation was great with that warm shoulder pad that those wonderful young women were demonstrating.  I thought about it but didn't go back.  There was something else I returned to a booth 3 times for and then decided not to buy at the show.  I expect to order online before the week is out.