It gets cold up THERE. It snows up THERE. WHY would you EVER want to live THERE? Statements that we have heard repeatedly after announcing we were looking for a place up north near Lake Superior. We searched this region specifically because it does get cold and it does snow among a vast number of other reasons. The locals asked if we were staying thru the winter as many land owners are seasonal and leave shortly after Labor Day. There was never a doubt that we would remain thru the winter.
The colors of fall were spectacular. November 1, 2019 we had brisk temperatures and leaves on the ground. Walks along our lovely lady, Lake Superior is always a treat and we never quite know what she is going to show us.
The first snow came on November 2, 2019. It was a light dusting that blanketed the land and trees in white. Apples and leaves clung to the trees in a final attempt to hold onto the last days of fall. The snow muffles all sounds and the world seems so quiet and serene. The waves slapped the shoreline of the lake coating driftwood and dunes with a light layer of ice. Ice cycles dripped from so many areas along the beach.
Walks thru the woods became a reoccurring activity. Snow was not deep yet into the first week of December and the quiet of the landscape was inviting. Winds were squelched to almost zero deep in the trees.
The Salsa Fargo bikes that Curtis built for us are incredible snow bikes and with snow on the ground we took advantage of the wide wheels and stable handling. There is always fun to be had if you look for it. Oh sure, we could have hid in the warmth of the house and avoided “the cold” but why would we ever want to do that when there is so many things to do and places to explore. And fun & exploration we did! We rode bikes, hiked thru the trees, built bonfires and sampled ice cycles.
We slid into the new year, welcome to 2020! Ontonagon is a beautiful village with such an iconic lighthouse. It also has some of the most incredible shoreline on Lake Superior. Our lovely lady dons a new wardrobe of ice and snow into the winter months. She takes on an interesting look of ice sculptures and art.
Snow levels grew and the trails thru the trees no longer were possible UNTIL…. we discovered snowshoes. This was so much fun!! We made a trail through the back of the property, across the pond and into the city park. The local loop was about 2-1/2 miles long and we were able to enjoy the solitude and peace of this trail. It was used by several other locals and quite well marked.
Michael and Rachel came for a visit and we purchased 2 additional pairs of snow shoes. This was FUN!!
Winter creates a landscape like nothing else. With Michael and Rachel we explored Bond Falls. Spectacular!
We learned to layer and dress for the cold temperatures finding that anything above Zero was actually enjoyable. We wore gloves and mittens, hats, scarves, buffs, boots, coats, vests and long johns. Layer upon layer we would don our duds and head outside.
By Mid February the snow was backing off and layers were dropping. Curtis and I took a snowshoe trail to O kun de Kun falls and this was by far one of our favorite snowshoe trails.
Days are starting to lengthen and our time outdoors grew even more. Roads were starting to clear. Snow would melt from the pavement only to freeze at night creating black ice. Black Ice is treacherous to say the least and despite the wide tires on our bikes, black ice took us both down.
But the melting snow and ice pack didn’t stop us from enjoying the Salsa Fargos. The snowshoe trails were too slushy now and we had to hang up the snowshoes for the season. The bikes came out in full force and despite the wipeouts, we enjoyed the sunshine.
April 2, 2020 rolled around and the snow has cleared from the roadways. Our roadies made their debut.
The first snows fell the beginning of November and we hiked, walked, snowshoed and biked our way through the winter season. Days have lengthened and the sun shines high in the skies now. Winter is behind us for yet another season.
Excuses of why we can’t do something are put out of mind and thoughts of what CAN we do always came forward. Sure, there were cold days when the weather was prohibitive of us being able to go out and play. Those days were spent in the wood shop or on home repairs/remodels. We baked bread and cookies, created decadent soups and stews. Winter is what you make it! Life is what you make it.
You CAN or you CANNOT, it is your choice.