Monday, 8;30 AM. 23 degrees F, wind WSW, calm. The sky is overcast, with freezing fog creeping up the bluff from the channel. The humidity is 94%, and the barometer stands at 29.91 in., down from yesterday . We had several more inches of heavy snow last night, and the swooping branches of the big white pines look as though one more snow flake might send them crashing to the ground. The dense lake fog envelopes everything, deftly concealing the treacherous ice of the great lake.
This morning members of the City of Bayfield Tree Board meet with their counterparts in Washburn and Ashland, at the Washburn Public Works Department. We will discuss our respective programs, including our street tree inventories, and ways in which we may cooperate, including joint grant applications to state and federal agencies. We have been intending to do this for some time and look forward to new relationships and opportunities.
Saturday was not only a tragic day of loss for Bayfield, but a real challenge for our emergency first responders. The helicopter we heard overhead on Saturday afternoon was not a flight for life for fishing guide Jim Hudson, but an emergency flight for a snowmobiler badly injured when two machines collided on a trail outside of town. Jim went through thin ice on his snowmobile off the south end of Madeline Island shortly after the first accident. Sam, our Coast Guard neighbor next door was one of the responders to Jim’s plight, who evidently had no chance of survival after forty-five minutes in the icy water, whether he had been transported to Duluth by helicopter or not.
Fun, adventure, danger, death, all on a Saturday afternoon. As tragic as the events were, we are fortunate only one life was lost, as the rescuers lives were endangered as well.