Sunday, 9:00 AM. 7 degrees F, Wind W, moderate. The sky is overcast and hazy but beginning to clear. The barometer is pretty steady at 30.01 and the humidity is down, at 71%.
The sun is but a glimmer of silver struggling through a ghostly haze this morning, its weak rays reflecting icily from wind swept spots in the snow covered channel. The trail of the last ferry to break through the thickening ice still cuts across the frozen waste between Bayfield and LaPointe, a dark, straight scar that will take a while to heal.
The ferries have stopped running and I have not yet seen a wind sled. This is the time when folks will be tempted to cross the ice road, now marked with Christmas trees but still unsafe. Snowmobiles and 4-wheelers will be running the road, but it won’t be long before some adventurous guy will try his luck in a pickup truck, warning signs be damned.
We spent some time watching the dog sled races out on Star Route yesterday. It was pretty cold and we mostly stayed in the truck, where we had a close-up view of the racers crossing Star Route and heading down Butternut Road and into the forest trails. The first teams were pretty well spread apart so we didn’t witness any pile-ups or tangles, better for the participants perhaps but less fun for the spectators. One can’t help but be amused at sixteen sled dogs all in a tangle, I guess. The races finish this morning but we have seen our fill for this year.
There is a memorial service at the Pavilion this afternoon for Jim Hudson, who died out on the lake a week ago when he went through the ice between Madeline and Long Island with his snowmobile. From my own life experiences I know that grief is often tinged with anger in tragedies such as this. Anger at life, anger at carelessness, anger at youth itself, that thinks it is invincible and will never die. The young and adventurous often gamble with fate. .and sometimes lose.