Last night we rang in the new year in what is becoming a traditional way of celebrating, but in a way that was decidedly not revelrous. Jim and Jess joined us for some healthy southwest quinoa chili, we chatted about everything and nothing until it was time for their wee one to hit the hay, and then we watched The Exorcist…after which I promptly went to bed. Take it easy on me, okay? I’m still recovering from the flu.
The weather gnomes promised up to two inches of lake effect accumulation, and so naturally we got 6+. I don’t want to count my snowflakes before they fall, but this winter certainly seems to be shaping up better than last. Not wanting to overdo it, we opted for a picture-taking day of adventure – as opposed to the downhill skiing we’d like to be doing.
We pressed fresh tracks in the unplowed road, and drove over the hill, down to the Seven Bridges Natural Area. This time I packed the tripod and my new filters, and with just a bit of playing, got some shots that I think capture the feel of the braided, gently falling waters there. I have visited numerous peaceful places, not least of which is my own backyard way out here in the middle of nowhere, and I simply cannot think of a more calming location than beside a trickling brook that is heavily padded with snow. The air today was nearly still, and all the birds and ground critters had stayed nestled in their warm places so that the only perceivable sounds were the rolling river water and tiny spatters as falling flakes struck exposed evergreens.
I loved the reflections here today:
And the snow hanging delicately on these cone-like seed pods:
As I was taking this one, an avalanche of snow fell (captured in photo) from overhead branches, coating lens, killing remaining photo ops until snow melted from said lens
We drove around a bit more, seeking – but not finding – places where the big lake was beginning to freeze. After a while, we decided we were nearly done adventuring, and started making our way back home. We contemplated a walk in the park, but decided that the cold air on our tender lungs might not be wise just yet. Instead, I pointed out a road we had not traveled yet, that goes near a barn I’d like to photograph from a nearer vantage point than across this field of sunflowers.
These are from the Elk River spillway in Elk Rapids…not near the aforementioned barn
We crested a rise, and then spotted a good place to turn around…just over there where those other people had turned around. Only it wasn’t. It was a place where Serious Trucks with Feet of Clearance had turned around, and then those deep ruts were covered with inches snow, giving only the appearance of a friendly turn-about. And so commenced our two hours of being stuck. In our new car. That we bought because we worried that one day the little GTI would get stuck, but never did because we had more sense than that. Multiple people stopped by, on snowmobiles and four-wheel drive Blazers that took different paths than us, and offered help. No avail. We had bottomed out in cold, compacted and slightly wet sand, and despite digging, digging, digging, we were going nowhere.
Thanks to Jason the Tow Truck Driver, we are safe and sound at home. We certainly got more of a workout than a lap in the park would have been (and also likely more than merely being stuck in snow 😉 ), but think of how much more we know now 😉 If you’re still here, reading these growing paragraphs, these are my takeaways: If you’re in the snow, and it’s so deep that you’re moving forward, looking for a turn around, stop. Reverse down the road that you just safely traveled until you spot something better than whatever might lie ahead. And also: blame and anger are not your friends, and will absolutely not unstick a stuck car. (Many thanks to my husband for recognizing this as thoroughly as I do, and for having a relatively good time despite being stuck between some sand and a snowy place.)