Spring conditions made a brief (and unwanted) visit to northern Michigan over the weekend. Temperatures warmed above freezing (fine), melting some of the snowpack (okay), and dumped quite a bit of rain (gross). Thus, our roads are littered with cavernous potholes and thick, bumpy, slippery ice. Yesterday evening, on our way into TC for a grocery refill, Tony and I ran into our neighbors Gary and Jill (don’t worry; they’re fine). They were out walking in the foggy mess, and Jill mentioned that we had four inches of snow on the way. I was amused because last time I had checked, estimates were only one inch, but so goes snow prediction. I glibly quipped – publicly on Facebook no less – that I would welcome some snow to improve road conditions. Well, be careful what you wish for!
By the time we emerged to load our bags into the car, an unpleasant layer of slush had accumulated in the parking lot. As we rolled farther west and north, increasing amounts of snow piled on the untreated surfaces. Pulling onto our road, it was obvious that the updated estimate was more accurate. And it hadn’t made the roads better. Inches of snow conspired with rain-soaked roads to create even more ice and freezing mush.
We had been in Ohio over the weekend immediately following a snowstorm that brought half a foot of snow. Thanks to warm ground temps and overzealous highway crews, the roads were completely clear (as in “down to the dry pavement” not “it’s definitely drivable, and I think there’s pavement under there”). As of 10:30am today, half of our road (and ditch) had been visited by a single snow plow. Once. We take these things seriously up here.
At least it’s beautiful.
Having had my planned run thwarted by the weather last night, and since the roads are treacherous for foot traffic, I was feeling a little cooped up this evening. Thank goodness for my insatiable appetite for the outdoors. We dropped by Torch Lake in Alden for a few moments, once again awed by the ever-changing winter ice scene there.
Then, we swung by the south end of the lake, just because it had been a while since we’d last visited. Only a couple miles south of Alden, the character of the lake was markedly different. Thanks to the lingering ice shelf, the water’s surface was almost perfectly still, disturbed only by skim-ice’s journey down the Torch River’s current.
Satisfied with my brief outdoor respite, we headed home – over the (Rapid) River and through the woods, as it were. Since it snowed all day, and continues to snow now, I had very low expectations for photographic endeavors. Perhaps it’s safe to say I’ve learned two lessons: chance favors the prepared (so glad I grabbed the camera even when I didn’t think I’d use it), and be careful what you wish for.