It had been cold, sub-20’s all week, but on Sunday the temperature was in the mid 30-40’s, with sunshine. We soon removed a layer each on the 10 mile ride down to Pine Grove to see the lake. To our surprise it was covered with ice and snow, and we carefully tested the thickness and strength of the ice over the main channel as it meets the boat ramp. It was about 2 inches thick, and we could not break through it even with a big rock. I walked my bike out on the slick ice over the channel, stomped around, and generally tried to test, but no cracks, and no falls, so we headed out across the bay to explore the south shore.
There were lots of frozen lotus pods, and many variations in the ice due to freezing, thawing, sunlight and snow. We rode in the snow along the shoreline towards the east end of the bay and then rode to where Salt Creek empties into the lake. We found what appeared to be a beaver lodge, and decided to go no further upstream as there were holes in the ice, and running water below.
We rode along the shoreline to the tip of Rush Ridge Rd. and stopped for a snack at the campsite. The sun and wind had stripped the main body of the lake of snow, and the ice on top was turning slushy. We rode a few hundred yards towards the causeway, then climbed a low spot in the ridge to the forest road that becomes Rush Ridge, and headed back to 446 and home.
Jojo demonstrates slow riding on ice and snow
Mitch circles up and slips
Riding with Mitch, how it looks from my point of view:
Here’s the view the point at the end of Rush Ride, the wind and sun were quite strong.
We saw no birds other than crows, but we did find the footprints of a great blue heron. All the mammals were no doubt sleeping, the only other tracks we saw on the lake were a man with dog.
We found the bones of a full sized deer in the middle of the lake, we saw some crows flying up from the ice, so we investigated the spot. The bones were almost totally clean, just a little blood on the bones; the only things left were two feet, even the skin was eaten, leaving only fur. It may have been caught on the ice by coyotes or dogs, and then the buzzards and crows finished what the mammals left.