TCC for 2/18/10:
The Caretaker decided to mix things up a bit today by going up to Edgecomb pond for a short hike along the dirt road that follows the shore of the pond for a while then goes up the mountain, the following photos were taken over at the damn of Edgecomb pond:
And here's that dog again, rolling around in the snow:
And lastly, a shot up the Lake from the Island:
Now for the details of the Caretaker's dip in the lake. As some of you may have noticed a dog has been appearing on a regular basis these past few days, the Caretaker has not recently become a dog owner, rather he has been asked to look after this dog for the week. His name is Painter. Overall a pretty good dog. The Caretaker has been spliting his time between the Island and the mainland so he can take care of the dog. The dog lives on the mainland in his owner's home, the Caretaker wouldn't think of having the dog out to the Island to stay for the week, the living conditions are such that it wouldn't be kind to make a dog live the way the Caretaker does in the winter. Anyway, starting the past weekend the weather report had been threatening snow on a daily basis but it was continually wrong, and since the Caretaker had no better information he made a point to get in as much ice skating as possible, the day the Caretaker went through the ice it turned out to be the last day of skating on the lake, later that evening snow finally came down. The lake conditions for ice-skating since the snow fall, which was only a quarter inch or so, have been far less than ideal.
Before going through the ice the Caretaker had been out skating for at least an hour, probably longer, his plan was to stop back at the island, pick up his back pack then go over to the mainland to take Painter, the dog for his afternoon walk, feed him, etc. After picking up his back pack the Caretaker decided to skate between the Island and Clay island enroute to the mainland, he came around the South dock, keeping what he thought was a safe distance from the open water (these photos were taken the day after the Caretaker went through, on the day he went through there was no snow on the ice):
Going at a pretty good clip, skating and pushing with his poles, at least 10 miles per hour maybe faster, the Caretaker was looking over at the open water at the South dock, he than turned his head down towards the ice he was skating over, at the very moment he looked down he saw the ice was thin. He had enough time to think, "oh no". In a blink he broke through the ice, given his forward momentum he didn't just drop down into the water, instead he continued forward while dropping down, cutting forward through the ice with his body. Before he could say "oh s..." he said "Ugh!" when his chest smacked up against the thicker ice that surrounded the thin ice. His instinct when falling was to put his hands out to try and catch himself, about all this did was cause his thumbs to get between his chest and the thicker edge of ice thus somewhat crushing his thumbs, it didn't tickle. The ice edge was about two inches thick, it was sort of like getting hit across the chest with a hockey stick. Although it was painful, being slammed up against the ice kept him from going all the way through the ice over his head, in the end the Caretaker only went in just above his waist, all things considered this was a pretty good way to go if you have to go through the ice. For a moment he thought about uncorking his ice spikes to get out but first figured he'd try to get out with just his gloved hands and elbows, turns out fleece gloves provide a pretty good grip on the ice, pulling and kicking with much determination the Caretaker was up and out of the water. Staying as flat to the ice as possible to spread out his weight, the Caretaker scooched himself away from the hole he just made and then got back to his feet and began to skate. Soaked from the waste down in denim pants his only concern was to get off the ice as quickly as possible and get dry and warm. Since he had access to the house for the dog he was taking care of he figured it would be best to go there to get a hot shower and warm up. However, even though the Lake water was decidedly cold, since the Caretaker had been ice-skating for the past hour he wasn't too terribly cold, but he did know that it wouldn't be long before he would become cold so he skated into the wind, fast, after getting around Clay island he was able to make the turn to skate with the wind, with the wind, he skated even faster. Made it to shore, debated briefly on what to do with his skates, cover the blades, not cover the blades, or just take them off and walk in his wet socks? He took his skates off and walked, very very fast, in his wet socks.
Needless to say, in the end, the Caretaker got himself dry and warm. Overall, the experience wasn't all that bad but he doesn't have much desire to repeat the experience anytime soon. Here's the hole the Caretaker made:
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