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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Caretaker's Concern for 3/3/2010

TCC for 3/3/2010

It's good to be home. Very windy day on the Lake today. The following photos are from today, they are to illustrate the amount of open water. The Caretaker would say that the Lake is at the very beginning stages of ice-out.

The photo below is looking South from the Island, not far from the Island is a patch of open water in a rather uncommon spot for ice-out.

The photo below is looking towards Clay island, the open water almost reaches to Clay island, by tomorrow afternoon the Caretaker won't be surprised if he will be able to paddle all the way to Clay.

The photo below shows the open water at Gull rock, chances are there will be open water from the Island to Gull rock by the end of the day tomorrow.

The Caretaker got back to the Island yesterday late afternoon. He skied across the ice which was covered in about three inches of slush and water, it was more like water skiing than cross country skiing. He had to make two trips to get all of his gear back to the Island, after the first trip he was thinking he might make the second trip the following morning (today) but in the end decided not to, he made the second trip last night. This was a good decision, the ice is at least 4 to 6 inches thick, not including the slush, which is plenty safe to travel except for the various thin spots and the open water around the shore. The trickiest part of his travels across the ice last night was getting on to the Island, the best spot had a gap of about a foot of open water right near the shore line. As of right now the Caretaker is going to hunker down on the Island and wait to see what happens with the ice. Based on the current weather report for the next 7 days the Caretaker wouldn't be surprised if the Lake is open and free of ice by the end of the second week of March. But who knows?

Below are photos the Caretaker took up at the North West Bay river back on 2/19/10.
This is a shot of the lower falls on the river by route 9N:

Shot of the upper falls:

Icicle at the upper falls that formed from the ground up:

Close up shot of a part of the upper falls:

This photo was taken from the trail that goes out to the Tongue mt. range, it was not far beyond the wooden bridge, looks sort of like a tuning fork:

And last but not least, a photo of the Dog the Caretaker was looking after:

Now, other than the dog photo, the above photos taken on 2/19/10 are not all that remarkable, but since the Caretaker went through the ice for a second time just before taking these he figured he'd share the photos. This time, when the Caretaker went through the ice he wasn't ice skating, he was walking. He put the dog in the car and drove up to the boat put-in for the North West bay up at the marsh end of it. For some reason he thought it would be a good idea to cross the ice over the frozen river. When the river first froze, the water was a bit higher than the water level of the river when he attempted to cross it. The Caretaker knew this but still decided to try crossing the ice over the river anyway, it wasn't that it was the only way, the bridge for 9N that goes over the river was about 200 yards away, it was mostly because he was lazy and that he was hoping to not have to walk the road with the dog.

Anyway, the Caretaker is almost across the river, he has a little less than 4 feet to go to reach the other shore. He stops, where he's standing he sees tree trunks and soil frozen into the ice, he figures it is ground beneath him. He takes a step, just as he brings his other foot forward, down he goes, into water just above his waist. When he broke through the ice his arms went out and he caught himself on thicker ice so he did not go to the bottom of the river. Turns out where he was standing before going through was a ledge. The dog, having already crossed, turned back to look at the Caretaker, the dog's first look was up high where the Caretaker should have been, the dog looked down then turned his head, huh? He appeared confused. While the Caretaker was making his way out of the ice he called the dog Lassie and told him to go get help, the dog didn't laugh. The Caretaker gets himself out of the ice and water in about 10 seconds or so. His initial thought was that he would have to get back into the car and drive home to get dry and warm but he soon realized that although he was wet he wasn't too cold and wasn't too uncomfortable and after having driven all this way and taken no photos would be a real waste of time and fuel. So, the Caretaker decided to carry on with his plan and put the dog on the leash and walked up to the road to take the bridge over the river. After about an hour of tromping around in the woods the above photos are what he has to show for it. Funny thing is, the dog photo, that was taken in the car while stopping in at the post office on the way back home and that could have been taken without all the hassle of going through the ice and walking around in the woods in wet boots and pants. Ha-Ha on you Caretaker!

This being the second time the Caretaker has gone through the ice in one week, if he's going to make a habit of it he should probably start wearing wool clothing so he will keep warm after going through the ice--wet cotton and cold air, not so good for keeping warm. Over all he came out of this dunking mostly unscathed, although an hour or so of cold wet boots did give him some sort of mild case of athlete's foot but it only lasted for about 24 hours or so, perhaps it was trench foot? Anyway, after applying some foot powder the foot condition went from one end of the extreme to the other, his feet then become so very dry that some of the skin cracked and bled, pretty much like what happened to his hands back in December, they too had become so dried out that they cracked and bled but that was from handling kerosene and the cold dry air. The Caretaker's hands have long since healed and his feet are pretty much fully healed too, Bag Balm, great stuff.

Speaking of the Caretaker's health, he no longer suffers any more chest pains, at least nothing too serious, and only rarely, but he wouldn't be surprised if he suffered a mild fracture to his chest plate or is it breast bone? Whatever. Either way, he's not too worried about it because there isn't much that can be done for that sort of thing, at least as far as the Caretaker knows. Oddly enough, as the chest pain was diminishing, pain in the Caretaker's hips and lower legs began not long after the second time he went through the ice. For the most part the pain would come and go, nothing too bad, only occasionally bringing him to his knees. It seemed to be the most noticeable when he switched from a sitting position to a standing position and vice versa. He's not really sure what the cause of this is, his second time through the ice caused no bruising or other such injury. It might be related to the problem he was having with his right arm that started the night after the Super bowl, severe pain in his bicep. After conferring with his "doctor" the thought was blood clot so the Caretaker took a lot of Niacin to break up the clot and aspirin and a few other natural blood thinners (licorice root and peppermint tea among other things). This seemed to take care of the problem, the pain in his arm has since gone away and no bruising or blistering on his arm occurred which is what happens when blood clots are allowed to remain in the blood stream. However, he did lose strength in in his right shoulder for quite some time, which is also a symptom of blood clots, but for the most part the strength has returned. To lose strength in a muscle due to a blood clot is a result of the muscle tissue dieing, it doesn't come back, it has to be replaced by new muscle (if that can even be done). Anyway, the Caretaker doubts the pain in his legs and hips is a result of blood clots for the pain has been going on for over a week and he has seen no bruising or blistering on his legs or hips, well nothing in addition to the bruises he suffered when he went through the ice for the first time. Nor has he lost any strength in his legs. The Caretaker is of the opinion that the pain in his legs and hips and perhaps also his right arm is the manifestation of stress. Since the Caretaker has returned to the Island the pain in his legs has diminished considerably.

Over the course of the last two weeks or so the Caretaker has experienced the following:

Been through the ice and self-rescued twice in one week.
Spent a considerable amount of time away from the Island for the first week and was away from the Island entirely for the second week.
Been a passenger in a car accident (the person driving the car was doing the Caretaker a favor so the Caretaker feels quite at fault for it happening), nobody was hurt, at least not seriously but it has been a real pain in the tail for the Caretaker's friend and this the Caretaker feels terrible about.
The day before leaving for the week the Caretaker had to deal with some vandalism that occurred on the Island while he was away for a few hours in town. The vandalism wasn't all too serious, no major destruction, rather odd what was done and mostly annoying more than anything but either way, nobody likes their space to be invaded like that.
Lastly, a few other personal issues that need not be shared, mostly because half of them are merely speculative and nothing will be forthcoming until sometime next week.

Anyway, the Caretaker finds the whole thing quite curious as to what it all means, good thing he's now quasi-island bound due to ice-out so he can put some serious and undistracted thought into the matter.

--The Caretaker


365 Letters said...

That sure does sound like a lot to be dealing with! I hope it all works out just the way you want it to.

Vandalism by people? We've had some damage around our place, but we're sure it's wild hogs.

Take care of yourself!

The Caretaker said...

I'm sure it will all work out in the end, it usually does, one way or another. Thanks.

Sorry to hear you had some property damage. Quite sure it was vandalism by people here, most definitely not wild hogs, they don't make it up this way, not this time of year for sure. Although, it would probably make more sense if it was wild hogs.