Despite what you’ve been told, we here in the north do experience summer. Summer is when the water in the lakes gets all soft and mushy. Since summertime lakes won’t support trucks and snowmobiles I’m forced into alternative activities like mowing the lawn and mooning over the weeds where the garden should be. Aside from boats and canoes I see no advantage to water in liquid form; it’s main function is to support detrimental populations of mosquitoes and tourists. Fortunately, this temporary and unfortunate season soon passes and winter comes again.
The transition is a conundrum. Most of the winter the ice is thick enough to support a freight train but for an indeterminate period of time it’s too thin for the average and reasonable load of a Ford F-350 with six fishermen and a keg of beer. When is the ice thick enough? Weathermen never know. The local authorities are useless; those pants shitting, litigation whipped pussies would tell you to wear a life vest on a glacier. The same thing happens in the spring. Ice doesn’t vanish overnight, it deteriorates slowly until it collapses from within…like a politician’s soul.
Luckily I’ve found a way to know precisely when the ice is thick enough; both in fall as it builds and in spring as it erodes. Here is my patented and utterly reliable observation relating to north country seasons:
- It is not winter until some redneck drives a truck on the ice and it sinks.
- It is not spring until some other redneck drives a truck on the ice and it sinks.
- Between #1 and #2 the ice is good to go!
There are a few details. It’s not necessary that the redneck die in the accident or that he be drunk; once the truck is sunk the threshold has been met. Snowmobiles, ATVs, dogsleds, and yuppies on skis are less reliable indicators but a sunk car is as good as a truck. A few years ago someone sunk a front end loader. I’m not sure what that means about seasons; probably that God has a sense of humor.
My predictor has held up under scrutiny through several seasons. For example; last spring the robins arrived the same day the papers reported that a truck, two ATVs, and a snowmobile sunk even though the ice fishing season had been uneventful up to that point. (I am NOT making that up!) I had no idea that birds could read but the little red harbingers of spring picked the day perfectly.
There is snow at Ft. Curmudgeon but it is merely late fall and not yet winter. No trucks have sunk yet. I think it’s due to global warming.
That is all.
(Note: The truck photo is from an outfit in Minnesota that specializes in extracting sunk trucks from icebound lakes. If any of my readers have recently sunk a truck I heartily encourage you to call them…assuming you haven’t succumbed to hypothermia or drowning. Also icebound truck extraction sounds like an honorable and challenging profession which I’d heartily embrace. If they call me I’d gladly take a job as a sunk truck extraction lackey.)