Thursday, January 13, 2011
So much for getting 2011 sorted out. The intrepid winter warriors (Andy and Andrew) returned from their winter camping trip a day early, arriving at the cabin Tuesday evening, ready for chili and the last pieces of Sunday's blueberry pie.
In the 30 short hours they were gone, I'd gotten quite comfortable in my temporary singlehood: it's amazing how quickly you can revert to eating at random hours, getting a ton of work and writing done, you know, doing your own thing. Still, I wasn't surprised or disappointed to see the two trekkers out of the woods early. But I did know it meant all those plans I'd made for Tuesday evening and Wednesday proper were going to need amending.

So yesterday proved an impromptu day off, one which involved a run to town for groceries and supplies and afternoon ice fishing adventures. With blue skies above us, temperatures in the high teens and a mostly packed trail before us, we hiked into a Boundary Waters lake and set up shop.

Let's be honest, staring at this for an extended period of time kind of has a finite amount of fun packed into it. After about fifteen minutes, feet start to get antsy, hands grow a little cold and even the lake hole itself starts to ice over. Luckily, there were plenty of distractions.
Aircraft aren't allowed to fly over the Boundary Waters. (Well, they are, but they need to be way up in the air.) So we were surprised to see this helicopter flying very low and very deliberately about the area. Probably the DNR doing moose surveys.
There was also this cliff right behind our ice fishing operation which I thought I ought to climb up.
But about 2/3rds of the way to the top of the cliff, I ran into an obstacle. The hike had turned into rock climbing, or what I assumed was rock climbing. In actuality, the snow had packed itself into thick ledges which I could clamor over with some success. However, when I finally ran out of hand holds, I had to concede that this was not going to be the way I was getting to the top of the cliff. At about the same time, the snow under my foot remembered it wasn't supported by any physical feature. It let go and I slid 10 feet backward down the cliff side, coming to an abrupt stop in the crooks of a cedar tree.

All I could see was this, a filtered view of the lake below through the tree tops. And I was nursing a big knob of a bruise on the back of my thigh from my not-so-soft landing on a broken off branch. Undeterred, I soldiered on. I headed back down to the lake ice and tried the route to the top of the cliff on the other side of the cliff.  It was a lot easier going the other way -- just a hike up a hill. But when I finally got to the top, it seemed like you could see forever.
You can make plans, but that doesn't mean you'll keep them. You can set out to climb a cliff, but sometimes you have to come down and try it from a different angle. 

P.S. Speaking of owls like we were yesterday, Jenn over at Rook No. 17 whipped up some cute Valentine's Day owls. Definitely worth a peek!

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