Greetings and happy St Patrick’s Day!
The weekend threw us a curve ball with below normal temperatures. We had a high of 31 Saturday and a high of 25 Sunday. Saturday night area reading were in the -4 to -8 range. The normal hi/lo today is 37 & 16. The surprise came not in below normal temperatures, but in the form of icy trails.
The thaw/freeze/thaw cycle pretty much took away any free snow, leaving a big block of ice for a base. There was little in the way of free snow for cooling and slide lube. Had it been a warmer weekend we might have had some soft top to change that, but it stayed too cold. Riders were reporting icy trails here, north by Hwy 8, and up into Vilas Co too.
There is a lot of base remaining, if it did snow I’d sure go ride. The trails that I saw along the road from here to Lakewood and north to Carter looked like they had good coverage except for some sunny spots, and plowed roads are bare past the road shoulder. Surprisingly the golf course in Lakewood wasn’t blown out, and neither was that one really sunny spot on the grade between Lakewood and the bridge halfway to Townsend. The sunny spot was straight ice in spots, but no gravel yet.
At the moment unless I was boondocking I wouldn’t ride. If we get some snow I’d be all for it. There is a monumental base out there, we just need snow to fill in the bare spots and cover the ice base. There is a chance of snow mid-week. We will see how that goes.
The colder than normal pattern is really not giving up. We have seen it all winter- the storms go 300 miles south and we get the cold air to the north of them. While there are a couple of interesting wrinkles on the 16 day GFS model, for the most part it isn’t giving up on the colder than normal pattern. That isn’t a big snow pattern, but when it does break down there will probably be some storms.
Hopefully it happens soon. The sun is becoming a problem. Even on a cold day if the sun is out there is a little melting. Thursday is the vernal equinox, and some time between now and then we will cross the 12 hours of daylight mark. That isn’t going to get any better. (Until June..)
For now I am trail side waiting for snow. I have accepted that last weekend’s riding might have been the last of the year on the full system with ice covered road trails and full coverage trails. I’d be surprised if I didn’t get some late season miles in though. All that we can do is wait and hope.
Have a good St Patties Day and thank you for visiting!
Iron Snowshoe is closed south of Hwy C.