Tuesday March 13th, 2012


Word just came in from Marinette County that all ATV trails are officially closed for the spring thaw.

From: John Scott, Forestry and Parks Administrator
Subject: ATV Trail Closure
The entire Marinette County ATV Trail System will be closed to
all vehicles effective immediately (March 13, 2012) until
further notice. This closure is required to protect the soft
trail bed from erosion damage caused by ATV’s and other vehicles
during spring breakup. ATV trails will re-open when conditions
warrant. Another press release will be placed in the paper when
the trails are re-opened.

They usually reopen around May 1st.  We will keep you posted.



Greetings and welcome!

This has been an unbelievable season, so I guess it shouldn’t be surprising when it has an unusual ending. The weather has been incredible the past few days.

First of all I should put this in context. Our normal high right now is 37, and our normal low is 15. Sunday when it went to a high of 68 or tonight when we are having a low of 41 is not normal. Not even close. Neither is the week ahead with highs ranging from low 60s to upper 60s, and no low temperatures below 35.

According to my rule of variability, a variation of 1-15 degrees above or below the normals is common. Fifteen to 25 degrees is occasional, and 25-30 degrees is unusual. Over 30 is very rare. We are having a couple of weeks of weather in the unusual and very rare range. Sunday’s 68 was normal + 31 degrees, and we have a couple of days this week that could hit similar numbers.

The melting has been amazing. Most of my back field is bare, along with most of the yard. Sheltered spots still hold snow, but that has been reduced significantly too. It is about as close to seeing someone flip a switch and ending the season as you could get. To  go from snowmobiling on ample snow on a 20 degree night on Tuesday to 68 and sunny on Sunday is head spinning.

Driving to Lakewood yesterday I established that a dedicated rider could probably still find plenty of snowy spots in sheltered areas and deep woods. There was still snow in the forest and on unplowed roads, but it looked pretty sloppy and frequently punctuated by muddy sunny spots. Farther north is probably better and could still hold a ride, but it might get a little messy.

The weather yesterday was a pinch of everything Spring. We had a couple of decent waves of rain come through, including some nice downpours. On the way to Lakewood, about 12 miles away, I hit a variety of conditions. I started out with a nice sunny day here. I hit fog about the county line, and 4 miles later it was fog and a downpour. Four miles after that the rain let up a little, and a few miles later the fog lifted, the rain stopped, and the clouds parted, leaving a sunny day. The big backlit storm cloud was huge and dark blue and looked a little menacing.

The ditches and low spots that flood were getting full. The river by Lakewood golf course was running pretty good, and I even have a little water in my pond. The Peshtigo has not gone out at all yet, but the melt water is lifting up the ice. The Townsend Flowage and Waubee Lake still have ice, but it is white and there are puddles on top.

The sunny spots in the driveway and gravel roads are muddy. They are at various stages of the frost coming out of the ground as the melt water sits on top, and yesterday we added some rain. It is a strange mix of mud and the remaining ice layer in sheltered spots.

Late last week I was driving halfway in through the muddy stretch and walking the rest of the way to the house with ice cleats on my shoes as the daily freeze/thaw made the driveway one icy and steep climb. After a couple of days of that the ice broke down enough to get the truck in, but I am still driving in frozen ruts.

Since it snowed my time has been seriously in demand. Usually March is very slow and quiet, but again, not this year. The snow came and there was snowplowing and related stuff, work at Curve & Rapids, snowmobiling, computer and web site work, on and on. It has been unbelievable, and not unwelcome for the most part. There are still a lot of things to wrap up with snowmobiling, people to thank, and articles to write. I am going to keep hammering away at it. For now know that you guys have my appreciation and thanks.

Have a good Tuesday and thank you for visiting!