Saturday, January 10, 2009

Get thee to a frozen lake

Minnesota is known as "The Land of 10,000 Lakes." That means, in a normal cold winter like this one, Minnesota is temporarily "The Land of 10,000 big beautiful open flat fields" And probably "The Land of 10 million very visible piles of dog crap."

Right here in the middle of Duluth we have Hartley Pond. It's a rare undeveloped lake, with no houses on or near it. It's at least 1/4 mile by foot or ski to reach the lake.

It's magical to transform a shimmering blue ripply thing to this fixed sheet of ice and snow, and then to travel on it.

I love LOVE LOVE being out on frozen lakes, especially if it's a lake I've paddled in the summerThe only time I've ever really tried to skate ski was on frozen lakes in late winter, when the snow had melted and refrozen just right. I hear stories of people in Ely ice skating all the way to the Canadian border, and I get supremely jealous. Here on Park Point there are still ice boaters, and when the harbor ice is right they are sailing faster than they ever could in the summer in plain-old water. What a supreme thrill to glide over the surface like that!

Now, we're stuck with the psychotic poodle, captured in her full glory here on Hartley Pond:

Yes, she's off leash inside a Duluth city park. I know. But it's that irrepressible joy of a frozen lake that possesses her and must make her free.

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