Friday, February 5, 2010

Minnesota Winter Myths... or are they?

For those of you who don't live in Minnesota... ever see the movie "Grumpy Old Men"??  I saw it long before I ever lived in MN or even knew I might... & I really had to wonder how much of it had been embellished for the sake of entertainment.  I remember thinking... Ice fishing... really?  Who does that?  And snow mobiling... people don't just snow mobile around towns.  And snow doesn't pile up & stick around all winter in the city... that just happens in the mountains.  Certainly it contained caricatures... but in many ways, it wasn't far from reality as I discovered in my first winter in Minnesota 13 years ago!  We actually have a snow mobile trail that goes through the suburbs & it goes right in front of our house... so it isn't uncommon for us to see them zipping right along next to the traffic out on our county road.  It always strikes me as funny when we hear or see them at home.  And it truly is a site to the the mini ice cities on nearby lakes... in some cases, it may just be a handful but on a big or popular lake, there could be hundreds of shacks (& vehicles) strewn about!

We've always joked that with my summer birthday I always get to go camping if I choose & Mike's winter birthday has many fewer outdoor options. Well this year, he wanted to go ice fishing on a nearby lake... how Minnesotan was that? We went to a lake that is known for being so clear that you can see the fish swimming around below (if the fish are in the area). Most lakes only have visibility for about 1-2 feet, but in this one, you can see a good 10 feet at least.
Drilling the holes...
In our portable shacks... cousin Allison & her dad Dave joined us too!
Waiting for the fish to swim by our hole...that's really what ice fishing entails...
Taking a break to toss the vortex around... i.e. the fishing was slow & the kids wanted to play!

Mike caught a bass... the only fish of the day!

We've been getting out in the winter with the kids from day one & in some cases just before... here are a few winter highlights from years past...
A winter hike down by the river (Dec 21, 2003) the day before Brandon was born! (Being 2-3 miles from the vehicle may not have been the wisest move in retrospect.)

Ice fishing with Brandon (4 weeks old)

Winter hiking Jan '06 (with Melanie "on-board")

Ice fishing Jan '07...
Brandon (3)
Melanie (7 months)

Snowshoeing on the north shore (Dec '07)

Well, we've made it through January 2010... generally a cold, long month for us.  The days are already getting longer & we are well on our way through February... no matter what that Groundhog said... spring is on the horizon!

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