|Oh goodness that is a tired looking Mad-Art Teacher|
(my other compadre, the Mad Chemistry teacher had been sickish and bowed out of this day, and I don't blame her!!)and I headed north for what turned out to be an ice event squared.
|Let the adventure begin|
Our primary destination was to participate in the Book Across the Bay in Ashland that headed across the (frozen) Chequamegon Bay to Washburn, WI. We ended up on a small detour, which turned out to be a short but amazing little excursion across the frozen lake in ADAMS CAR to Madeline Island. But I digress- since this is my blog, I will be regaling you with a blow by blow description of this day. Because I apparently like to hear myself yak! :D. Actually, I had such a good time, I want to record it since we all know how short the memory can be.
|Registration central, early in the day|
Anyway, I digress, after our fun little errands were finished (the parmesan pepper bread from the bakery is just DIVINE!) we headed up - ravenous!!- to Coco's. We had such good food- I had a Seitan gyro and sweet potato and pecan salad and of course Big Water Coffee. YYYYUUUUUMMMMM I made sure not to have too much what with the whole trying to find a bathroom with 8 million layers of clothes, snow shoes etc. Always a consideration at this kind of event and portapotties and I are not on speaking terms, so there is that.
We had another errand up in Bayfield after a leisurely lunch was had, and that was to visit Big Water Coffee Roasters for some bags of coffee and a new coffee mug for Debi! woo HOO!! I mean if you are that close, Bayfield NEEDS to be visited. It was interesting looking down at the docks and seeing where the ferry and tour boats usually are, and to see the top of the Bayfield Inn where we had Margaritas on the upper deck overlooking the bay and knowing that in a few months we WILL be there again enjoying said drinks and who knows what adventure! There HAS been talk (yeah that would be me and Adam) about going on a boat to an island and hiking for the day!! I am so IN. Whilst leisurely (we had planned lots of goofing off time) sipping our respective mochas and hot chocolates, Adam broached a subject that I had on my mind but was trying to block out. The ice road to Madeline Island.
Adam: so do you want to go on the Ice Road?
Debi: (eyes big- terror filled heart) uhhhhhhh
Debi: UHHHHHHHHHH, well I won't jump out of the car if you happen to accidentally drive on it I guess
Adam: Do you think Laurie will be mad if we go without her?
Debi: I think she'll be fine, she'd still go if one of us were not with! Lol
Adam: Maybe we better not
Debi: Ok (whew)
Adam: We're driving on that road
Debi: **gulp** yeah, I know **mommy!**
|OH. MY. GOODNESS!|
So with Debi shrieking as we began driving across, while fumbling for her phone and camera, taking mad pictures and shrieking some more, over we went. I think it is about 4 or 5 miles out there, and you literally drive right out on the ice from a beach. It was a bit snowy, so you couldn't see the actual ice (whew) and it was quite a rush!
I did not grow up in northern Wisconsin, I was a southern WI girl. My family was not a sportsman type family really. My dad loved to fish, but only up in Minnesota at my Grandma and Grandpa's. He did not ice fish. I never even stood on a frozen lake until I was in college when I was cross country skiing with the MA and some other accountant types and their wives and someone at one point informed me we were skiing on a lake (EEEEEEEEEK). SO therefore, I have never been comfortable on frozen bodies of water, though my children have been ice fishing with their dad and others since they were toddlers, or during tax season visiting others who ice fish, you get the idea... So walking on frozen water is not my cup of tea, as a rule and DAMN I am not driving on that shit. Are you people all crazy up here???? Yes they are and now I am apparently one of the crazed. Like I wasn't before.... never mind, shut up!
So as referenced here, I was
|Looking at Bayfield|
|Sort of roughly the same area|
Basically I have conquered two facets of one fear. I am so proud of myself. Overcoming fears that are true and deep (I joke about this, but it is (was) a major terror of mine) are exhilarating. I seriously have had to stop myself from running as fast as I can to get off of 2 feet of ice down at the boat landing at the end of our road, because it just seems somehow wrong to be doing that. I am such a chicken, seriously.
|Hehehe, no kidding|
|Hard to believe this is the same spot as the next pic|
|Ah summer- this is what we remember so fondly...|
So after taking a few pictures at a beach that we had visited last summer, we hopped back in the car and headed back to Washburn. We found the parking area easily and were fortunate to not have to walk very far at ALL to catch the school bus shuttle to Ashland. Now that makes the whole thing sounds so simple, but we spent at least 20 minutes changing into our appropriate winter clothing, gathering our race bib and all that, stuffing some snacks into our pockets (we did not eat again after lunch, except for a granola bar on the ice and then a vegan muffin in the car- no wonder I was hungry this morning) and making sure we had everything needed.
|This is the approximate route taken, it varies depending on the ice conditions apparently. I think we were a lot closer to shore south of Vandevinter Bay|
|View of the start area in the early afternoon|
We headed into the tent for a few minutes and immediately saw people we knew! We chit chatted for a few minutes and headed over to Walgreens to get a couple little things and I needed a place to adjust my sock/boot/toe warmer issues, attache the race bib to the coat, use the not-a-portapotty and generally prepare to snowshoe. Toe warmers are something that I am going to stock up on, because they rock my world. I can put up with anything if my toes are warm.
|The start line area in the early afternoon- there is the bonfire and you can see the little trees and all that mark the trail|
|RIGHT before the start- the fast people are WAAAY up at the top.|
It was then time to head down to the lake and get ready- isn't this crowd astounding?? It was all very exciting- so many people SO MANY SKIS!! So many different sorts of snowshoes, it was really something. There were luminaries all along the course, and there were "stops" at every K except for the the first K. The stops were assistance tents plus water- and later there were some snacks, and eventually there was liquor! hahaha, and there was a fire breathing dragon, and the last stop they were giving out chapstick, granola bars and bottles of water-- it was just fun.
|skis and more skis|
|Ice dragon in full roar|
|The glow of Ashland from the trail- this fire was not on the ice, but up higher- like a trough- for hand warming|
The people involved in this event were stellar and it was REALLY well done. To orchestrate such a huge event is difficult to say the least and I give them Mad Props for their organization and entertainment skills. Job well done!!!
**And this just in- a video clip of me walking like a penguin so I don't step on the skis in front of me!
If you end up having to search it put in either Deb Oswald or 1135 But it should work- there are some skiiers first and then I have on a maroon/red hat and of course grey/black coat and pants. My feet were so tired!!**
So last night I came home, plugged in my phone to tell my sister and a friend or two I was home, put a couple things away, hung up some soggy outerwear and flung myself into bed, told the MA all about it and he fell right asleep and I did not. LOL, that figures. I am not sore but am fatigued today- just plain old wiped out. I am so happy I have no sore knees or anything like that. YAY. The gym however, will not be happening today! I'll save myself for tomorrow.
So fast forward to today, I emailed the BATB people about my camera, I made coffee, pancakes and threw a load in the washer and have blogged. I think it has been a productive day and now time for a nap! It is already 11 am after all!
Seriously, that won't happen. What a great day I had, just goes to show if you need to or want to bad enough, you can overcome all sorts of oddball and random fears. I have a lot to go, though! Adam is such a fabulous traveling companion and partner in crime- we were missing our 3rd buddy, but next time!
Looking forward to a lower-key kind of joy today! Hope you find some quiet joy today yourself!
**THANK you Adam for allowing me to steal your pictures!