Morning dawns at Peffley's Wilderness Camp

Thursday, April 24, 2014

If Spring doesn't find you, go find Spring!

That is what we had to resort to a couple of weeks ago when all the girls were on Spring Break. We stuffed a 12 passenger rental van full of the girls and gear and headed south to the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area of the Great Smoky Mountains. While the weather for the most part that week was also nice in northern Indiana, it was warmer in Tennessee and we enjoyed our stay very much. However, it didn't take Indiana long to remind us we were home as within two days the high temperature went from about 74 on Sunday to 44 on Tuesday. Yeah, it's been that kind of winter and spring pretty much everywhere. Here are just a few shots from our trip.
The view from our cabin

Clingman's Dome- some 6,600 ft above sea level. The last 1/2 mile hike feels like it's about a 20% grade.

The girls and an iceberg dead ahead! At the Titanic exhibit in Pigeon Forge.

From the aerial tram to Ober Gatlinburg.

One of several views as we hiked trails through the Smoky Mtn. National Park.

Historical references throughout several of the trail walks.

Now we are just a couple of short weeks away from heading back to camp and there remains plenty to do in preparation. The recent word from "up north" is not as encouraging as I would like to report, but with opening week still three weeks away, there is plenty of time for things to change and if history is any indication it will. Most areas with direct sunlight in NW Ontario have melted all the snow away, shaded areas and anyplace snow was piled up still have plenty of standing snow. One report we received indicated that while the ice on the lake is very deep (36" plus) not all of it is good ice with as much as 12" of the middle layer being slush/water. As always is the case this time of year, weather conditions over the next couple of weeks will hold the key. The good news is that the temperature trend is upward for the next seven days at least and there is some rain in the forecast for the area also. Warmer temps, rain and some wind will get things to start moving fast!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Minor setback?

In case you didn't hear, reports are that much of NW Ontario received as much as 18" of new snow in a storm that swept through the area on Monday. With only several feet of snow still remaining from earlier in the winter, this new snow dump should pretty much ensure that there will be a white Christmas. After all, Christmas 2014 is only 9 months away!

Seriously though, it's not the weather report we hoped for, but at least temperatures are forecast to start warming up in the area. We had a ton of snow and ice here in Indiana this winter also, and just 3 weeks ago I was wondering if it would ever go completely away here. Today, most smaller lakes in the area are open or well on their way to being open and other than the huge snow piles created from the plows, most snow on the ground is gone. So it can and does go fast with the right conditions. With six weeks to go until opening day there is still plenty of time to get there and we remain optimistic that like every year before, the ice will be gone by opening day.

In the meantime, with the snow finally off the ground here, I am able to get at the cargo trailer for the first time in months. It will need some new rubber this year before heading north again, so that will get taken care of soon. Once that is complete, we will get it loaded up with gear heading to Canada for the summer. So when go time arrives it will pretty much be hitch up and roll.

Wind conditions have prevented us from being able to get on Lake Michigan much so far this spring. Our first trip however was a great one, with a four man limit of coho salmon caught in about 2 hours of fishing. I like to think that some great fishing is ahead for us the rest of the spring and certainly all summer long on Wabaskang!