It looks as if I might be spared the pant wetting excitement of the ice road this year. It's almost enough to make the agnostic in me believe in a higher power, eh.
My buddy Eddie and I go down to lunch almost every week at a charming restaurant down in Vermont right on the shores of Lake Memphremagog.
The highway we normally take circles around the lake to get to the restaurant. BUT around this time of year, which is prime ice fishing time, they plow a road over the lake that goes from the highway directly to that particular restaurant.
They make this road to give ice fishermen a route to drive their vehicles over to their little ice fishing cabins. Eddie likes to drive it because it's fun to whip over a surface that's normally liquid.
You have to be careful when you're scooting over a lake. There's spots where currents can wear the ice to a thinness that won't support a vehicle. The wind can drift snow, sometimes it's hard to spot the line of the ice road.
Every year there's a story in the local paper about at least one hapless person who's strayed far enough off the safe portions of the lake that their vehicle has broken through the ice and gone to join the fishes.
I KNOW all this, and yet ...
Last year about this time Eddie and I were lunching at the restaurant and somehow I consumed a little more red wine than I should have. He suggested we take the ice road back on our way home. Because I lose what tiny modicum of common sense I might have when I am likkered up, I blithely agreed.
(Little did I know that he had tried to convince other friends AND his girlfriend to take this road with him at other times and these sensible, sane people had all refused.)
We get in the car and drive down the restaurant ramp on to the ice road. My first intimation that this might fall under the category of Not A Good Idea was when Eddie casually mentioned it would be a good idea to undo my seat belt AND to keep a hand poised near the door latch.
It IS an exhilarating experience to drive a car over ice, to know that you're skimming over a surface that's normally fluid. Layering it all with a fine veneer of terror just adds to the fun.
Somehow we managed to zip across the lake and stray off the original ice road because when we got to the other side there was no off ramp to get us up off the ice and back to the highway.
Really, I hardly whimpered.
It took us several tries to finally find the ramp and get the car off the ice. I was almost at the point of having him turn the car around and head back to the restaurant.
Visions of us hitting one of those thin ice patches and having his little red Honda sports car do an amazingly realistic imitation of the Titanic kept playing through my head.
So today we're driving down to the restaurant and glance over at the lake, which is now dotted with little ice fishing cabins.
BUT they haven't plowed an ice road because this has been a heavy snow year, the lake has been insulated by the snow, and the authorities feel the ice isn't strong enough to support vehicles.
Eddie, of course, is bitterly disappointed. In a performance which would have garnered me an Oscar nomination in a heartbeat if anyone else had been around to see it, I pretended I shared his disappointment.
I'm telling you, this snow business ... it's almost enough to make an agnostic believe in a higher power.
There has been an outpouring of sympathy for the plight of one small moose. The incredibly cute and deeply talented Paul of Rilting fame has even made a button for the Do It For The Moose Campaign.
Here's where the instructions are on how to get it.
Want to delve into my sordid past?
She's mellllllllllllllting - Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 - Back off, Buble - Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 - Dispersed - Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 - Nothing comes for free - Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 - None of her business - Friday, Nov. 04, 2011 -
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