Today I didn’t go to Lake Michigan on my pilgrimage because I am landlocked. I am in central Wisconsin, more-or-less midway between the two great bodies of water that border my home state: Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River.
Being resourceful though, I went down to photograph the lake in my hometown. Out there were little ice shacks improbably perched upon the lake. Fisher-folk out in the cold.
This is not the same kind of lake as Lake Michigan. Lake Wausau was formed in 1909 when a dam was built on the Wisconsin River.
The lake is about thirty feet deep, and right now it’s frozen 15-20″ down.* The thickness means it’s safe to drive your truck on it, and build fires out there and drill holes down to the fish.
Even though I grew up around here and saw these behaviors every winter, it still seems counter-intuitive. Trucks and houses on the lake.
Counter-intuitive or not, there they were, taking advantage of the MLK holiday.
As you might guess, I was not joining them. Instead I went snowshoeing. The dog and I had a great time enjoying the holiday in our own way, following deer tracks in the snow.
Tomorrow I’ll be heading back to the city; navigating roadways instead of deer trails. I’ll be nurturing as long as possible the rewarding snap of the crisp fresh air and the shadows of branches on the snow.
* Update: An earlier version of this post had the ice quite a bit more dense. Thank you kind reader. I owe you. Perhaps an ice-cold beer?
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