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February 17, 2019 - 6:01 a.m.

We were busy yesterday morning but because Mitch was in, we had a bit of a break yesterday afternoon.  Dan caught up on some sleep, I watched the news and ended up dozing off myself.  The big company group we have in turned out to be not so big.  I think it was partly due to Valentine’s Day being combined with Family Day this year.  There was suppose to be people popping in and out all weekend but that didn’t materialize.  At least not yet.  The truck rally has been delayed so isn’t due through North Bay until tomorrow now.  They are garnishing so much support on their cross country trip they’ve been doing more layovers than anticipated.  I watched all the speeches from the country’s premiers of Canada at the rally in Saskatchewan yesterday afternoon. I was going to go to Mattawa this afternoon but since the convoy isn’t rolling through until tomorrow, not sure I can make it.  I know there is a lot of controversy surrounding this movement but I do support our energy sector as well as my country.  Enough politics.  The fishing dropped off yesterday due to the storm that went through on Friday.  High pressure does it every time.  It is extremely cold with a wind chill of -33 this morning and isn’t due to warm up until the full moon.  Unfortunately the warm up will mean more snow.  Still have a few days of sunshine before that so enjoy!

February 16, 2019 - 5:27 a.m.

Although the moon won’t be full for a few days, it sure is beautiful this morning.  It’s big and red, or at least it was at 4:00 this morning.  Casting a beautiful moon beam over the bay lighting everything up.  As with every full moon, it has ushered in some weather.  It was quite mild yesterday morning but the snow just kept coming and then in the afternoon, the wind shifted from the west to the north and it’s quite chilly with the windchill this morning.  It’s only registering -11 but feels like -23 as it is still blowing close to 25 km.  It was peaking at close to 75 km yesterday, howled all night, it snowed for most of it and there is lots of drifting.  You can see all the snow dunes on the lake even though the sun isn’t up (because of the bright moon) so it’ll be tough running this morning until the path gets packed down.  Dan had a heck of a day yesterday.  Lots of snow removal with the tractor and then had to start running our guests around noon.  It was blowing Dan all over, visibility wasn’t good at all, was tough going through all the snow and the drifting around the huts is terrible as they are a good 8’ high.  Getting the peoplemover going when it’s full is difficult but using vehicles is out of the question.  Just way too much snow.  Mitch is coming in to help out today so between the two of them, hopefully they can figure something out.  Thankfully we have lots of ice this year because anything less wouldn’t have been able to handle the snow load.  I didn’t stop yesterday either but didn’t have the problems Dan had to contend with. Also I had some help as Lori came in yesterday and was a godsend.  She cleaned a couple of cottages for our noon check ins and then, bless her heart, shovelled the last cottage for me as I had petered out.  Or rather my back basically told me to screw off.  I’m hurting today but the physical work shouldn’t be too bad.  Although there is some shovelling to do again, it’s not going to be me.  Other than clearing a few spots to feed the birds, that’s it for me for a few days...I hope.  I took a video yesterday afternoon of the property and it really doesn’t show the snow we have in the capacity we have it.  We’ve at least 3 feet of snow right now.  Setting new records like crazy this year.

February 15, 2019 - 5:49 a.m.

This snow can just screw off anytime now!  It’s getting ridiculous!  This is our busiest weekend of the season as we have a large company group and Mother Nature thought it’d be cool to give us another dumping.  Dan is exhausted and spent most of the day on ice jacking and banking huts yesterday while I did a necessary town run.  There is so much snow in the Walmart parking lot I couldn’t find a parking spot close enough to the doors  that would prevent me from hauling a heavy weighed-down cart to the back 40.  Since I wasn’t wrestling with a cart, I didn’t go to Walmart and instead just hit the grocery store.  We’ll have to make do.  Dan will have to suck it up and use my toothpaste instead of his preferred brand.  Lol.  Poor guy though, he really is wrung out and was in bed by 7:00 last night.  Has been a long week for him and now he has this latest snow battle to contend with.  He said there are no decent “landings” by the huts anymore as the drifts are so bad even though he tried packing the snow down yesterday.  Mike came over yesterday to give him a hand and they ran the path to get it packed down as well.  Now we have another layer, snow is still coming down and they’ve issued another weather statement which predicts this will be a long snow event with another 20 cm and high winds (aka drift makers).  Going to be tough pulling in this stuff and don’t know that dragging the path will even help.  Need lots of constant sled traffic (or a plow which isn’t happening).  Dan is going to be a busy busy boy over the next few days.  And he makes it look so easy...

February 14, 2019 - 5:22 a.m.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.  We have no Thursday arrivals this week likely because, well, it’s Valentine’s Day.  Lol.  We do have a full house beginning tomorrow and it’s one of our busiest weekends.  We (mostly Dan) managed to dig ourselves out yesterday but it will be short lived as we have another storm due to hit later this afternoon into tomorrow.  Another 10-20 cm of snow.  We really don’t have any place to put it now.  I have got to get to town today as I haven’t done a really big run for a while and need to stock up on supplies as well as run a few more errands.  Going to get going ASAP so I miss all the snow but apparently the yellow vest convoy of trucks is due in the city today on route to Ottawa so don’t want to get caught in that either.  The fishing was pretty good for our guests yesterday and I think everyone was happy.  Check-outs this morning before I can get going but I’ve a few things to do prior to going to town anyhow.  Donna and Mitch are stuck at the Toronto airport after their flight home from Mexico.  They landed last night but the connecting flight to North Bay was cancelled and they’ve cancelled the flight this morning.  May be able to get on a later one but there is also the airport shuttle passenger van.  It’s one of those times when it would be really nice to have Ontario Northland running again.  Sometimes you realize just how isolated we are up here.

February 13, 2019 - 5:36 a.m.

Wild times peeps, wild times!  Quite the blizzard yesterday!  Can’t even begin to guess the total snow accumulation as the drifting is so bad.  Let’s just say we received our fair share and the snow is going to be around until July.  Lol.  Funny, not funny.  The storm didn’t start until 1:00 yesterday afternoon and thankfully didn’t come in like a hammer but once it started picking up momentum, it didn’t let up.  Dan left our guests on the ice all day but had a heck of a time getting them in.  He left them on ice until 5:00 but wasn’t waiting any longer.  He certainly wasn’t going to get caught in a blizzard after dark.  Thankfully he was able to cram everyone in as there was no way he could have done two runs.  Guests didn’t realize how bad it was and that’s likely a good thing.  Our neighbour Mike shadowed Dan the entire time he was on the ice and thank God for gps.  Couldn’t see squat pulling them in and the peoplemover was sideways for most of the trip back to shore.  Mike said he’s lived here for 58 years and has never seen it this bad on Lake Nipissing before.  We have but we’ve never run in it before.  Dan has already gone out to start some snowblowing with the tractor since we are in a bit of a lull but there is still more snow to come.  I’ll be shovelling right shortly.  Going to take a few days to dig ourselves out and no idea where we are going to put all this snow.  Dan isn’t even going to attempt to see what the lake conditions are until first light but suffice it to say, there is going to be major drifting.  The path will need to be run several times before even attempting (or considering) taking people out.  Dan had a hard time finding a landing area while picking everyone up last night and had to park 100’ from the huts.  It’ll be even worse this morning.  May not be able to run at all as it’s going to take most of the day to pack all the snow down.  People are oblivious and Dan tends to make things look easy.  It’s one thing to run a sled through all this snow, another to pull through it.  I just hope our guests understand but this is something out of our control.

February 12, 2019 - 5:51 a.m.

We’ve checked the weather this morning and looks like the storm is going to hit around 1:00 this afternoon at the latest.  They’ve lowered the wind forecast a tad but it’s still going to be dangerous on Lake Nipissing come this afternoon.  With wind gusts to 70 km and heavy snowfall, there will definitely be blizzard conditions for the entire region.  For those naysayers out there, you need to realize it’s not just about snowfall, it’s more about the wind.  There will be drifting and blowing snow which means transporting people is impossible as the peoplemover won’t make it through the drifts and the whiteouts make it impossible to see even with our awesome treeline.  Case in point, remember earlier in the season the truck that got turned around on the lake and ended up 6 km in the wrong direction before burying his truck just off our beach?  Sorry people but we don’t play that game. When lives are in our hands, we’d rather be overly cautious.  Dan is taking the guys out this morning (that were on route yesterday when I rebooked the arrivals due today) and letting them stay out as long as possible but I suspect they’ll be back on shore by noon.  The problem with Nip is the weather comes up so quickly, Dan needs time to transport so he’ll be watching the weather all morning, I’m sure.  All buses have already been cancelled and I suspect there will be only skeleton crews in the stores come this afternoon and tomorrow.  Can’t say how this will play out, just have to hunker down, wait and see.  Stay safe everyone and no travelling if you can avoid it.

February 11, 2019 - 8:39 a.m.

Sorry I’m late this morning.  I’ve been on the phone cancelling our midweeks as we are in for quite the event starting tomorrow at noon.  This will be the third Colorado low in a week but the one coming through tomorrow is going to be horrible.  We are expecting blizzard conditions with 80 km winds and a foot of snow beginning around noon tomorrow through Wednesday evening.  Unfortunately there is a group on route so they can at least fish today and possibly tomorrow morning but that’ll be it.  They’ll just need to hunker down in the cottage and play some cards.  Dan is preparing for everything today and making sure the generator is ready to rock as losing power is a distinct possibility.  I hope everyone with huts on the ice have the sense to tie everything down so we don’t get the debris flying around like the last storm.  I can predict Wednesday afternoon will be spent digging us out.  What a winter!

February 10, 2019 - 4:40 a.m.

Yesterday was a lot better weather wise but unfortunately the fishing wasn’t very good.  I knew when the winds blew things were going to drop off but it’s not very pleasant for the fishermen.  There were plenty of fish being marked but they just weren’t taking the bait offerings.  According to all the fishing forums for Lake Nipissing, it was pretty much dead on the whole lake yesterday :(  I was in bed and asleep by 10:00 last night but woke up around 2:00 and that was it for me.  Laid there with my mind racing for a couple of hours and finally gave up the ghost around 4:00 and made myself a coffee.  I woke Dan up (unintentionally, I was being quiet, honestly) but he’s a god and had no problem getting back to sleep.  We have one group fishing this morning and everyone else is checking out so my morning will be busy.  I’ve cottage laundry to get done for our Monday check-ins so that to do as well today.  Karen is coming in this morning to clean a couple of cottages so at least I don’t have that to contend with.  Since I’m up and have a few hours to kill I’m thinking I’ll get started on some hearty soup.  Don’t know what kind but I’ll figure it out once I root around in the fridge.  Going to be a nice sunny day today with temperatures fairly seasonal.  Might get a warm up this week with some badly needed snow.  Gato was up and pretty adamant about wanting food so looks like he’s made it through the winter as the -40 stuff should be pretty much over now.  That the toughest cat I’ve ever seen in my life but then, he’s a northerner ;)

February 9, 2019 - 6:29 a.m.

Poor Dan had a heck of a day yesterday!  The winds were absolutely terrible and with the freezing rain/rain storm of the previous night, Lake Nipissing was a skating rink.  Transporting people was scary stuff as the wind kept lifting the peoplemover and Dan was actually having to tack on his trips to avoid being blown over.  They said the winds were gusting to 77 km but no one thought that was accurate.  The huts were rocking and one of our big ones actually was blown off its blocks.  There was debris flying everywhere and our on ice snow shovel went for a joyride down the ice.  No idea where it ended up.  The fishing was on fire during all this but now that the front is completely in, the pressure is really high, the winds still blowing about 50 km and the wind chill is in the 30’s.  It is suppose to warm up this afternoon to -19 with the windchill and the sun is going to shine but I bet the fishing has dropped off.  Dan is currently on ice making sure the holes are still open as they probably started to freeze over with the wind seeping in the huts last night.  Plus the lack of banking may be a problem until we get some more snow.  Most of the fishermen were totally oblivious last night coming in and I don’t think Dan was ever so happy to hit shore as he was after his last run last night.  Hopefully that’s it for the nastiness for the rest of the season.  Mother Nature has a way of saying “watch this” though...

February 8, 2019 - 6:09 a.m.

Wow, had quite the event yesterday.  The freezing rain started around 5:00 and was still coming down when we went to bed at 9:00.  Quite a bit of ice was covering everything but as the temperature warmed up overnight, the ice changed to rain.  It doesn’t appear slushy around the house and at least the rain dissolved a lot of the ice and softened things up so we can at least have enough grip to walk but Dan is worried about the huts as the winds are gusting right now.  He’s just heading out to make sure they haven’t blown off their blocking, or worse.  I’m sure they’ll be fine as the banking would have been rock hard after the ice storm.  Likely lost some of it but not all of it.  The fishing was on fire last night.  Flurry of walleye started around 4:00 but was over by six.  With the winds blowing WSW and low pressure, should be good again today but who can predict.  Guests checked in just before the storm hit yesterday and the rest are in today by noon but assume they’ll be a little late.  Also have guests checking out this morning so will be another busy day.  Dan’s on his own this weekend but thankfully we have good samaritans in the hood if required.  At least Dan doesn’t have to run in -40 as the temperatures will be fairly mild, currently -3.

February 7, 2019 - 6:10 a.m.

I forgot to mention in my blog yesterday that the same day I hit our snowmobile, Dan took the railing off the deck of one of our cottages with his tractor.  He has since fixed it as well as doing a lot of other piddly maintenance jobs yesterday.  Our fishermen need to go a little easier on us.  Lol.  And Dan needs to learn how to drive a tractor.  Just kidding, he’s mad enough at himself without me razzing him.  It’s all fixed so it doesn’t matter.  The weather forecast this morning is a tad confusing.  There is a special weather statement for snow, freezing rain, rain as the mild weather comes through for all of 12 hours but then there is also a “special weather forecast statement ended” so I don’t know what to believe.  You can bet your bippy Dan will be glued to his iPad today keeping a hawk eye on things.  It’s not the precipitation that is the problem, it’s the condition of our path and whether he’s able to transport our guests.  Most of the extremely mild, above zero, thawing weather is due overnight but the winds early tomorrow morning will hopefully firm things up for the morning run.  Considering the wind was blowing straight east for most of the day yesterday, our guests did well fishing.  Glen Hewson’s group of 4 caught 42 fish yesterday including a couple of small pike and a large bass.  The pike were released but they brought home a good feed of perch.  They had a competition going between the men and women so just goes to show when you’re diligent with your lines, a feast abounds.

February 6, 2019 - 5:53 a.m.

It seems my doom and gloom the night before last might have had something to it.  I went over to our little cottage yesterday morning to grab the laundry and the main door was open.  Seems the wind got a hold of it but thankfully it wasn’t blown completely open so as a result only the kitchen faucet was frozen.  Dan and Mitch took a look at it and were able to thaw it out with the hair dryer but we were seriously worried a pipe would burst once everything completely thawed out.  We dodged a bullet.  Guess I need to listen to my intuition more often and save myself some grief.  Dan spent the day on ice cleaning huts and I never stopped either.  I finished the laundry so Lori can clean a couple of cottages this morning.  I also emptied and cleaned the minnow tank and ugh of all ugh’s, cleaned out the “cat’s” room including their three litter boxes.  Did a little house cleaning but really need to give the house some major TLC.  Going to continue on with that today.  Our guests are heading on ice at 7:30 this morning and am just hoping they catch some fish.  Not quite sure how this inclement weather has affected the bite.  Donna and Mitch were suppose to be in Mexico right now but due to the freezing rain, have had their flights out of North Bay cancelled twice.  They are able to get out today but have an ice storm in Toronto to contend with.  I think they’ll be fine today as the storm will just be getting started when they are due to depart for Puerto Vallarta and Toronto does have much better facilities for dealing with the elements.  May have to de-ice the plane though.  We have more freezing rain headed our way tomorrow and possibly Friday so a little concerned about our guests arrivals.  We also have American guests due to arrive today via Toronto airport this afternoon.  What an awful week for weather...

February 5, 2019 - 8:38 a.m.

Another sleepless night for me last night.  Gravol didn’t even take me to slumberland.  For some reason, a feeling of despair or doom and gloom, whatever you want to call it, came over me and I couldn’t shake it.  I did finally drift off in the wee wee hours and then had to rush to get our guests checked out as I overslept which is why the blog is so late.  It’s all good this morning but I haven’t watched/read the news yet.  Lol.  We did lose our palapa on the beach overnight.  The roof totally collapsed so that’s a mess to contend with.  Won’t be a big job but the roof is big enough to fill a garbage trailer.  We likely won’t replace it as our big maple tree provides enough beach shade but it was a nice addition while it lasted.  Too much snowload compiled with the freezing rain contributed to its demise.  Poor maintenance schedule I guess.  We aren’t too concerned about our buildings as they are steel roofs and made to withstand heavy load capacities but when they do come down, there is going to be a ton of snow to move.  This February thaw didn’t last long and now the wind is howling and everything has firmed right back up.  Not sure what the conditions on Lake Nipissing are as Dan hasn’t been out yet but the snow has compacted I just hope it’s not like cement.  Too hard on the equipment when it’s like that.

February 4, 2019 - 6:18 a.m.

Wow, what a day we had yesterday!  Not in a good way either, lol.  Neither one of us stopped from the time we got up.  I didn’t even have time to update my blog in the morning.  Early and then steady check outs, check ins shortly after lunch and then a few mishaps.  I backed into one of our sleds with my car.  I knew it was there but had cottage garbage piled up in the back of my car and couldn’t see out of the back of my window, was in a hurry and had a little accident.  Didn’t do much damage, couple of scrapes and bent the ski sleeve but it being plastic and Dan being a semi-god, was able to fix it by heating it with the blow torch and re-moulding it.  Geez.  Thankfully Lori was able to come in and get two cottages cleaned for our guest arrivals who did catch fish yesterday afternoon.  More guests arriving Tuesday and Wednesday so I’ll be finishing the cottage laundry today.  Karen is due in to clean a few cottages but we have had light freezing rain since yesterday morning and everything is covered in içe so not sure if she’ll be able to make it in.  If that’s the case, I’ll be cleaning this morning.  Donna and Mitch were suppose to be on their way to Mexico this morning but their flight was cancelled.  The weather has just been nuts this year.  Way too much snow (the most on record since they started recording it in 1988) and cold, cold, cold.  Now that the weather has finally started warming up we have freezing rain thrown at us.  Still calling for it through this afternoon so hopefully Dan won’t have too much trouble with this February thaw which is suppose to end tonight.  More seasonal temperatures in the long term so that’s a positive.  At least Moose Creek hasn’t been giving us grief this year.  Another positive.  It’s been too cold and there is lots of ice but the snowload on the lake is ridiculous with more in the forecast this week.

February 2, 2019 - 5:36 a.m.

Had a busy day yesterday but at least the temperature was a little more reasonable and conducive to outside work for the boys.  Still, the wind had a bite.  Looks like it’s going to be great for fishing outside today though.  Temperature is currently -9 rising to -6 with the pressure falling and snow flurries.  Fishing was good yesterday with everyone catching so should be even better today.  We have some avid fishermen this weekend as well as some newbies to the sport and everyone seems happy enough.  I did a town run with one eye closed as I was running on empty but managed to stay awake all day.  Lol.  I was in bed and sound asleep by 9:00 last night.  Didn’t hear a thing.  I’m going to make a batch of beef vegetable soup for Mitch and Dan’s lunch as soon as everyone is on the ice but I have a lunch date with the girls today.  I’m hoping to wash my car beforehand since it’s finally warm enough to not freeze my car up.  See how my morning goes.

February 1, 2019 - 5:52 a.m.

Well that was a night’s sleep I’ll never get back.  I tossed and turned all night and actually saw 4:00 this morning only to have the alarm aka Dan, wake me up at 5:30.  Looks like I’ll be running on coffee fumes today.  All our Thursday arrival guests were in by around 8:00 but we still have a couple of groups arriving this morning.  I know the last nighters were all tucked in early so must have some avid fishermen here this weekend.  Good to see as I think with the warming trend coming our way, the fishing will be fairly good.  Mitch is coming in first thing this morning to help Dan who just headed out to make sure everything is good to go on the ice.  He opened all the huts last night so they should be toasty warm this morning.  Neither one of us stopped yesterday and I made time to prepare a beautiful roast beef supper.  The leftovers should make some mighty fine soup tomorrow.  I have a small town run this morning which I am combining with a previously booked appointment (otherwise I’d be going back to bed).  All Dan heard about my morning excursion is I’m bringing he and Mitch home a sub for lunch.  Lol.

January 31, 2019 - 7:24 a.m.

We slept in this morning...because we could.  We’re slammed for the next two weeks solid so took advantage.  The current temperature with windchill is -44.  The good news is, it’s suppose to be the last really cold night for the next couple of weeks.  Be nice but I’m sure that forecast will change.  We both had a very busy day yesterday.  Karen and Lori came in and cleaned the cottages since it was a fairly mild day yesterday and all our guests arrive today.  I was able to finish my books so my 4th quarter and year end is finished.  I also had some other office work to catch up on, some of which involved phone calls.  Everything involving customer service, it seems nowaday, takes forever to get resolved by the time you get finished with “please listen to the following options”.  Just give me a bloody person.  Lol.  Dan, Mitch and Mike spent a good part of the day on the ice moving huts.  It was so windy out on the lake they were having to take breaks to keep warm but managed to get everything finished.  Dan said slush had started to form around the huts and some had moats which I’m sure have tightened up overnight.  Just too much snow on the ice right now.  There is more snow in the long term as well as considerable rain early next week.  We should consider ourselves lucky because we haven’t had a rain event yet this season and conditions have been perfect.  Some of this snow does need to melt though so hoping the rain doesn’t deteriorate the ice conditions.  Guess we’ll cross that bridge when it comes.  Looking at the forecast, I’m thinking fishing is going to be really good this weekend.

January 30, 2019 - 6:37 a.m.

Was a very busy “dig ourselves out of the snow” day yesterday.  Honestly, it’s a bit ridiculous now.  At this rate, we’ll still have snow around in July.  Dan was on the tractor for a good part of the day and after the laundry and housework in the morning, I did some shovelling to dig out the house and cottage decks.  That was enough for me but it was actually a beautiful day out.  The sun was shining and not a lot of wind so very serene and peaceful.  And the grosbeaks returned.  Love them so that made my day.  Today I’ve got to settle in to the office and finish my books.  I only have 2-3 hours worth of work and it needs to be done.  Tackling that this morning and then cleaning the minnow tank this afternoon.  Lori and Karen are coming in this morning as well to clean the remaining cottages as all our guests are checking in tomorrow.  Dan and Mitch will be on ice today moving huts and rebanking.  Dan was out there briefly yesterday with our neighbour Mike.  They ran the path to pack it down after the big snowfall and discovered huge banks around all the huts to the point you had to slide down into the doors.  They packed them down as well to knock the air out of the snow.  Slush is starting to form on some areas of the lake due to the heavy insulation of too much snow and truck traffic has pretty much come to a stop, at least for now.  Two more cold nights and then the next two weeks according to the long term forecast, will be very mild compared to the deep freezes we’ve been experiencing.  Bring it!

January 29, 2019 - 7:31 a.m.

I am so glad there are understanding people in this world.  We decided to cancel our mid week’s yesterday and rebook them for a later date and so glad they were nice enough to accommodate us.  Many thanks as No one really should have been out long in those temperatures.  It was -47 here yesterday and just brutally cold and nasty.  Many rural areas lost power (thankfully not us), they cancelled the buses and even the mail service.  Quite a few businesses closed down due to the temperatures.  I needed to rush into town first thing in the morning (before the snow hit) and I was surprised my car started but my car door wouldn’t close until once my vehicle warmed, up which took a good hour.  The door handle on our house actually broke when I turned the knob and the key broke off in one of the cottages.  All metal was brittle and dangerous and had we run, likely would have caused damage to our equipment if left in the cold for a prolonged period of time.  Nope, nope, nope.  We had a flock of grosbeaks wintering here and they all disappeared yesterday which makes me sad.  Can’t blame them for wanting to fly to a warmer clime.  Haven’t seen Gato for a couple of days so am hoping he’s taken shelter somewhere.  It started snowing around 3:00 yesterday, as forecasted, and hasn’t stopped.  It is lightly snowing right now but there is another cell due to hit us shortly and if it continues on the same trajectory will dump a considerable amount more.  If the wind picks up today, we’ll have white out conditions so be cautious if on the ice today.  They’ve cancelled the school buses again today which seems like a weekly occurrence this year.  Dan will need to push snow but don’t think he should bother until this next system is finished.  It was a little windy earlier this morning so I’m guessing there’s quite a bit of drifting.  Lake Nipissing won’t be friendly for truck traffic for a while.  And to think Dan wants to move huts this week...

January 28, 2019 - 5:52 a.m.

Whoa!  Woke up to the thermometer reading -38.  Really getting tired of these -30 temperatures and it’s only going to get colder before the sun is fully up.  Says it’s -45 with the wind chill.  Speaking of wind, it came in like a hammer yesterday.  If there would have been snow, it would have been a full on blizzard but it was dangerous enough without it.  Ushered in the cold front quite quickly and it’s going to be pretty cold for most of the week.  Our last group for the weekend were out in those conditions yesterday and although the fishing slowed down for them they still caught about 30 walleye and some perch.  Going to be nasty cold today but they are calling for substantial snow later this afternoon through tomorrow morning.  Really?  I’d like to know where Mother Nature suggest we put it all.  The intersections all over the area are getting dangerous as you can’t see around the snow piles and the sidewalk banks are 5-6 feet tall.  Going to need to start trucking it pretty soon.  Everyone checked out by noon yesterday except one last group, including the dude who had to leave his snowmobile here.  Bet that was a long drive home for him.  Lol.  I picked at the cottage laundry but didn’t get it all finished so will continue on with that today.  I also have a couple of hours of bookwork to finish.  I really want to zip into L’Ami’s this morning and get some more birdfeed as I’ve ran out and in this temperatures, the little critters really need it.  Donna and Karen are coming in to clean today and Lori tomorrow as well as check ins this afternoon.  Dan will be cleaning huts (or at least a couple) today and will likely be doing snow removal tomorrow so we’ve lots on our plate.  

January 27, 2019 - 5:41 a.m.

It was a pretty good day for the most part yesterday.  Dan and Mitch got everyone on ice and everyone was pretty happy with the fishing.  Lots of fish caught but the prize jewel was an 8 lb hog walleye which was released after a few pics were taken.  And good for Vince, the angler, for doing that.  I worked in the office on my books for most of the day while Mitch puttered doing odd jobs as Dan had to zip into town for  parts.  We did have a little excitement later on just before the boys had to haul everyone to shore.  A couple of unruly drunk men on sleds who had no business being here, stirred up some trouble. Dan actually had to tackle one of them off their machine as the guy was way too drunk to drive it back to North Bay, where he was staying.  We confiscated his machine, which is still here, and sent him packing in a cab.  There is no doubt in my mind, Dan saved that fellow from killing himself and I just hope when he sobers up today that he realizes that.  Should be interesting today to see what transpires but I’m hoping this fellow doesn’t cause anymore problems.  Not something our guests need to be exposed to because they know we run a respectful professional business.  The joys of being a camp owner.  Lol.

January 26, 2019 - 4:51 a.m.

I am so happy yesterday is a thing of the past.  It was the day from hell for me.  Among other things, I had good intentions and wanted to spend the day in the office on my books and instead ended up of the phone for most of it.  Had major computer problems.  Technology and I do not get along and it stresses me out when things don’t work properly.  Cold temperatures are usually the culprit.  Not only that but just before I was headed out to the shop, Grady (our cat) started meowing his face and off going nuts.  I looked outside and there was a poor Grosbeak laying in the snow outside our sliding glass door which she had obviously flown into.  I tried warming her up but she wouldn’t fly away so I took her back to the shop with me and put her in my “rescue” bird cage.  I tried to get her to fly a few times over the course of a few hours.  Stuck her in a tree for 1/2 hour but when I checked on her, she was still there so took her back inside for warmth.  It took about 4-5 hours but eventually, she did fly away so she must have been quite dazed.  Hope she found her mate or at least a friend to cuddle with last night as the temperature has plunged to -32.  It is due to warm up but may take some time.  Much nicer temperatures for later today and this evening but colder again tomorrow night and then the weather should turn and be much more seasonal for February.  I hope.  Fishing was better for some than others yesterday.  One group nailed the walleye and brought home 5 keepers.  Nice little snack.

January 25, 2019 - 7:16 a.m.

I’m a little later than usual this morning.  My intentions were bed by 9:00 last night but good intentions don’t always prevail.  Some of our guests were joy riding on their Argo last night and kept waking Dan and I up so guess I’ll be talking to them about that.  Lol.  Dan was up at 5:00 but I rolled over and fell back to sleep until I heard him bellow, “Lynn, I’m going on the ice” which is my clue to get my butt out of bed.  He doesn’t have to do that often but this morning was an exception.  The fellows that fished yesterday afternoon absolutely nailed the walleye.  Said they caught over 50 once the bite started at around 3:45.  I’m thinking the fishing is going to be really good today as it usually is just before a storm and we have a change in weather coming in today but more likely overnight.  The majority of our guests all checked in last night but we still have one cottage checking in this evening so I hope they will get some good fishing in tomorrow at least.  We had quite the dumping of snow to get rid of yesterday.  I did some shovelling but Dan did the bulk of the snow removal and then we woke up to more this morning.  It’s still snowing which makes the pulling conditions nice for the guys but we are running out of room to put all this white stuff.  It’s absolutely beautiful though.  Good for the insulation before the cold sets back in.

January 24, 2019 - 9:25 a.m.

I'm way late this morning but haven’t stopped since I got up at 5:30 even though it was suppose to be a “sleep in til 7” day.  Duty called and Dan’s also been going at it since he cracked his eyes open.  We received a major dumping of snow yesterday and we are still getting more today although it has tapered off just a tad.  Lots of digging out to do and Dan has been on the tractor since about 7:30.  I’ve lots to do including cottage laundry, cleaning the minnow tank, starting my books for year end and somewhere in there I need to make some bean soup for the boys lunch tomorrow and Saturday.  They might not like the same thing two days in a row but tough titty.  I’m busy.  Lol.  Our guests did pretty good yesterday.  Caught lots of walleye but only one keeper for them, had a couple of small pike and large perch yesterday though.  Had a great fry and took fish home so I’d say it was a successful trip.

January 23, 2019 - 5:36 a.m.

The weather finally broke and it was actually quite pleasant by mid afternoon yesterday.  The temperature rose just above -10 and it’s currently -8 rising to zero today.  I think the fishing will be on fire today as it was starting to improve yesterday afternoon; as it usually does when a low pressure system comes through.  One group of guests caught numerous walleye and perch with a few keepers but were extremely happy with the 14.2 lb pike they brought home.  Way to go Don Trask!  We seem to have quite a few big sized pike feeding around our hole so that tells me lots of perch in the vicinity.  Pretty sure they’ll be active today so hopefully everyone will be paying attention to their lines.  May just be one of those days you can only fish with one rod in order to keep up.  We had a little snow overnight and due for more today but think the bulk of it will stay south of us.  We could certainly use a little more snow but I think the thaw coming today should soften things up a bit.

January 22, 2019 - 5:51 a.m.

They finally lifted the cold weather warning first thing this morning.  Our temperature says -33 but apparently that is registering the windchill as it’s only -24 in the Bay.  Suppose to reach a balmy -10 today and will be shorts and t-shirt weather tomorrow at -3.  Lol.  Fishing may not be overly good today but I bet it’s on fire tomorrow.  Our guests did okay yesterday and brought home some perch but no keepers.  Today is another day.  I was looking out the window early yesterday morning and saw a large cat crouched in the driveway by the bird feeders.  I called “kitty, kitty, kitty” and he got up and started walking towards the neighbours.  It was no cat but rather a Lynx.  Too cool, it’s the first one I’ve ever seen and I managed to get a pic.  Gato hasn’t been up lately, likely skittish with a predator like that around but he came up last night.  I think it was very likely the lynx we saw when we came home from the restaurant Sunday night and was eating the dry food I had put out for Gato.  It took off as soon as we pulled in the driveway.  I’m not leaving food out until I see Gato now and only did to begin with due to the cold.  One of our guests couldn’t get their car started yesterday so Dan moved it into the shop.  I think it was close to 3:00 before the vehicle was warm enough to start.  I certainly hope that’s the last of the frigid stuff.

January 21, 2019 - 8:04 a.m.

We slept in until 7:00 this morning because we could.  Actually, we stayed up and watched the lunar eclipse last night which was phenomenal considering our location.  The stars were as bright as could be as well.  It was definitely a blood orangey red moon but man was it cold out.  Hit -44 with the windchill and registered -35 on the thermometer.  Now that the moon has peaked, let the warm up begin.  Don’t know why full moons always bring cold snaps in the winter but that’s the way it is.  Have guests checking out this morning, I have 3 ladies coming in to clean all the cottages at once as we have check ins at 11:00.  Dan isn’t even going out on ice until he sees the whites of their eyes.  Lol.  I can’t blame him one iota.  It was so cold yesterday I could only be outside for 10 minutes at a time before getting a full face freeze.  Even Dan’s gloves cracked from the cold.  Brutal.  Bring on some balmy weather!

January 20, 2019 - 5:51 a.m.

Another frigid day, to say the least, for our fishermen yesterday.  The fishing was a little slower than normal but they were still catching.  Quite a few keepers, perch (now that they’re on) and pike.  One gentleman said this is the most keeper walleye (5) he’s caught in years and was so happy he offered to pay for the trip for his entire group.  He said that last night after coming off the ice and having had a few drinks so will see what today brings when I check them out.  Lol.  We are still in the throes of less than desirable temperatures and it isn’t due to warm up until Tuesday now.  It’s -42 with the wind chill this morning and we are registering -27 at our place so imagine it might be a little windier on ice.  We could use some more snow to soften things up a bit as well.  Knock on wood but the ice conditions on Lake Nipissing have been terrific this year.  

January 19, 2019 - 5:29 a.m.

Holy shit is it cold!!  I man really cold!  Woke up to -30 but it’s closer to -45 with the wind chill and going to stay that way through the weekend.  Won’t be anyone fishing outside today because the holes will freeze up in minutes.  When Dan drilled yesterday, he said we have 23” of ice on the lake.  Lake Nipissing hasn’t seen that much ice in years, at least not this early in the winter.  Going to be a year for auger extensions I think.  The guys did pretty good fishing yesterday and it looks like the perch have finally come on.  Pike and walleye caught as well and one massive pike was lost at the whole when it got caught on the lip.  Today is another day.  We have several firemen and policemen in our groups this weekend so if this weather causes problems, we’re well covered.  Lol.  Dan has already let everyone know he can’t be running back and forth today in these temps so hopefully everyone is ready to rock for their scheduled ride times.  No sparing the heat this weekend, that’s for sure!

January 18, 2019 - 6:09 a.m.

Our midweek guests did okay fishing.  Helps if you pay attention to the lines.  Lol.  Every time Dan went out to check on them they had a fish, mostly perch, on their lines.  Our guests for the weekend started arriving last night and are heading out this morning at 7:00.  Hope they catch this morning because the nastiness is due to arrive around 3:00 this afternoon with gusty north winds up to 40 km.  I hope that’s all they gust to but regardless, it’s going to get really cold right through Monday.  Calling for -40 temps with the wind chill.  Crisp northern air but plenty of sunshine for the weekend.  Likely won’t be many fishing outside as the holes will freeze up quickly but the diehards always prevail.  The perch have started to bite now but aren’t fully feeding just yet.  Next couple of days will be interesting.  Full moon coming and it’s going to be super bright all weekend with the skies clear and no precipitation in the forecast.  

January 17, 2019 - 5:42 a.m.

What a day yesterday.  The morning storm ended up being a little more harrowing then we thought.  It wasn’t quite a blizzard as it wasn’t snowing too heavily but we did have complete whiteouts and the wind peaked at 72 km.  A poor fellow got turned around during the worse of it and ended up on our path heading to shore.  When conditions are that bad, it’s safest to get off the lake by whatever means necessary.  Unfortunately, due to the heavy drifting, he ended up burying his truck at the end of our beach and it took lots of time and a tractor to get it out.  At least everyone was safe.  The storm blew through and the sun came out for the rest of the day but it was cold.  Still is.  It hit -29 overnight but have a brief reprieve today as the temperature is rising to -10 but tomorrow through the weekend, it will be bitter cold.  To all our guests coming this weekend...bring your thermals as you are going to need to bundle up!

January 16, 2019 - 5:46 a.m.

It was a beautiful, calm, still evening last night when Dan was hauling our guests off the ice.  This morning, the wind woke me up and it’s something fierce.  Just howling with gusts up to 60 km and snow and even though the sun isn’t apparent yet, I’m guessing it’s white out conditions on Lake Nipissing at the moment.  Thankfully the rest of the group isn’t arriving until later this morning so Dan doesn’t need to run until later on.  The winds are suppose to die down but the temperature has started to drop with this latest cold front.  We had some temporarily relief from the frigid cold yesterday but are getting a repeat this weekend with the current forecast putting us at -30.  January is typically the coldest month of the year but hopefully this will be the last of the nostril sticking stuff.  I did a town run yesterday while the weather was better and the roads clear.  Wouldn’t want to be driving this morning and thankfully I don’t need to.

January 14, 2019 - 6:25 a.m.

Lucky us.  We got to sleep in for a bit this morning.  Our remaining guests aren’t checking out for a bit.  The fishing wasn’t half bad this weekend considering a lot of Lake Nipissing seemed to shut down during the cold snap.  I’m happy to say the snap is over, at least for a couple of days.  Temperature started rising overnight and went from -25 to the current -17 but is suppose to hit -4 today with possible flurries.  Pressure has also started to fall.  Still wondering where the perch are though.  A camera went down the hole over the weekend and there are hundreds of perch just sitting on the bottom but not even nibbling.  That tells me they haven’t begun feeding yet.  Also tells me the spawn may be late this year.  Everything revolves around temperature and oxygen levels but I’m guessing the perch may start to hit this week once things stabilize.  We are in for another cold snap this coming weekend but after that, it looks like the temperatures will become normal for this time of year so may take another week for the perch to get active.  Definitely been colder than normal this season.  I still can’t believe how tough Gato, our mascot cat, is.  He showed up last night in the frigid temperatures and was out there meowing for food again this morning.  White whiskers aside, he seems to be doing okay.

January 13, 2019 - 5:22 a.m.

If the weather gurus are accurate, today is the coldest it’s going to be for a few weeks and it’s #&*@ cold!!  It is currently -30 and will get a few degrees colder before the sun is fully up.  Good news for the ice conditions, bad news for the equipment.  Hopefully everything starts this morning.  We don’t spare the heat when it’s this cold, especially for this long.  Warm up starts today and calling for a balmy -15 tonight.  Hopefully everyone’s vehicles will start for those leaving today.  A couple of groups aren’t leaving until tomorrow.  Fishing has still been pretty good surprisingly but I know it has dropped off in other areas.  With the pressure remaining steady for a few days, that tends to help.  At least we’ve had some sunshine for a few days during this nostril sticking, hurt your lungs weather.

January 12, 2019 - 5:55 a.m.

Another frigid day and we’re in for another one.  This cold snap is going to stick around for a few more days yet.  Dan is already on the move this morning.  With risk of frostbite warnings up, he’s going to make sure the heat didn’t run out in the huts overnight.  Don’t want to bring our guests out to a cold shack.  The fish were biting yesterday although not as well as usual.  Still had a few keepers come to shore as well as a few perch.  Unfortunately, the perch still haven’t come on yet.  They should be starting to hit anytime though.  They are starting to filter in but it always takes a week or two after we open so I’m thinking when the warm front comes through next week we should see them in bigger numbers.  Tons of walleye though.  

January 11, 2019 - 6:01 a.m.

Ooooo, Dan is going to freeze his patootie off this morning!  It’s currently -25 but with the windchill, -37.  This morning is likely the coldest he’ll need to tolerate this weekend as things will warm up a tad.  The sun is also suppose to shine most of the weekend with little wind so that will help.  I stand corrected.  I thought for sure the fishing was going to suck for our guys yesterday afternoon but they said the bite started around 3:00 and never let up.  They were still biting when Dan picked them up at dark last night.  They managed a keeper so were happy about that.  We’ve a big group arriving first thing this morning so Dan has a good 3 runs but will make sure he keeps himself warm.  Mitch is coming in a little later to help out.  I zipped over to the vacant cottages last night to check the heat and water before going to bed (due diligence when it’s this cold) and talk about a breathtaking sky.  Once I got away from the lights, the sky was just full of stars.  Beautiful.  I didn’t get everything accomplished that I wanted to yesterday but today is another day.  I did bath my cats, much to their chagrin but once they dried off, were quite content at getting the winter grime off them.  I bathe them every 3 months or so just because they never go outside.  Poor Gato was waiting on his food last night with white whiskers from the cold.  He is definitely one tough Northern cat.

January 10, 2019 - 7:31 a.m.

Dan is going to have a cold day.  The temperature may only read -15 but the wind is blowing and it’s blowing cold so with the wind chill it feels more like -29.  Good thing he only has to run one group this afternoon.  I don’t think the fishing is going to be very good today and that’s experience talking but they might luck out. The wind is suppose to die down overnight so hopefully everything will stabilize for the weekend and our guests can catch some fish.  I’ve a few things on my agenda today that I’d like to get finished.  See how the day goes.  Some are business related and some aren’t.  

January 9, 2019 - 6:28 a.m.

It was above zero when we went to bed last night, a beautifully calm evening but it never lasts.  The wind woke me up around 4:00 this morning and is currently howling WNW.  Cold front is coming through which will mess with the fishing for a day or two and the temperature is dropping to -18 overnight.  The weekend looks to be sunny and steady so fishing should be good, I hope.  Dan spent the day clearing snow yesterday but we received a dusting overnight and calling for more today.  I don’t think it will be a major dumping but we may end up with snow dunes on Lake Nipissing.  Lori and Karen came in and managed to get all the cottages cleaned for us.  I actually felt quite guilty and am having a hard time giving up my duties but it is what it is.  Nothing can be done for it.  I’ve still plenty of work to keep me busy, just not as labour intensive.  I’ve my therapy appointment in town this morning so will do a few errands beforehand.  Gato was up last night and stuck around long enough for two bowls of food and two bowls of milk since the weather kept him sheltered somewhere earlier in the week.  I also saw the crow with the injured wing yesterday so he’s still around.  I’m sure he can’t fly long distances so really has no choice but to winter it here.  Just glad to see his family of 4 stuck with him. They are eating all the dead minnows I’ve been tossing so are actually doing me a favour.

January 8, 2019 - 5:29 a.m.

Thankfully we didn’t receive the rain the weather gods were calling for.  We did, however, receive a good 3” of heavy snow.  It’s going to be quite balmy today as the southwest winds bring in +2 tempteratures.  May see some freezing drizzle overnight but hopefully not.  I spent the entire day yesterday cleaning the cottage laundry.  Didn’t stop all day and finally finished up around 8:30 last night.  I’m taking a break from cottage cleaning this winter so Donna came in yesterday to clean one for me and I have two new recruits coming in this morning to help me out.  I have the cleaning down to a science and will share my wealth of knowledge (lol) so they should be fine.  Dan went out on the ice yesterday to check on things.  He was happy to see the large pressure crack was fine as it seems to have healed completely but there is another one that formed Sunday night due to the low temperature.  It shouldn’t be a problem either but we always need to keep an eye on them.  Especially during these days of such extreme temperature/weather fluctuations.  I didn’t book any midweekers this week due to training new cleaning staff so can’t report on the fishing right now.  There is a Facebook forum called “Lake Nipissing Ice Fishing Board” you can check out.  Lots of big fish being caught this year!

January 7, 2019 - 7:01 a.m.

There is a big storm on the way and all school buses in the area have been cancelled.  It is quite a large system and looks like we’ll get a considerable amount of snow.  Snow which may then turn to rain or freezing drizzle.  I certainly hope not.  With any luck it will petered out as storms sometimes do. I have all the cottage laundry to do today so guess it’s a great day to be inside.  Donna is coming in to clean today but she should be finished before things get too bad.  Living around the corner helps as I wouldn’t want anyone travelling too far today.  

January 6, 2019 - 6:00 a.m.

Dan just headed on ice to turn the heat back on in the huts.  He had to turn it off last night as the temperature was still hovering around zero when he picked the guys up to bring to shore.  Didn’t want moats this morning.  The fishing was really good again yesterday with several keeper walleye caught anywhere from 18.5” to 26.5” so a nice 6+ pound hog.  A few small pike and perch came to shore as well.  Dan had to zip into town for a new auger blade yesterday afternoon so Mitch was looking after the guys on the ice.  A fuse went on the bear cat so he ended up stuck on the ice for 1/2 hour until Dan got back and came to his rescue.  I couldn’t do much but Mitch was safe and warm so no worries.  I think the fishing may be okay this morning but it’s definitely going to drop off as the cold front comes in later this morning although the pressure has already risen so the fish may already have shut down.  We have die hard fishermen in this weekend so I hope for their sake they get one more good kick at the can.  It is only -4 right now but calling for winds to gust 50 km/hr today dropping the overnight temp to -18 but everyone is only fishing until noon today.  Oh, and the MNR are on the job.  Dan and Mitch went through a “check” on ice while hauling in last night.  Very professional gentlemen as were all our guests so no illegal fish (not to mention everyone on board were sober, lol).  

January 5, 2019 - 5:56 a.m.

The season has opened to a great start.  It’s hard to get any info out of fishermen but the fish were certainly biting yesterday.  Fishermen can catch 200 walleye in a day but if there aren’t any keepers, the fishing sucks.  Lol.  Lots of walleye in the 16-17” range caught, a few keepers, one hog weighed in at 8.5 pounds, a few pike and of course perch.  I’d say it was a very good day.  Mitch did well on his first day of learning and although I think he was a little nervous, he’ll be a pro by the end of the weekend.  It was very mild with the temperature hovering around +2 yesterday and is suppose to be basically the same today but the temperature is due to drop tonight so we may see some wind and a change in pressure later today.  Also may see some rain but we are hoping for snow if anything.  I did a town run yesterday and still couldn’t find a couple of items we need so looks like I may be shopping Amazon today.  Have some house chores and bookwork on my agenda today which may or may not happen.

January 4, 2019 - 5:50 a.m.

UPDATE:  I lied.  Snow is heavy and full of moisture.  Just finished shovelling the cottages out and that’s it for my workout today.  Dan is running the path to pack it down as he had a difficult time pulling six guys this morning.

And so it begins.  Dan is doing his first run of the season in about an hour.  Craig tested our fishing hole out for us yesterday as Dan and I were still scrambling to get everything ready and he said the walleye started biting around 3:00 yesterday afternoon.  He didn’t hit on any perch but nailed the walleye which were all 16-17” and did manage to get a keeper before heading home just around 4:30 or so.  The perch may not be on yet but Craig was fishing right at ground zero on our gps coordinates.  Today will tell the tale.  We received a couple of inches of snow overnight and it’s the good fluffy stuff.  Dan just got the property cleaned up from the last round of white stuff.  The pressure is currently low and it’s suppose to stay mild through to Sunday.  It’s currently just below zero so hope things don’t get slushy out on the lake.

January 3, 2019 - 6:20 a.m.

This morning temperatures are much more comfortable at -10 considering it took all day yesterday to warm up.  Man it was cold in the morning even with the sun shining.  Lots of work was done regardless of the temperatures.  Getting bait later today and then let the games begin.  

January 2, 2019 - 6:36 a.m.

Bbbrrrrrr!!  It’s bitterly cold this morning.  Our temperature is around the -30 mark, likely colder with the wind chill factor.  It’s only due to be that frigid today and will progressively warm up.  Going to be beautiful temperatures this weekend for our first guests of the season.  Dan banked all the huts yesterday since we thankfully received so much snow New Year’s Eve.  Just in time to insulate and protect everything, especially the ice.  Without the snow, it would have been cracking and booming all over Nipissing.  Getting reports the fishing is very good, at least it was yesterday.  Lots of keeper walleye with a lot being released.  Hopefully the same will apply once we get going.  Girls are coming in today to help me get the cottages organized now that the water and heat is on.  Shouldn’t take very long.

January 1, 2019

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

December 31, 2018 - 7:44 a.m.

Happy New Year’s Eve day everyone!  Wherever you travel, however you celebrate this evening, Dan and I hope you stay safe and happy and 2019 is a very good year for you all.  The weather in this neck of the woods doesn’t look like it’s going to be too good as they are calling for freezing rain followed by possibly 20 cm of snow.  Ugh.  We have been invited to Ginny and Craig’s so could huff it acr