Sunday, February 27, 2011

What a beautiful day out on the lake..NOT!

My dear, dear husband decided today (well, actually a Friday ago), that instead of driving around the lake to get to OshKosh, we would drive straight across..EEKK!  The lake, Lake Winnebago, of course, is frozen. The ice is reported at 20 inches thick today. 

This is as we are coming down the hill to one of the many off ramps onto the water.  You can see the 'plowed road', on the ice.  There are actually two roads. You can just see the second one off to the right.

Uuugg. This doesn't look so hot. Maybe we should go back. Ack! He says, its fine.  The metal tracks are actually laid from shore onto the ice, over a large crack that had formed. #1 rule when driving on the lake? Take OFF your seatbelt!  #2 rule? Look out for the holes.

This is just off shore.  We chose the right hand road, and later switched to the left hand one. 

Notice the Christmas trees?  These are actually mile markers. The various fishing clubs around the lake are responsible for 'ice maintenance', so to speak. They plow the roads, and monitor other things. They also take a Christmas tree collection each year.  The members drive out on the lake and bore holes in the ice every 1/10th of a mile along the main plowed roads.  At the one mile out point, they put a very large tree. At the two mile out point, two trees together, three miles, three trees together and so on. Each club usually goes out 3-5 miles and meets up near the middle with the club from that area on the other side.  This way, if a person gets turned around, or snow blinded, they only have to find a tree line to help get back.  After sturgeon season is over, when the ice starts to first get 'funny', the clubs remove the trees, rather than let them fall to the bottom.

At this point we were so far from nowhere, all you could see was ice and snow. The road was very rough in some places, and it was a very sunny day. This caused a lot of surface melting, so there were places on the road with standing water. This was VERY scary, as you just can't see what is under there. At one point, we left the road due to a large dark spot of standing water that looked too scary to drive through. We almost got stuck several times, and I really had to go. You know, GO!

So here is the last photo. This was taken just after exiting the lake. Whew! It was a nice experience, really, but I never want to do it again. 

Three days later, the news said 3 trucks went through the ice and one man died. Again, I say... I never want to drive across the lake again.


  1. I don't know how you did it. I would have jettisoned out of the passenger door and sat sobbing on the shoreline.

  2. The thought did cross my mind, but I had on the wrong shoes (stupid), there was 6 inches of slush on the surface, VERY high wind that day, and I couldn't leave dear husband and daughter to die without me, sigh...

  3. Sing with me....And we will all go together when we gooooo......

  4. Not a chance I would take! Of course I live in the south so I don't have to worry much about frozen lakes. I am guessing you went the long way home.