It's been cold here with little snow for the last 3 weeks. As such, liquid places, like lakes, ponds, and rivers have developed a nice, deep crusty surface.
The St. Joe River, near my home is well-frozen, with about 1 to 1 1/2" of powdery snow on top. Perfect for an ice ride. I rode a little bit on the river last year, but ice conditions weren't good with a couple of big snows delaying good freezing conditions and making biking through the deep snow on the ice difficult.
Not so today. I rode 6 miles on the river upstream from Leo, IN, to just south of Spencerville, IN. Unfortunately, my rechargeable camera battery didn't have enough juice to record the event, but I was able to take a crappy photo with my old cell phone.
The 4-wheelers and snowmobilers (and 1 dirt bike) have been out on the river, snow I knew the ice was safe. What I didn't expect was the quiet, peaceful, and easy ride made possible with no traffic whatsoever. Alex and I have canoed this stretch of river, so the landmarks were familiar, but looked different sitting so high above the water, er, ice.
The river is a great place to see birds, and today was no different. I saw 4 red tailed hawks and 1 great blue heron. The heron must be getting food from some of the holes in the ice where creeks flow into the river. I saw some heron foot prints in the snow, but didn't believe there would still be a heron hanging around. Silly beast!
Anyway, we don't have any significant snow in the 10-day forecast, so I'm excited about some ice bikin'.
An an unrelated note, my daughter, Georgia, announced she will be swimming with the Polar Bears on New Year's Day. She has made her mother and I so proud!