Saturday, February 21, 2009

Houghton Lake Trip Day Two

Morning came early and cold! At least Chuck and I were cold, the boys fared pretty well sleeping on the top bunk, heat rises! I got up and began to cook some breakfast on the camp stove. It wasn't long until the shanty smelled of bacon, sausage and eggs! A breakfast fit for a king! We all ate our fair share of good food that morning! Hey if you not catching any fish, you might as well eat good I say! By the time we got up and around andthe breakfast dishes done, the weather had changed drastically!

Breakfast On The Stove

By 9 or 10 am the snow began to come down heavily and the wind was something fierce! By noon it was a complete white out! The snow was coming down and blowing so hard you could barely see the near shore to the south some 300 to 400 feet away! The north shoreline was completely gone! You couldn't tell where the ice ended and the sky began! It came down like this for the entire day! We did go to shore once during the day to see what was going on at the bait shop, Lyman's. Chip and Dave were there working along with Lyman Foster the owner. We sat and talked a while about the bait shop and the fishing there. They apologized about us not catching any fish, I told them they couldn't control the weather, but they felt bad that we weren't catching anything. I told them it was all about the experience any ways! Chip and Dave had caught a few fish for a tv crew that was coming up to do a story, since the crew had left they gave us the fish to eat that night! I thought that was pretty cool of those guys. Only problem was that we didn't have any cooking oil, so I went to town and bought a bottle.

I thought we were going to have a good ol fish fry that evening. Fellow Up North Journal Pro Staffer Jim Stephan came up with his wife and another couple to fish for the day. They weren't catching anything either, so we invited them to join us for a fish dinner. Time slipped by quickly and they headed to shore for the evening so we didn't cook the fish up.

During the day it was extremely hard to keep the tip up holes cleaned and free of ice. It was an every 15 minute job to go and clean holes. One fisherman nearby drilled a hole with his power auger down about half way through the 22 inch thick ice and left his auger standing in the hole. It didn't take long for it to freeze in the hole. Mikey was kind enough to head to shore on the atv and grab an ice spud for the couple. They freed up the auger and then Mikey gave them both a ride back to shore. The couple gave him $10 and their leftover bait to use. It pays to be a good Samaritan!

Ice Build Up On The Tip Ups

As I mentioned the ice was about 22 inches thick, there were vehicles all over the ice. You could hear the ice crack everytime a truck drove past the shanty. It got my attention on more than one occassion. Before evening set in we asked Dave from Lyman's for a shovel to bank in the shanty. He brought one out for us on one of his shuttle runs. We took the snow around the shanty and filled in around the shanty to keep the wind from blowing in that night. It made a huge difference in how warm it was.

Looking Out Our Window At A Car On The Ice

Evening set in and the winds died down a little but the snow continued to fall that evening. We must have gotten about 6 inches of fresh snow. The snowmobile riders loved it, they were zipping all over the lake that evening. It sounded like a bee hive around there. We all bundled up and turned in for the evening by around 9pm that night. We slept much warmer that evening. Although Jake woke up burning up. He was in his underware and no sleeping bag! Remember heat rises. I thought I was going to have to flip him over like a piece of bacon, but we made it through the night.

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