Come March, it’s easy to get caught up in lamenting the creek’s present impaddleability. However, as it stands (though, by definition, a creek isn’t standing water) the surface is perfect for snowshoeing (see “Focusing on the Positive”). Now, the key is to get out on the creek, but not in the creek (see “Focusing on the Negative”). But more on that later…
We decided to start out by the bridge in Bishops Mills and head upstream. One thing is that while snowshoeing, as opposed to canoeing, going upstream is just as easy as going downstream. Anyhow, Jen took one side of the creek and I took the other; I guess the theory is that if two folks are on the ice and close together the chances of it giving way increase. Sounds logical enough. At this point, the creek was completely frozen over and blanketed with a layer (about eight inches deep) of last night’s snow and freezing rain.
Moving along, our steps grew less tentative as we realized that the ice was not in any danger of giving out. But how thick was it, really? After we had gone a ways, we found that if we stood still and listened carefully, the sound of water flowing beneath the ice was audible. It was slightly strange to hear the soft bubbling emanating from somewhere beneath our feet — mesmerizing, almost. We soon came to patches of open ice and water.
To our delight, the surface ahead of us was no longer a flat expanse (as it was by the bridge), but had become topographically interesting. Of course, the topography of snow is not necessarily backed by more substantial topographies (such as ice or earth). Presented with prospect pictured below, I thought it would be worth testing the strength of the bridge-like formation in between the two crevices.
The test, as you might expect, came back negative. It was amazing how quick I went through the upper crust of snow and ice — there was no warning that it was going to give way. I suppose that actually going through the relatively thick surface-ice would be different, as there would be audible cracking noises when it breaks loose. In my case, the only noise was Jen’s “I told you so!” Granted, I had been told. But “discretion is the better part of valor,” as they say.
On the plus side, there was a mostly solid layer of ice in between my foot and the water after everything was said and done; extricating myself from the hole wasn’t much of a problem. Also, the “break-through” revealed some beautiful ice formations beneath the snow (see the video above). You can hear the delightful “babbling-brook” sound track as well.
On the way home, I got to thinking that this episode raises an important issue — to what length is a blogger willing to go for the sake of a good post? What’s the trade-off between personal risk and personal promotion (such as hits on your website)? I’m not sure where exactly I fit in here, but as Jen put it, “You didn’t do that for a blog, you did it because you’re curious. And stupid.” Well, guilty as charged, but danger, admittedly, is a big part of adventure, which is in turn a big part of a good blog.
So, my advice to someone who feels like they don’t “get out” enough? Get a blog. Before long, you’ll feel obligated to drum up a story or two, and start doing stuff that’s worth writing home about. Just don’t blame me if you fall into a hole or two while you’re at it.