An interesting thing about winter: It's pretty fun if the weather is sufficiently cold and snowy.
That probably sounds counterintuitive, but it's not. If it's cold, the snow stays dry and, well, snowy. As opposed to wet and slushy and icy and wretched. And if there's snow, there's snowshoeing and sledding and other fun winter stuff. A warm winter just means mud and rain, which is no fun at all. But snow and, most important, sufficient cold? Why, then there can be ice fishing.
Although our lake isn't frozen right off our beach, it is frozen at the north end, where it's more shallow. So Mr. Jason and A. made plans to go ice fishing there on Wednesday. And if you think they were going fishing without Cubby, well then, you don't know Cubby and his demands very well.
Mr. Jason and A. were out on the ice all day. Cubby joined them after preschool and a nap. I brought him and Charlie to the shore of the lake, where A. met us with the utility sled. A. and I pulled the kids out to the spot where Mr. Jason and A. had set up their equipment. It was a little over half a mile. This doesn't sound like a long way.
It is. Especially if you're trudging through soft snow while pulling a loaded sled.
That tiny dot is the ice fishing shelter. This isn't the view from shore, though. The shore was even farther, and from it you almost couldn't see the shelter. It was a really long walk.
It was, unsurprisingly, cold and windy out there in the middle of the lake. Very wintery, very dramatic, and very cool to be right out in the middle of a frozen lake with nothing at all around. Cubby was absolutely in his element. He kept himself busy hand jigging in one of the holes, with breaks to use the little dipper thing to break the skimmed ice off the holes with the tip-up rods* in them.
If this doesn't look like fun to you, then you should never visit us in the winter.
Charlie did okay, but had a shorter window of enjoyment for this particular activity. So after about an hour, I loaded him into the pack and trudged my weary way back to the cars. I had to stop a couple of times to rest, mostly thanks to the fact that I had started the final and most challenging level of the 30-day Shred that very morning and was already feeling, uh, shredded.
Anyway. I was very glad to get back to the car. Not so glad when I realized I was locked out of the car.
The key I had for A.'s car turned out to be only for the ignition. It didn't unlock the doors. Super.
Very luckily, A. hadn't locked the other car. I couldn't drive it home, because I didn't have the keys and was not about about to trek over a mile roundtrip to get them. But with the sun shining in, the car was pretty warm. So Charlie and I hung out there in the car for about an hour, by which point the sun was setting and the ice-fishing die-hards had packed it in for the day.
The total haul for the day was two nice-sized pickerel and a small perch. We ate them for dinner last night. I think A. and Cubby are going to go ice fishing again tomorrow.
Winter has its perks. Assuming you're hardy enough to take advantage of them.
* Mr. Jason had about a dozen of these tip-ups, which are like very short, unmanned fishing poles that, um, tip up when a fish is on.