The website is finally up.  The address is  Soon there should be a link off of the Bearskin site.  There are still a few glitches but almost anything you’d want to know is there. 

In other news, Kate and I recently skied down to Alder Lake to camp and fish in this beautiful March weather we’ve been enjoying.  While it wasn’t necessarily planned as such, it looks like this might have been the last good winter outing, and I thought I’d post some pictures.    

We started out a little later than we’d hoped and began skiing down the lake on Erik’s dog sled trail.  It was very warm and the sun was blinding as it reflected off of the snow.  After months of maintaining a brilliant pale complexion, my face turned to its familiar tomato red. 

Kate pulling on Bearskin


Erik’s trail made for a pretty fast trip down the lake.  About two miles down he passed us, heading home from a tour.  Although I see it almost every day, I still always enjoy watching Erik’s dogs run.  We finally made it to the end of the lake and stopped for lunch just before the portage into Alder.    

We skied on Alder a short way, and then left the packed trail and switched to snowshoes.  The snow had drifted in spots but was never very deep, and we didn’t encounter any slush.    

Leaving the dogsled trail on Alder


After searching for and finally finding a good site, we set about the camp chores of pitching the tent, looking for wood, and drilling a water hole.  Due to our late start, by the time we were all set up it was beginning to get dark.  The temperature dropped outside and we stayed in the warm tent, prepared soup for dinner, and went to bed early.    

View of the tent and campsite


View of the inside of the tent


The next morning we woke up to one of the more beautiful sunrise scenes I’ve ever seen.  The temperature had dropped to around zero and the trees had frosted up.  The brilliant sunlight lit up the ice crystals on the branches, and for a little while the glow was nearly blinding.  We snapped a few good photos and carried on with the morning, gathering wood and starting a fire.   

Right outside the tent in the morning


Looking down the lake


After breakfast I tried my hand at fishing.  Personally, I feel that the secret to ice  fishing is low expectations, and the ability to realize that even those expectations will rarely be met.  I’ve made peace with the fact that I would be perfectly satisfied to, on a nice enough day, just go sit and relax on a wilderness lake, enjoying my surroundings.  Ice fishing is a fine way to do this without seeming to have lost all purpose and motivation.    

So I surprised myself when I caught a pretty good sized fish.  It’s much more fun when that happens.    

Pretty good fish


The rest of the day was spent eating lunch, lounging around, and packing up.  Only spending one night was painful, but a reality when you are making your living up north.  The ski home was long and tiring, and the sun pounded down on us.  The weight of the stove, and to a lesser degree the tent, slowed us down, but  it would have been nearly impossible to stay dry in the unseasonably warm weather without it and it was well worth the extra work for the additional comfort it provided.     

In summary I am very happy with the trip.  I think it provided a good first experience for Kate, although I’m sure she would have been fine in much rougher conditions.  Hopefully next time we can stay out for a few more days, and maybe make a couple camps.  But for now I am looking forward to an entirely different experience on the Buffalo River in Arkansas, which we will be paddling for five days starting March 17th.