Friday, May 13, 2016

2016 Season Begins

Launching the plane at Riverside Air
The 2016 season is underway for Big Hook Camps.  I (Nathan) arrived at Central Lake main camp with my trusted flying partner Shadow on Tuesday afternoon (May 9th).  This is the second earliest recorded ice out for Big Hook, the earliest is May 7th.  The sun was shining with temperatures hoovering around 74 degrees, a perfect day to begin opening camp.

Upon arrival, the first thing I noticed was the dry conditions.  The water is very very low for this time of year.  A mild winter with below average snowfall coupled with an early ice out is the cause.  Water levels are about a foot low, and are at stages typically scene in late July.  Dipping my hand in the lake I also noted how warm the water temperatures were.  Most likely the pike have spawned, however the walleye are to be determined.  

After a quick scan of the main camp, it seemed everything had weathered the winter OK.  No trees fallen on cabins or the windmills, the docks were in place and frost heaves were normal.  A busy day of running diagnostics on the power system, firing up the water lines, establishing communications, emptying out several cabins, and so forth, I found only a couple malfunctions.  Thus far, one malfunctioning charge controller on the solar system and a split water line near the pressure tank have been the primary reparable ailments.  

Wednesday morning I made a flight into South Lake and dropped of a load of supplies.  The camp also looks to be in good condition after a long winter.  I spent a couple hours at South Lake readying camp, and it was off to meet Mom and Dad arriving in Sandy Lake that afternoon.  After unloading several airplanes of freight and several trips back and forth from Sandy to main camp our day was over at 8 pm.

Weather takes a turn

We will be able to make a snowman today. 
Wednesday night into Thursday a massive potent low pressure settled over Big Hook, bringing driving rains and howling north winds.  Today (Friday the 13th), we awoke to roughly 5-6" of snow with temperatures hovering in the mid 20's, the high is supposed to climb to 32 degrees.  It is not the first winter storm we have endured, weather is always a risk mid May this far north.  Unfortunately, the rotten weather has grounded me for the past two days.  I am hoping to get to West or Cocos once the weather break.  

I'll keep everyone updated as the camp opening progresses.  As of for now, it is time to perk another pot of coffee and throw another log on the fire.