Welcome to the FlatLake.com website!

This was tonight, he figured there was good ice everywhere but didn't know about the channels between the lakes. Jeff Ross talked with him and he saw the reflectors and thought he could drive through it. NEVER drive through the channels. I don't care if its 40 below.  They marked it off the best he could at both ends.

Use the roads between the channels folks, unless you want to wind up on www.flatlake.com/through-the-ice.

 

1-3-16

 

Crooked Lake Report

All the main roads are plowed on Crooked Lake. Did not plow to the west end. It is very rough from snowmachines running through the slush during that warm spell. Road past Friendly Island is plowed. Enjoy the lake, it is where I go to regain my sanity!

Steve Wright 12-8-15

 

We drove to our cabin again on the 28th in my full sized Chevy pickup. Drilled the ice again just to be sure that we hadn't lost any. We did not lose any ice. Did not drive down toward Friendly Island. I am sure that the northwest part of the lake is driveable because it always freezes first. There is no snow left on the lake except in the berms that I plowed on Nov. 23rd. Still about 10" of snow on the land.

Be sure to check the ice for yourself before venturing across. Use a saw or drill, and an ice chart.

Steve Wright 11-30-15

Here's a picture of the west end of Big Lake, taken by Barbara Turner from the area of South Big Lake Rd this morning.  Looks like all of Big Lake is covered in ice now. With these cold temperatures, it won't be long before we're driving! Craig drove his snowmachine to and from the channel this morning.

Carolyn 11-15-15

 

Judy Strong took this sunrise picture on Big Lake this morning. Absolutely beautiful.

10-25-15

A beautiful Aurora shot taken on Big Lake.

Image by Steven Johnson, shared by Carolyn Haggard.    10-1-15

8-17-15

There have been multiple instances of vandalism at the parking lot of the Mat-Su Borough boat launch on South Big Lake Road.

Someone is cutting fuel lines on vehicles almost every weekend. At least four cars were hit this last weekend.

The Troopers have been notified, but with budget cuts and that sort of thing, I'm sure they would appreciate any available help from the public.

If you know anything, or might have seen anything suspicious, please call the Troopers at 745-2131.

 

We had an interesting visitor Saturday evening. While we were in doing the dishes, this little guy got up on the table and decided to do a bit of wine tasting.It didn't get too far, but it was fun to watch.

Carolyn sent in a couple shots from over the weekend.

ON FLAT LAKE TIME

iBook

Nook

Smashwords (mobi format for Kindle)

$3.99

 

ON FLAT LAKE TIME is the story of how my beautiful, resourceful wife, Gail, and I solved the many unforeseen problems encountered when we moved off the road system to a remote cabin on a lake in Big Lake, Alaska. It chronicles the adventurous lives of the Flat Lake “home guard” and the shift in perspective it takes to fully enjoy and look forward to the next challenge.

Flat Lake Weather

Thursday,  2/4/16.  Yesterday was partly sunny, with temperatures reaching a high of 24.  The low last night was 18.  We expect mostly cloudy skies this afternoon, with a high in the upper 20s.  The low tonight is expected to be in the twenties.  Tomorrow's weather should be cloudy, with a high in the 30s.  The main ice roads on Big Lake and Mud Lake have been plowed, giving everybody a clear idea of where the roads are again. Flat Lake didn't really get enough snow to warrent plowing, and we're letting it pack down, hoping traction will be a little better.  The earthquake caused cracks in the ice, and forced water, and in some places, mud up through the cracks, but travel on the lakes is still safe.  We have 14" of snowpack on shore.  Thanks to Big Lake Trails, most of the local snowmachine trails have been cleared of downed trees, and were groomed.  You can support their efforts by visiting the website at www.biglaketrails.org.

 

Flat Lake has been completely frozen over since November 14, and Big Lake iced over on November 15.  Burkeshore has been able to make fuel deliveries on Flat Lake.  Fisher's Fuel has begun making deliveries on Flat Lake, as well.  Current ice thickness on Flat Lake is 26".  A truck tried to drive through the Big Lake channel over New Years weekend, broke through and sank.  The driver got out safely, and I'm told a wrecker was called to extricate the truck.  REMIND VISITORS TO DRIVE THE OVERLAND ROUTE BETWEEN THE LAKES!

 

Please remember that the ice roads on the lakes are multi-purpose, and are shared by cars and  trucks, but are also used as taxiways and landing strips by our local pilots.  Always yield to airplanes, and give them plenty of room.

 

Snowmachiners are asked to avoid spinning their tracks when crossing berms along plowed areas.  The snow kicked into the road sets up into speed bumps that are hard on the volunteers who keep the roads plowed for everyone, and are hard on the equipment, as well.  Please educate your kids and visitors, they probably don't even give it a thought.

 

 It's a good idea to check ice thickness if you will be driving off any of the plowed areas for the first time in the season.  Just draw a ruler on the bar of your chain saw with a sharpie.  You can tell the thickness right away when the bar cuts through the ice.  This year's freeze up was interrupted by heavy snow fall and a warm spell, so ice thickness and consistency will vary from place to place.

 

For our readers who are unfamiliar with winter travel on frozen lakes, "overflow" is the term we use around here to describe a layer of water on top of the ice. When we get a dump of snow on ice that's not very thick yet, the weight of the snow pushes the ice down, allowing water to come up through the cracks in the ice. Overflow is often found all winter long in different areas.  It sometimes is unseen under the snow, and can get deep enough to cause real problems for folks who inadvertently discover it while skiing or snowmachining. It's usually just a few inches deep, but it's been known to get much deeper than that- several feet.  Overflow is also a term used to describe the water that is forced to flow on top of a stream or river, when the water has frozen all the way to the bottom in some area.

 

Carolyn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Haggard Boat Storage and Repair http://haggardstorage.com/

 

Self-storage units now available for rent at Haggard Storage.  The units are 10' x 10', with concrete floors and interior sheetrock walls.  Heated units are $85 per month, unheated are $55 per month.  Units are available under a 6 month minimum contract.  Rent one for a year, and take 10% off! - Dale and Carolyn Haggard Call 907-892-7797 or 907-232-7411

We can also put a skookum top on as well as glass in your boat:

Dale Haggard

Carolyn Haggard

Aurora Forcast

Thanks To Larry Taylor

Some really cool shots from above. Not much snow to speak of, but we're keeping our fingers crossed!

Good ice for driving everywhere except the channels, but be sure to check for yourself if it hasn't been tested before.Carolyn Haggard and Bob Shem.

1-13-16

Big Lake Report

The attached photos were taken this morning as we drove down Big Lake.  Burkeshore has been out on Big Lake with a plow, and has plowed from the south shore campground all the way to Bunt Point.  The road veers off towards the south shore, passing between Burston and Crocker Islands.  They plowed over to several cabins near Hulen Point, and south to Crocker Island, over to Saddleback Island, and across to the launch.  They found 12' to 14" of ice. Tom said it's plowed nice and wide and dry, no problems.  There is a good sized "speed bump" in the road extending out from the east point of Starboard Cove, so be aware of that.  There has been some plowing done over towards the north shore campground and behind Shepard Island and Long Island, but I don't know if the usual road through there has been established yet, or not.  There has not yet been a road plowed to the west of Burnt Point, which was the last area to freeze.  We have been driving through there on the usual route of the ice road to Mud Lake and west on the lake.  It's pretty well packed down by snowmachines, and there's not enough snow on the ice to matter, anyway.

Flat Lake has enough ice now that Burkeshore has been able to make fuel deliveries, so we're in good shape.  All we need now is some snow to play in!  Currently, there's still an inch or so of fluffy snow on top of an icy crust covering about 10" of snow, when you get off the lake.

Carolyn Haggard 12-11-15

Good News!

The West End of Big Lake is officially open for cars and trucks. Cathy Mayfield and Bruce Lamb plowed from Lewis Point to the Mud Lake access today. The East End of the Lake had been plowed previously as had Mud Lake and Flat Lake. Yay!!!!!

As always, measure the ice yourself before going cross country in unplowed areas. We still aren't ready for commercial heavy trucks as yet. Lets have a safe winter.

 

Dan Mayfield

12/11/15

Big Lake Report

WALKED INTO THE CABIN FROM THE CALL ON FRIDAY. SAT WENT STRAIGHT OUT SOUTH TO NORTH AND MEASURED NO LESS THAN 10 INCHES OF WHICH ABOUT 3 WAS CLOUDY. PLOWED WITH A 6 WHEELER ALL THE WAY TO WHERE I-5 WILL BE GOING AND WEST TO THE CHANNEL ROAD AND FOUND NO LESS THAN 10 INCHES ALL THE WAY.

MICHAEL FEENEY 12-8-15

 

 

The West End of Big Lake is still a little thin and is not quite ready for traffic.

Cathy and I measured the ice from the Mud Lake channel to Burnt Point. Along this path, was a wide variance in ice thickness. The least ice measured was 8 inches. 8 inches to 8 3/4 inches was the most common measurements between Burnt Point and Bentz Island. Westward of Bentz Island, the most common measurement was 9 1/2 inches, up to 10 3/4 inches.

 Let's give the west end of the lake a little more time.

 

Dan Mayfield

Big Lake Trails, Inc.

 

 

 

Just finished measuring the ice on the north end of Big Lake. Both waysides had 12-13" out in front and ice along the road corridor to Burnt point were 12+, measured a few spots west of Burnt point and found the same 8" Dan mentioned.

 

Best regards,

Mike Kangas

Winter is here on Flat Lake.  The last of the open water disappeared last Friday night, and a week of mostly sub-zero weather allowed the ice to build pretty quickly.  The only thing slowing us down in that regard was calm weather, and an unusually heavy amount of frost on the ice. I've attached a photo of a couple of the frost crystals, which some of the locals refer to as "ice puppies" or "frost buttons".  They insulate the ice from the cold air, and slow down the ice building process.  Breezy weather draws heat from the ice, once it has frozen over, and aids in building thickness, but we saw mostly calm weather.  Even so, by Wednesday we had between 8" and 10" of ice by our dock, and most of the way to the channel.  The only thinner spots were 6" (an inch of that was white ice) and were under unbroken snow.

Craig checked ice thickness with his chain saw, and found enough ice to drive his Subaru home to the island from the channel.  If you look closely in the picture of the lake, you'll see a black dot kind of to the left of the photo-  that's Craig.  I followed a couple hours later with our Ford Explorer. It's nice to have warm transportation again!

We didn't drive the route we normally plow. We drove around the snow covered areas.

Yesterday and last night brought us another 3 or 4 inches of snow, so unless you know what areas to avoid, I wouldn't suggest driving a vehicle in without checking the ice thickness as you go.  If we get the 2 to 5 inches of additional snow in the forecast for tonight we may start seeing some overflow. We'll just have to wait and see.

Big Lake completely froze over last Saturday. By Wednesday the Mayfields had measured 5" of ice on the west end, that was last to freeze. There is more ice than that farther east.  If we don't end up with too much snow, and end up with a lo of overflow, we should be driving all the way down the lake before too long.

Carolyn Haggard 11-20-15

And so it begins........

We're finally getting ice on Flat Lake; 18 above here this morning. C'mon winter!

Carolyn Haggard   11-1-15

Fall is definitely in the air!

Awesome sunset Saturday evening!

 

A new page

has been added to

the site. It's a link

on the"Memories"

page entitled "Camp Tukuskoya" The page focuses on the early days of the camp, but there's a lot to see in the backgrounds of the images as well. Accompanying the images is a first hand recollection from one of the early campers.

If you have old pictures of the lake and would like to send them to me, I'd be happy to put together another page.

© 2014 Rob Nuss    907 rob@gmail.com