Crooked Lake Report
Walked to my cabin on Crooked Lake today. Drilled as a walked and found 8" of mostly overflow ice. Drove my 4 wheeler and plowed what little snow there is in patches to the landing. (I am 1/2 mile from the landing) Can't wait to drive to the cabin but it will be awhile the overflow ice is not as strong as clear ice.
Steve Wright 11-17-15
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.
Judy Strong took this sunrise picture on Big Lake this morning. Absolutely beautiful.
While Sitting On A Dock At Big Lake, Steven Johnson Caught This Awesome Aurora Show!
A beautiful Aurora shot taken on Big Lake.
Image by Steven Johnson, shared by Carolyn Haggard. 10-1-15
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.
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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.
Saturday, 11/28/15. Yesterday was mostly cloudy, with temperatures reaching a high around 40. We had a few showers overnight and a low of 31. We're looking at mostly cloudy skies and a few showers today, with a high expected to be in the upper 30s. Tomorrow should be cooler, with the high expected to be Around 30. In spite of all the rain, there is currently still 8" of snow on the ground, with an icy crust. The lake has standing water and grey slush everywhere. It's about 3" deep.
Flat Lake has been completely frozen over since November 14, and Big Lake iced over on November 15. As of Sunday, there was a minimum of 10" of ice found along the usual route of the ice road on Flat Lake, but some of that is white ice. Larry pioneered the ice road in on Flat Lake this past weekend with his ATV. It's currently pretty narrow, but it's a good start. No full sized trucks have yet been driven on Flat Lake. Big Lake likely has less ice than that on the west end, but I don't have any current measurements. Be very careful traveling across the lakes, and check the ice thickness frequently. With the new snow, you won't be able to tell where the thin spots are. There is about 3" of standing melt water on the Flat Lake ice road. Please remember that ice loses strength when temperatures are above freezing.
Always check ice thickness with a drill or chain saw before traveling on the ice for the first trip of the season. A paddle (spade) bit works well with a drill, before the ice gets too thick. Or 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. And remember, just because you see tire tracks on the ice, it doesn't mean it's safe. Somebody in a side-by-side might have been pushing their luck and made it, but you don't want to be following those tracks with your pick up.
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.
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We can also put a skookum top on as well as glass in your boat:
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
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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!
Leaves are turning on Flat Lake- beautiful fall evening Carolyn Haggard 9/7/15
Sunrise on Flat Lake, from Scott and Rachael Seelys deck. 9/4/15
A new page
has been added to
the site. It's a link
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.
Awesome sunset Saturday evening!
Thanks To Larry Taylor
ON FLAT LAKE TIME
Smashwords (mobi format for Kindle)
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.
© 2014 Rob Nuss 907 email@example.com