ICE-5 Saturday morning.
Pretty rough. 3-14-15
As Spring approaches and the weather gets warmer, the roads are becoming especially vulnerable to damage. It isn’t helped when a couple of trucks spend an afternoon running across sideways and tracking it up. As we all know, it freezes up and becomes extremely rough. Please be as careful as possible when things are temporarily soft. Those that rely on the roads would appreciate it.
Trail Update from Dan
No grooming was done this week due to the fact that we have had no new snow, unseasonably warm temperatures and continuing work to remediate stumps on the new trails. The remediation work is nearly complete and has dramatically improved the surface of the trails. Big Lake area trails are a little rough with only a few inches of compacted snow. Temperatures have been in flux between 11 degrees and 39 degrees this week.
Come out to Big Lake this weekend to enjoy the restart of the Iron Dog on Sunday. Watch for them on the trails. While your out here, look for the new maps and kiosks on the trail.
Have a great weekend,
Big Lake Trails, Inc.
Attached is a preliminary draft map of the trail system. It is only meant to show some of the changes and does contain some inaccuracies.
Security is a big concern for all of us on the lakes and surrounding area, whether you're a weekender or a full-time resident.
A new, all Alaskan company is debuting a product which might be of great interest to many of us.
SimpleSensor has more information Here.
The trail cleaning event was a success!
A large group of volunteers met at the East end of Flat Lake Saturday morning and promptly headed out. We cleaned/brushed trail six all the way out to the Big Swamp.
We had a couple minor mishaps along the way, but that just made it a bit more interesting.
Erin Borowski sent in a link to a video that her son Ian and his friend Connor Zietlow made while having some fun on the ice a couple weeks ago.
From a safety standpoint, I'm not sure I'd recommend this, but the guys seem to be enjoying it. 12-4-14
Suspicious Activity Warning!
Paul Hansmeyer forwarded an important e-mail from a Horseshoe Lake resident:
"I received this email from Cathi Kramer over on Horseshoe Lake."
Hello Neighbors, I was made aware of some suspicious activity in the Big Lake area last night …. Please be on the lookout for a Black S-10 Blazer / late 90’s – license plate GLV975 with 2 male occupants. Please contact the Alaska State Troopers if you see this vehicle. Occupants were seen fleeing from a home in the Big Lake area on 11/18/14 and have been reported in other areas as well. FYI - MEA has a scheduled power outage for our area from 1 pm – 3 pm today. Stay safe and warm! Thank You, Cathi Horseshoe Lake Firewise Coordinator
The first of the season!
Remember to check the ice!
Over by Loon point, he was heading towards North shore campground? He was lucky there was a road nearby and towed it out the next morning.
Tundraben sent out some interesting shots from around Long Island. Click here to see.
Please remember the good
people who keep the roads to our
cabins open! Without them it
would be a long walk!
Donations to the Big Lake Ice Road Fund (just $100 for the whole winter!) for Flat Lake, Mud Lake, and Big Lake can be mailed to:
14949 Big Lake Lodge Road
Wasilla, AK 99623
Aaron from Big Lake put together an awesome video of himself and friends ice skating on the lake. Very nicely done, and best viewed in full screen.
Looks like a great way to spend an afternoon!
Click HERE to view
Burkeshore is delivering heating fuel on the lake. General Manager Tom Vitt has more information Here.
Tuesday, 3/31/15. Yesterday was mostly cloudy, with a high of 55. Mostly cloudy this morning, with a low of 23. Total snow accumulation for the season is 25.5", but has settled and melted to a few crusty inches in the woods. South facing areas are bare. The ice roads have smoothed out with the warm afternoons, and are, for the most part dry. The gate at the Big Lake South campground has been locked until breakup, so Westenders are driving around on South Big Lake Rd. Below freezing temperatures at night have allowed for easy travel in the mornings. Most of the lake ice and ice roads are even solid in the afternoons. The portage between Big Lake and Mud Lake is really muddy in the afternoons, and while solid in the mornings, it is very rough and rutted. Dan Mayfield, with Big Lake Trails, has expressed concern over the safety of the ice at each end of the Big lake/ Mud Lake Portage. Melt water at either end of the portage, on the lake, is up to a foot deep, and there's no way to know if the ice under it is solid. There is a small blowhole on Flat Lake in the middle of the road, close to the approach. It's only the size of a softball, but it probably will continue to enlarge, so drive around any puddles that you can avoid.
As of 3/8/15, ice thickness on Flat Lake in my parking lot is 29".
SNOWMACHINERS and ATVs -USE CAUTION! The channels between Flat Lake, Mud Lake and Big Lake have thin ice. Warn any guests who aren't familiar with the area to stay out of the channels.
Jake, Craig, Wes, Calvin and Jaye have been hard at it, and their work is displayed in a great photo of Flat Lake, taken from the air by Wes. It was taken looking down the lake to the east towards Mud Lake and Big Lake.
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:
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.
2 - 6
Cathy Mayfield shares some
(Click image to enlarge)
Thanks To Larry Taylor
I wanted to advise you of a quickly deteriorating condition at the Mud Lake access point. For those of you that don't know it by that name, this is where Ice 5 goes across land at the Mud Lake Channel.
The access is excessively muddy at this point. Traffic has caused mud to be pulled over to both the East & West ramps and that, in turn, has caused the ice to begin melting at those locations. Water is anywhere from 4" to 1 foot depending on the time of day. I'm concerned that continued use in these conditions could result in either someone going through the ice at the landings or someone being stuck in the mud of the access.
At this point in time, I am advising everyone who uses this access not to do so. Alternative road access is available along Purinton Parkway to Flat Lake. If you chose to use the access, do so at your own risk.
What a difference a day makes! Flat Lake and Mud Lake are wet and slushy, and rutted on the channel approaches. Big Lake has enough standing water on it that it's quicker to drive around on South Big Lake Road, and avoid it entirely. Let's hope the predicted cold weather gets here, but be ready for rutted and rough ice roads when it does.
A small cosmetics bag was found on the ice on Flat Lake. If you lost one, or know who did, please e-mail me with a description so that it can be returned.
Here's a photo of the Big Lake ice road, taken this evening. There's standing water pretty much all the way, several inches deep in places. No hole or ruts, though. Flat Lake and Mud Lake are drier. We're going to drive around West Susitna Pkwy and South Big Lake Road for the next few days. It's supposed to get colder, and it would be nice to let the road freeze back up without tearing up the fresh ice.
The current temperature at Big Lake is 38 degrees. Two days of rain and warm temperatures have caused Ice 5 to be covered with 3" - 5" of water. This makes for sloppy and slippery travel on the lake. The faster you travel in these conditions, the more likely your engine may get flooded with water and stall. Just urging some caution.
Dan Mayfield 2-23-15
I would like to add, go slow, It will effect your electrical system, if your heaters draws down you're going too fast.
The roads on this side are not any better but if we had more snow things would be a lot worse.
Big Lake Truck Recovery
Here are some pictures of the truck recovery from Big Lake this afternoon. As you may recall, a couple guys were fortunate to escape from a 2013 Denali pick up when it broke through the ice and sank in 22' of water early last month. The crew who retrieved it today cut a truck-sized hole in the ice with a chain saw. The ice was about 18" thick. They had a diver attach 2 cables to the back of the truck near the bumper. They were strung through a couple pulleys on the top of a steel tripod, and attached to the winch lines of 2 big pick ups. Once the Denali was pulled to the surface, and the rear axle was exposed, 2 more lines from a third truck with winch and a portable winch were attached to the axle, and a couple big wooden poles were pushed into the water under the truck. The truck was eased out onto the ice on the poles. The whole operation went pretty smoothly, but took several hours. There was a pretty good crowd there to watch.
2 - 4
Here's a photo of the 4 wheeler that fell through the ice yesterday afternoon. It came out without too much trouble, with the help of some Flat Lakers.
On scene would be Larry Merriman, Craig Johnson, and Turk Kincaid. With some assistance from Kenny and Kristen Smith, who encountered the unfortunate driver right after the incident, and made sure he was OK, in addition to getting him hooked up with some Flat Lakers who were willing to lend a hand.
Carolyn Haggard 1-3-15
A map of Big Lake has been added to the "Useful links" column below.
Several people have asked about the location of some of the points referenced in ice and road reports. I have to admit that, even though I've been coming up to Big Lake for over over 27 years, I still have to look at a map to find some of the geographic points.
I obtained permission from Todd Communications to use the map, and Digital Blueprints of Alaska was kind enough to scan it for me so I could upload it.
I'm going to try to add information to the map in the near future, but hopefully this helps.
Bob Shem Photo.
There's a vehicle at the bottom of
this hole.........see below.
An Evening at the Mayfields : 12-5-14
First rescue mission of the year.
We have been warning people for a couple of weeks not to trust the ice on the west end of the lake but many people are tempted, might I say attracted, to try traveling to the west end because the roads are so great on the east end and, of course, there are no warning signs to stop people.
So, as Cathy and I sit in our easy chairs at 1 AM watching the last part of a show, we see two headlights come down the lake. As these headlights reach the a...rea near Bentz Island, they disappear, we see taillights and then nothing. Cathy and I jump into our snow gear and boots and then jump onto our 4-wheelers heading for Bentz. When we arrive, we find two guys waving us down. They had safely gotten out of the vehicle while it was sinking, just barely.
These two guys actually complained that there should have been warning signs posted on the road to warn people not to continue.
Big Lake ice has claimed it's newest addition. A 2013 Denali. Please folks, do not trust the west end of the lake unless you have measured the ice along your route. May I suggest that businesses and individuals on the east end, warn people and post notices that the ice is unsafe on this end. It may help. Now 3:14 AM and overdue for bed.
© 2014 Rob Nuss 907 email@example.com