Saturday we went to a lake where there was a winter festival. The draw for us was that they had created an “ice carousel”. That is where you cut a perfect circle through the ice, drill another hole near the rim, drop down an outboard motor, and make the circle of ice go in a circle. You know, so you can ride on it. By the time we got there, they had closed the carousel because the ice had broken across the middle of it. But there was also a couple of courses set up for snowmobile races. One for little kids on mini snowmobiles and one for adults.
Lots of parked cars, parked snowmobiles and people milling about. Yes, all on the frozen lake.
How thick was the ice? I don’t want to know. At least a couple of feet? This is what people do here. I wasn’t very comfortable with is. Since I had to drive about 1/4 mile out of one inlet and around a bend to get near the other end of the lake where the festivities were happening. And, you know, we were on ice. On a lake. With water underneath somewhere.
Ultimately it’s perfectly safe. Except when it isn’t.
There were some food vendors with trailers out there selling food with generators for power. Near the closed carousel someone had a raised fire pit to provide warmth. Though on the way out Chris noticed someone with a pile of wood where presumably they were going to have a bonfire. I imagine the bottom of the embers would get wet from the melting ice. Apparently it doesn’t necessarily melt all the way through.
I intend to limit my participation in such things. I’m from California, after all, and have a completely different view of reality and physics than native Minnesotans. It’s still fun to be here.