FEBRUARY 24, 2001

Photos and Text: Tim Gooderham

The ice (right) in front of the Manitou Landing (end of the Temagami Access Road) and Loon Lodge has become a gigantic parking lot. John Moskwa has gone to a lot of trouble and expense keeping the lot open. Too bad all those vehicles aren't true customers of his. Some of them just unload their snow machines and take off.

A day's fishing in front of Loon Lodge. Looking north with Faskin's Point in the background.

This sign is posted on the ice road to Bear Island, off the north point of Temagami Island. It says, "Road is unsafe past this point - SLUSH." Still some others have gone further. View is to the southwest with Bear Island in the right background.

A little further along the road you can see what the sign means.

Yes Virginia, another "Alberta Clipper" is coming through. It should be interesting around here tomorrow!

Ice Road Construction 

The philosophy of winter road building is rather arcane. The mere act of ploughing removes the snow insulation from the ice and allows it to freeze thicker. The road should be plowed several lanes wide (like the parking lot in front of Loon Lodge). The reasoning goes that the big snowbanks on either side will push the edges down and cause the center to float up. Therefore, when the slush arrives (and it WILL arrive!) it will congregate at the edges and leave the center bare. 

Cause of Slush

So what causes slush? This year there are three causes: First, a relatively thin layer of ice to start with. Second, an immense snow load that arrives early and insulates the ice from the cold, thus preventing it from getting much thicker. This weight also pushes the ice down and causes water to be shoved up through the ever-present cracks and interstices. Third, high water levels. This year Ontario Power has been working on dam structures in Red Cedar Lake and could therefore not perform its normal winter draw-down through the Cross Lake Dam (which controls water levels on Lake Temagami). It will try to catch up and get "back on the curve" in early March.

Plow Operators - A Breed Apart

All right, so why does John Moskwa have multiple lanes in front of Loon Lodge while the other ice roads do not? Simple. He's more stubborn than the other plow operators.

Winter Road 2001 - March 30 - February 24

Northeast Arm: Trail Groomer  February 3, 2001

Moving Day on the Ice: March 1, 2001

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