Deep Freeze

Wow. This is what we said when we got in the car this morning and the thermometer read -10. We’ve dropped right into the deep freeze. I like it. It means the skies are my favorite color blue and the clean snow clumps don’t melt off of the pines.
We’ve fallen into one of the familiar parts of this season—long drives home from the kids’ hockey/skiing practices. The dark tunnel of the Gunflint Trail facilitates some great chats.
After we pass the South Brule river, the Gunflint Trail starts twisting and then we come upon the moose. As long as I’m not in a hurry, ( been trying not to be lately), it’s such a comforting pleasure to see them again. Usually we see their glowing eyes first. They hesitate to leave the salty road to forge the deep snow. The blank look they give us, along with their lankiness reminds me so much of our first dopey yellow lab named Buck. Finally they lumber along and their furry rumps disappear into the woods. It’s all part of the rhythm really, this regular occurrence defines the winter time of the year.

I know the moose population is on the decline. During hunting season, I absolutely hate to see their heads in the beds of pick-ups. With the increasing deer population, I’m afraid that the brain worm that the deer can carry will wipe out the moose. So when they now re-appear on the Gunflint Trail to lick the salt, I am relieved. Another year, and it looks like they’re going to be all right.