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West End News Nov. 26, 2009


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A dream situation, which almost never comes true, is when the lakes freeze with a smooth surface and the ice is thick enough to be safe for skating. Right now the surface is perfect on some of the lakes, and we are waiting for the ice to be thick enough to be safe.

Usually good skating only lasts for a few days, then snow ruins the skating; but while it lasts there is nothing like skating as far as time allows on a wilderness lake.

When you plan a skating trip on the lakes good sense tells us that there is no such thing as completely safe ice out on the lakes. It is important to plan for a possible break through the ice by carrying ice picks to help in getting back out if you do suffer a dunking.

These warm temperatures that continue and the lack of snow are pleasant and convenient, but they could be an economic disaster for our snow-related winter businesses. I hear that the warm temperatures have prevented snow making for the downhill folks. Serious training for the mushers is definitely handicapped. The cross-country ski trails are ready and waiting. The snowmobiles are tuned to perfection. Think colder weather with snow.

Conditions can change in just a few hours. Some years ago there was no snow on the ground on Thanksgiving Day. After dinner we took a hike. That night and the next day a foot of snow fell. Campers who chose to take advantage of the mild weather for just one more camping trip were trapped until the snowplows could get the roads opened. So there is always hope.

I had a great time at the fundraiser held by the Birch Grove Foundation at Papa Charlie's. The foundation has developed, year by year, into a front line contributor to the West End community. In my mind, the support extended by the community at the fundraiser shows how highly the foundation is regarded.

Thanks also to Papa Charlie's, all of the volunteers at the dinner and silent auction, the donors of items for the auction, and above all you folks who came to this event. It will happen again next year for sure.

The craft sale at the Schroeder Town Hall, and the gala event across the highway at the Cross River Heritage Center, once again featured the appearance of Mrs. Claus at the heritage center while Santa was at the town hall. It was nice of them to take time out to come to Schroeder at what must be a very busy time for them.

Christmas displays are up already. I would welcome a list of the more elaborate displays in the West End. I will publish the list so we can drive by and enjoy the displays. It is shocking that Christmas is less than a month away.