19-Feb-2012 -- International Confluence Day Eve
Heading to the Illinois – Wisconsin border for this year’s observance of the anniversary of the Degree Confluence Project, we knew some nasty winter weather was possible, and far in advance we planned accordingly, deciding to arrive at Chicago’s Midway Airport on Saturday morning. But the mild winter conditions made it seem more like an early Spring, and we had time to do some sightseeing and add another confluence point to our agenda. After spending an afternoon in beautiful Woodstock Illinois, the next morning, we continued on to the shores of Lake Ripley and the Alpine Village Resort.
We parked at the top of the hill, where the roads narrowed, with numerous curves, and a few patches of ice remained under heavy tree cover. The point was almost at the end of the road closest to the lake level. While we were trying to find ten zeroes, a very friendly dog came out from the house to jump all over us, until his owner came out to call him off. After that, it was a simple matter of recording the required photos.
Although the majority of streams and ponds we had passed were free of ice, Lake Ripley was frozen over, and the scene of much activity. We found a vacant house just to the north, and walked down its driveway to see what for two Mississippians was a rare sight: Lots of people walking on the lake near the shore, a group ice fishing further out, and still further out we could see a new hole being drilled. While watching Duke basketball in the evening, in a sports bar outside Milwaukee, the news was full of a bad accident where a snowmobile had broken through the ice at a nearby dam. We both felt better for not venturing any further out of the ice…