Imagine my surprise this morning when I got up and looked out the window expecting to see the predicted 2” of snow – instead I could barely see past the drift on my deck! Ok, that might be a slight exaggeration, but there was 5” on the ground already and I couldn’t see across Flour Lake because it was still coming down so hard! I headed up to the shop and got to work on another day of grooming ski trails. It was probably the most adventurous trail grooming of the 2020 season for me. Between the drifting and the white out conditions created by the heavily falling and blowing snow, it was almost impossible to tell where the packed trail base was in many areas. More than once I almost drove the groomer off the trail! As I crossed Aspen Lake to my turn-around point on Summer Home Road, the trail drifted over as I set it. My irritation and frustration was starting to build. Approaching the South side of Aspen, I saw the silhouettes of 3 merry snowshoes clipping happily along the lake shore. They let me pass, then followed me up the hill and branched off on a snowshoe trail. Irritated though I was by the extreme snowfall conditions, it was hard not to smile seeing guests out playing and having so much fun. After all, the Gunflint Trail is one of the few remaining Winter Oasis in the Upper Midwest. Yes, I did just use the word “winter” and “oasis” together in the same sentence. I even looked it up to make sure I could, indeed, use the word in that context. But really, for those looking for peace and tranquility during what can be a difficult time of year, we’ve still got it! We ended up with around 8” of snow today. We double-panned all the ski trails to keep the snow on the trails and add to our precious trail base, and I’ll be up bright and early putting the skate lanes back in tomorrow (March 6). By tomorrow afternoon it will be 30 degrees Fahrenheit with prime trail conditions, and I’ll be out skijoring in a T-shirt. Welllll….. maybe a sweatshirt would be a wiser choice!