• The Roving Route

The Adventures of The Roving Route #33

We knew coming into this winter that we would have some unique experiences. What we weren't expecting was to be sitting in a kayak in mid-November on a gorgeous sunny day. With the water so low we were even able to use the extra space to slip under the skirting of our family's boathouse!

Our mild November meant the lake took a long time to completely freeze over. There were many days that it would partially freeze only to have the wind shift and all the ice break up. On November 30th, the ice officially formed all around us and doesn't look like it is going to be leaving until winter's end. Without any snow to cover the ice, the lake has formed the largest mirror we have ever seen. While Lake of the Woods has always put up some unbeatable sunsets, add a mirror and we have had one of the most peaceful evenings! Mind you the sun does set at 4 pm instead of 10 pm like a normal summer evening.

The ice heaving literally sounds like LOTW has a pod of humpback whales having a party or who knows maybe the Manipogo made its way here. We had heard that if you skip a rock along fresh ice it makes a cartoonish laser sound. Though it was a struggle to pry them out of the frozen shore, we are happy to confirm that it is true! Watch the video below to check it out yourself!

It is tough for us to gauge how thick the ice is everywhere around, but we have drilled holes at our end of the island and have found it is about 3 inches in spots where there is faster moving water and some current, and 4+ inches in the sheltered bays.

Yesterday (December 8th, 2020) was one of the hottest days on record and peaked at +2°C. The average high for the day is usually -8°C with the lowest recorded ever being -33°C. We are very happy that it was so warm but the ice seems to be suffering and we may end up with a mild December after all. In yesterday's photos, you can see a few points of open water that were frozen just a few days ago.

December 3, 2020 December 3, 2020

Photo Facing West Photo Facing East

December 8, 2020 December 8, 2020

Photo Facing North Photo Facing South


We will give another ice report as part of next week's newsletter. Stay tuned!


Cheers from icy Lake of the Woods,

The Roving Route