Nordic Skating on Lifeless River close to Harlem – Massive Sky Walker

The necessity for velocity.
Winter is usually a actual slog in the event you don’t have an exercise you get pleasure from doing outdoors – for a lot of, it’s snowboarding. I proceed mountain climbing via the winter and I like snowshoeing as nicely, however one factor that basically blows my hair again is strapping on my Nordic skates and zooming round on some wild ice. With all of the snow we had in north-central Montana final winter, the snowshoeing was nice – the ice skating, not a lot (an excessive amount of wind-blown crusty snow). I solely skated as soon as final winter, and that was whereas I used to be dwelling in Helena for the vacation break. 😦

I like being proper!
The massive dump of snow we had in October is lengthy gone, so I’d been watching temperatures within the Milk River Valley (40 miles north of Hays the place I train), hoping to get a chance to skate. With temps dipping down into the low teenagers a number of nights in a row this previous week, I suspected there could be good ice on a pair oxbow lakes within the Milk River Valley. Wednesday(11/29/23) after faculty, I grabbed my skates and drove north to see if my hunch was appropriate. Ice on the mile-long unnamed oxbow lake by the Company was excellent – clear, easy, snow-free, 3-4 inches thick! I skated round for about an hour, then drove 6 miles west to test “Lifeless River”, an oxbow lake close to Harlem. The ice there was even higher, however darkness was setting in, so Lifeless River needed to wait till Friday morning (12/1/23).

A Friday to recollect.
My younger pal Alex (teaches fifth grade) joined me for the Friday morning skate on Lifeless River. It looks as if every time I invite this younger man to go alongside, the climate is ideal. This present day was no exception, and the ice was excellent as nicely (3-4 inches thick, like glass) . We skated forwards and backwards on the 1.7 mile monitor of the oxbow lake for about nearly two hours, totally having fun with ourselves! Sadly, situations like this seldom final – Fluctuating temperatures (typical of Hello-Line winters) usually break the ice, wind storms cowl it with a movie of silt, or snow covers the floor. To see what two hours of skating on pristine wild ice appears like, take a look at the photo tour, which incorporates a number of taken with my drone. For those who’d wish to know extra about oxbow lakes, proceed studying.

Rivers like short-cuts too!
Rivers that circulate throughout gently-sloping land are inclined to erode facet to facet (meandering), whereas steeper rivers in mountainous areas have a tendency to chop downward, forming V-shaped valleys. Because of this facet to facet erosion, rivers just like the Milk usually erode themselves short-cuts (see diagram beneath). As soon as the short-cut is established, the large loop is now not a part of the river. The ends of the loop fill with sediment (yellow in diagram), and the deserted channel turns into an oxbow lake – named for the U-shaped contraptions that have been placed on the necks of oxen again once they have been used to tug wagons. As soon as it’s omitted, the oxbow lake relies on groundwater to maintain it crammed. Ultimately the complete lake will fill with sediment and natural materials, turning into a waterless scar. Each oxbow lakes featured on this weblog shaped someday after 1888 – You’ll must learn the captions in my photograph tour to learn how I do know this. Now that you just’re a bit smarter, go benefit from the photographs!

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FYI – I lately began an Instagram account. I’ll attempt to put up one thing attention-grabbing a minimum of as soon as every week. Test it out: rodbenson406

Under: This map marks hikes which were featured on bigskywalker.com to date, together with a number of in Glacier Park – Choose full display screen to develop, zoom in for extra element, or click on on a marker for a hyperlink to the put up.

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