April is a tough month in the Adirondacks. The winter has ended, and all of our thoughts move to spring, and warm sunny days. Unfortunately, the weather most often times does not cooperate. There is almost always snow during the first week of April. All we want to do is get outside and start the work of cleaning up property and making the Lodge look beautiful again, but the snow piles and freezing temperatures won’t let us. Today is a great example of April on the Lake. We woke up to temps in the upper 30’s. It has rained almost an inch already. The ice on the lake is suspect enough to keep the fishermen off, but thick enough to cause damage should the wind start to move it. The rain is good, as it will help to melt the ice and weigh it down. But we are always at the mercy of the wind when ice out occurs. If the wind is blowing towards us, the boathouse and docks will most likely suffer some damage, and possibly severe damage. If the wind is blowing away from you, you watch through binoculars as other lake occupants suffer the same fate and hope for the best.
April also brings with it mud season. The ground is frozen through most of the winter. And this year it froze very solid. As the daily highs edge upward, the ground starts to thaw. But this happens at the surface first, with a frozen layer underneath. No moister on the top layer can drain downward, and is therefore stuck in the top few inches of earth. This makes mud, and sometimes it’s quite the quagmire anywhere off of paved paths. Many a sneaker has been ruined by ground that was frozen solid when you first walk on it in the morning, yet by early afternoon is a few inches of mud. It’s everywhere. Spots that get lots of sun will dry out pretty quickly. Dark areas stuck in the shade all day may take a week or more to dry out. Mud is just another fun part of life in the Adirondacks in the spring.
But April does provide us with hope. Days are getting longer, and the sun is stronger. Reservation questions and inquiries have leveled off in the office, after the hurricane of activity that February and March are. Yard cleanup tools and tractors are ready to go on that first 60-degree day. All of these April showers, be they rain or snow, will make late May flowers. Thoughts of summer start to take over in our heads, of swimming in the warm lake and sailing in a perfect wind. I can hear the dinner bell already, and it’s time for Boat Boy Steaks! See you in a few months!