Wow .... What a difference 20 degrees Celsius can make. For the last few days, I have been anxiously watching satellite photos, map web sites from various map service providers, ariel photos of Algonquin, even NASA images; anything I could get my hands on to get a clear idea of the melt down of the snow and ice, as we count down to the Algonquin Park Opening Weekend. Well, today was the day that I saw first hand, real and yes strong evidence suggesting that Rock Lake should be ice free for the 25th, and boy, I couldn't be happier then a little boy, as he opened his eyes to Christmas morning!
First off I should note that the images I've been examining are from NOAA Coast Watch and second I should thank a friend, and Algonquin guru, for reminding me of the site where I attained the images that I have been examining; namely Markus, of Mark in the Park.
I've annotated the photo with some key reference lakes, but the most exciting part is not that Rock Lake is ice free, as it is not YET, but rather that the southern most extent of the "snow and ice" boundary of the province has retreated north by a good 50-75 Km in the last 48 hours, and that the intensity of the ice colouring has muted from a solid white to a much duller grey (which from a photographic point of view means thinner ice, and more slush.) That along with the fact that several major lakes such as Simco, Balsma and Catchacoma are now showing small open areas on them (small yes but growing, as some were not present yesterday) clearly show that the number of days the "ice" has is limited!
Combining that with the long range forcast, and I'm betting on paddling to Rose Island on the 25th, and not having to stay at the Rock Lake campground. See the Weather Forecast and 14 Day Trend; They both look GREAT!
YEAHHHHH!!!!! What a thrill.
I will update my post again in a few days, and place updated Ariel shots as well, so stay tuned. In the mean time though, its shopping this week for supplies, packing till next Wednesday, and then off I go on Thursday :)
To view the image I would suggest downloading it (it is about 7.6 MB) and view it in an application, that you can easily zoom in with, such as Photoshop, Acrobat or Preview. Enjoy; I know I did!