No change in evidence this morning at the site of the block & flag.
There is no sunshine yet, as you can see, and the lowest the temperature went last night at our house was 38 degrees. It sure looks as if everything is holding in place, but we don't know what is or has been going on underneath the ice. Given that we never had more than 20 inches of ice on the pond this year (by all accounts), there hasn't been a lot of ice to melt. That said, we have alternately melted and then frozen the top surface, often adding a new surface of rain water that froze - so many times it seems as if it has happened weekly. So all of this has added more confusion to judging the quality and depth of the ice this year.
The fact remains there is only today and tomorrow before the close of the contest, so if you haven't made your best guess yet, better think seriously about getting it in. Get your tickets in the mail so they will be postmarked on or before April 1, or purchase 10 on line - that option is open until midnight, April 1st.
We'll keep pictures posted regularly - Diane has been super diligent about getting those to us. Once the deadline of midnight on April 1 is past and if the clock hasn't stopped, we will have the cameras on again so you can watch until the block sinks and disconnects the clock. The cameras were turned off because we feared the block might sink, stopping the contest before the April 1st deadline for tickets to be in, and we want to keep the contest fair. We are reminded of all the years before we had the webcams when we were checking the clock twice daily by truckin' over to Homer's deck. There were dozens of people who watched it closely back in those days because it was set up just off the fishing access. Now it isn't quite as public, being off the West Shore, and it's nice to have the cameras so more people can watch. We thank Bill and Diane Rossi for making the webcams available to us.
As nail biter Ice-Out years go, this one is up there near the top, for sure. Tickets are a hot item at Hastings Store in West Danville, and I have replenished the St. Johnsbury outlets, Caplan's Army Store, St. Jay Hardware, Natural Provisions, and Thurston-Dimick Auto, so they have not only sold lots of tickets, but they should have enough to carry them through today and tomorrow until close of business. The stores in Cabot and Walden have plenty of tickets, and Diane has kept the Barre outlets well stocked; Don Walker took a ton of tickets and as far as we know his outlets in Montpelier are well supplied. We have kept Terry Powers at, Natural Provisions in Williston, supplied since weeks before Christmas. And our individual members have sold literally hundreds of tickets. We can't tell yet whether this year will be bigger than last year's record number of 15,086 tickets sold, and it will take some time for us to collect all of them and for Henretta to get them all logged in, but we're all working at top speed now and will keep you posted on ice conditions and ticket sales as time goes on. This is the really fun part of the Ice-Out Contest, and the most interesting for all of us.