The first day of March kind of came in like a lion during last night with very high winds and even a little snow. Today was sunny and pleasant to look out at from inside, but very cold all day. It's warming up a little tonight, and we're in for a messy storm tomorrow, but none of that is news.
The news is that the block and flag are out on the ice, the clock will be connected within a few days - no hurry about that since the ice is not going anywhere real soon - but we're glad to have the contraption set up so we don't have to worry about the warm spells coming up next week that might make going out onto the ice hazardous. I'm not sure I would want to be out there with a pickup truck like Larry Rossi and whoever helped him, but then again, with temperatures last night near zero, I guess we're still making more ice than is melting. Diane retrieved this shot from the web cam - and yes, that's a narrow strip of open water by the end of their dock. We haven't figured that out yet, but it may be from someone's deep well runoff. Rossi's well runoff is further to the right, so this is not from theirs. The open water (and no doubt thin ice) was going to make it difficult for Larry to get onto the ice from this shore as he has in the past to set the flag up, therefore he decided to approach it from the fishing access way down the pond - using a pickup truck instead of hauling everything out on a sled! Good job, Larry!
The other big news is that the pay-on-line page for Ice-Out tickets is now up and activated. We had some sales almost immediately, and that's always good news. We had promised it would be activated on March 1st, and I guess some people were anxiously waiting. You can let your far-away friends or friends you don't see often who can't handily get regular tickets know they can get them on line. It's quick and easy, but you do have to purchase ten to be able to pay for them on line. The printable tickets can be used for fewer purchases, but you have to use regular mail and enclose your money, $1 for each ticket.
I think a lot of people will be watching the weather and our ice reports from now on to fine-tune their guesses and will then get in the game by using the on-line tickets. We have had more questions about what will happen if the block sinks stopping the clock before the official end of the contest on April 1st. If that should happen, all ticket sales will immediately stop. Our ticket outlets have been alerted this could happen. We will only consider tickets that are received before the date/time the clock stops. Any that are in the mail will be accepted only if the date stamp on the envelope indicates they were mailed before the date/time the clock stopped. We all hope the ice holds up until after April 1st, but with crazy weather swings such as we've had all winter still baffling us, we just cannot depend on a "normal" ice-out process. Stay tuned.