A week of 40 degree weather was just barely enough to melt down the snow-pack on Sprague Lake, Washington and the National Weather Service promised me a nine mile and hour breeze starting at nine am. The night time temps dropped into the high twenties last night, hopefully for long enough to refreeze the surface. I leave home at eight on a foggy Saturday morning, and break into the sunshine just south of Reardan. Blasting through the rolling wheat lands interrupted by the dramatic basalt coulees that have created these shallow, open country lakes, I start to see signs of wind, and I begin to smile. It’s looking like a fine day is developing!
The boat’s rigged and ready by ten, and I launch into a seven to ten mph northerly, and the Fed (Fed is a brand of iceboat built in WI) feels good. I break a couple times to tweak the runner alignment til she glides effortlessly. The refrozen snow is a bit bumpy, but slick and fast, and with focus I can nurse the boats speed into the thirties. The air temp rises throughout the day, and with the glorious sunshine I’m toasty all day. I take a breather a few times between sessions, nibble, and head back for more. Mid afternoon Frank shows up, sans boat, and we share mine. The ice has softened up substantially, creating significant drag, and the wind has lightened as he pushes the boat through the mush repeatedly, struggling to hook up. But he does finally, builds enough speed to tack upwind to the main body of the lake, and proceeds to wind her up good. The breeze fills in again, and we trade twenty minute sessions til the sun tags the horizon. Back onto the trailer she goes, and we head home, petitioning the lord for more tomorrow.
Dave... a Spokane Resident