Traveling on the trails through the bush wasn't bad, although snow was really coming down this afternoon.
When I came down off the mountain and hit Pelican Lake for the last mile home, conditions were total white-out. I could see 20 or 30 yards.
From experience boating in fog, I know I can't begin to get where I want to go without any land references. I can pilot a boat for miles and miles in almost total darkness as long as I can see the silhouette of horizon, but without that it's guaranteed the boat will end up somewhere totally unexpected.
I paused for a short time at the edge of the bush, hoping for a short respite from the blindness, but eventually tossed aside my best judgement and set off slowly across the lake ice, watching intently for the headlight of any approaching snowmobiler silly enough to be out there.
Eventually I came to the distant shoreline, and found myself only about 300 yards west of my house.
Remarkable, some might say.
Truth is, I had expected to come to shore about a mile east of home. I was way out of whack. Everything turned out fine, but it was good to reinforce the lesson that I just can't navigate without being able to see.
It was just a good reminder lesson about traveling blind. It wasn't particularly dangerous on this occasion. I had been on the lake a few hours earlier. Ice was good. No slush. No danger spots anywhere near. And, no matter where I ended up spotting land it would be within a mile or so from where I set out and it was all familiar to me, so I'd know right where I was and be able to follow the shoreline home - which is what happened. It's just an amazing experience to realize how far off a person can get without some reference points.
I can sure cook up a storm on the barbeque, though - if I can find my way to it.