Ice Out

Two weeks ago, the ice was really something. It was thick, strong, proud. There was enough snow on top so that snowmobiles could race across it. Snowshoers were pleased to find enough snow to walk over, but not so much snow that the secret would be known about snowshoes. What’s that secret? Well, that it’s easier to just walk in the snow in boots, of course. Had the inventor of the snowshoe taken his new product to Shark Tank for his pitch, I’m certain I know what would have happened. The guy on the end with the pocket square would have wanted to try the shoes out. He’d walk in some snow they carted in for the show, and he’d take a few steps before telling everyone that the shoes look cool, but they don’t work. Everyone would laugh. But about that ice.

When there is no ice, you can go in and on the water. You can go in the water just by walking in, but jumping off, by swimming out. But you can’t go on the water without a boat, and even though all of us have boats, most of the people do not. Boats are rare commodities in the real world, which is why the large tour boats are always full of people. That’s the only way those people can get out on the lake, to float over that water, to see those shores. Boating is liberating, whether by sail or by power, no matter the size of the craft or the make of the hull, but to most it’s still a treat, still a rare opportunity, still something that’s mostly for someone else.


The ice isn’t like that. The ice is welcoming, accommodating, approachable. Two weekends now past, I went to dinner at a friend’s house on the lake. He had spent considerable time clearing off an ice skating rink for his kids to shuffle around on, and when I say considerable time I do mean considerable time. Every weekend he cleared that ice, shoveling and scraping, hoping to time the clearing right so the ice stayed smooth, or became more so. This was dedication to the ice. That night, while we sat and ate brats, it reminded me how nice it is to be lakeside, grilling meats.

As I looked out to see our unattended children walking back and forth over the ice, with their twinkling lantern in hand, I took note of the larger scene. In the distance, there was the soft square glow pushing from the windows of the ice fishermen’s shanties. There were snowmobiles whirling past, running as fast as they could, gobbling up the icy snow while they still had the chance. The town was beyond it all, bright and alive, filled with people out dining and walking, shopping. The light was fading fast.

The ice today is nothing like that ice. The ice now is heavy, dark. It’s slowly being suffocated by the snow and water atop it, the weight pushing that once stable ice down into the water. The sun shines brightly on the surface now, rotting the ice with its warmth, forcing it to give up and give in. It’s only a matter of time now. Within weeks the ice will be gone, and we’ll have but our memories and some photos to remind us of what a winter here is like. Soon, the water will return, big and blue, clear and cold. The piers will go in, the boats will return, and within barely a few months the scene will be transformed into the one we all prefer. Summer is coming, and once the ice is gone there will be nothing that can stop it.

Today, we must guess. Not for prize, but for pride. Add a comment to this post if you have a good idea as to when ice-out will be complete. For this post, ice out is considered complete when the area between Gage Marine, Cedar Point, Rainbow Point, and Conference Point has all been turned to water. My guess is April 2, but that’s just because I’m pretty certain that’s when it will actually be.

About the Author

I'm David Curry. I write this blog to educate and entertain those who subscribe to the theory that Lake Geneva, Wisconsin is indeed the center of the real estate universe. When I started selling real estate 27 years ago I did so of a desire to one day dominate the activity in the Lake Geneva vacation home market. With over $800,000,000 in sales since January of 2010, that goal is within reach. If I can help you with your Lake Geneva real estate needs, please consider me at your service. Thanks for reading.

2 thoughts on “Ice Out”

Leave a Comment