Nov 14 2008
On January 13, 2007 in this picture, it is 7 degrees below zero. The river is solidly gorged looking upriver from the town bridge. This happens when the water freezes solid in the channel after it remains exceedingly cold for a few days. When the water is below freezing temperatures it stays liquid when it is moving but becomes more and more slushy as the extreme cold continues.
The slush eventually jams briefly going through the channels leading into the shallow lake below town. The second it does that, presto, the river there turns into a solid chunk of ice because it no longer is moving. More slush jams into that and repeats the process.
Over a few days the gorge can move several miles up the river. From this view you are looking downriver from the town bridge. The black blob in the middle is the top of the old bridge abutment.
The ice is not skating rink material, as you can see, rising nearly to the bottom of the bridge.
In this photo the gorge is actively occurring. The solid white is the frozen river and the steam is rising where it is moving into the jam.
The water that does not freeze solid is still trying to find a way downhill, even though the regular channel is solidly blocked. So the river starts runs around on the flats, cutting new channels, perhaps gorging some more.
This makes an awful mess of the town campground and boat launch. The road is gone at the entrance where the river running through it just cut it away.
This view is from Burnt Tree Fishing Access on January 13.
This is the same view on January 14 after the gorge arrived overnight.
In this photo about ten days later the river cuts a channel back through the ice after the weather warmed.
Another view of Burnt Tree shows the depth of the ice as the channel cuts through it.
The boat launch itself which drops sharply to the river is buried to the right of the picnic table. The pile of ice shows this launch is out of commission for months.
The normal river channel once again is in front of the row of willow trees. The foreground shows the snow has melted, so all the white beyond the willow trees is ice left from the river wandering around on the flats.
Burnt Tree Fishing Access on February 10 shows what a few days at 50 degrees will do.
The Eight Mile boat launch is now open because someone plowed it so a boat trailer can be used, if one backs carefully. The slot for the trailer is narrow but workable.
Fishing has resumed!