About 2 & 1/2 hours North from my place, There is a small lake town called McCall, ID. It’s a nice little town with some great places to eat & lots of big custom lake houses. It reminds me a lot of Big Bear Lake in CA. The main difference is the snow. McCall gets LOTS of snow! Some years they get over 8 feet. It really is a winter wonderland. Every year, starting back in 1924, they have the Winter Carnival. Back in the day some of the big events were dog sled racing; with drivers from all over the state, ski racing and jumping, ski joring (a skier pulled by a horse), snow shoveling contests and snowshoe races. I don’t know how far back the snow sculptures go, but it has become one of the main events. It really is quite impressive and something to see. Almost all of the local businesses participate in the contest dedicating some time, talent & space on there lots to their sculptures. People come from all over the country for this event. The hotels are booked solid, the restaurants are jammed packed, and there are people everywhere. You can print out a map on the Winter Carnival website that pinpoints all the sculptures involved in the current years contest. I’m not sure what the winner gets. It may just be bragging rights and they pass a trophy around year to year. But one thing is for sure, the whole town benefits from the extra income from all the visitors. I always hope to get inspection assignments in McCall in the month of January for an excuse to go see the entries. This year was a lot warmer than most winters, so the sculptures, like this “Dragon & Hatchling” were either on the North side facing lots, covered with tents or tarps or hidden in back lots. So this year it was important to have the map if you wanted to see them all as most were hidden in back lots in shaded areas. I have another Acura friend who’s planning a trip to McCall this summer. But you may want to consider a Winter trip as well Tyson. Here’s some more reasons why…
The above were all under one tent and merged together. The sculpture included some ice carving as well. If you look closely at the Niagara Falls display, you can see the Maid of the Mist boat carved in ice, as well as the bridge at Multnomah Falls.
Before I show you this years grand prize winner ( & they blew the competition away!) I’ll show you the reason I was up in McCall in the first place…This snowmobile was a rental driven by a teenager going way to fast around a corner and ended up in & around a tree. The kid is alright, I hear. But will take a while to heal up. I see a lot of rental units like this every winter. But usually not this bad. Needless to say, he totaled it.
So now we come to the Grand Prize winner produced by the Hunt Lodge. Which happens to be right across the street from my favorite restaurant in McCall, The Pancake House. When I was driving by this monster, I couldn’t believe the sheer size of it…The Sphinx is all snow & the pyramid is made from actual strip blocks of ice cut from the nearby lake. Driving by, it was huge and impressive. But when you pull over to get a closer look, is when you fully start to appreciate the time, skill & complexity of this project. Yes, they made it interactive…The pyramid was actually hollow allowing up to 20 people to easily fit inside to enjoy yet more surprises within…As you walk in front of this masterpiece, you see they made an entry way of ice leading to the pyramid. I had to wait for quite some time for most of the people to filter out so I could get some decent pictures. It’s a good they they took this into consideration taking the time to create a nice bench to sit on.Heading into the pyramid, it felt like you’re stepping into another world. It definitely had a subterranean feel to it with the ice walls leading you into the main chamber. In the heart of the chamber was a sarcophagus which within was hidden lights to add mystery. But once you got inside and starting looking around is when you really started to appreciate the time and details involved. Check it out… the sarcophagus.The ice wall of hieroglyphics…The Pharoh’s Gardians…The Mummy…It really was small wonder that The Hunt Lodge landed the grand prize. So a shout out to The Hunt Lodge & every single person that was involved in the creation of this phenomenal work of art! Pictures just don’t do it justice!
If you want to read more about the carnival, you can check out the website here:
Just the other day I was in Horseshoe Bend, ID (which happens to be on the way to McCall) to see this logging truck. It was hauling a full load of timber down the mountain when it hit an ice patch and went into a guard rail. The driver was unable to get the truck off the rail and it slid into a rock wall doing about 48mph as indicated by the frozen speedometer at the time of impact.It hit with such force as to break the transmission in two. The driver was a 30 year veteran of timber hauling. He survived the crash I’m happy to report. But is starting his retirement in the hospital with multiple breaks and a punctured lung. He’ll never drive a truck again.
I know this kind of stuff is a real downer, but i post it because I feel it’s a good reminder for everybody that life is short. Take your time, be safe & drive careful. Sometimes circumstances are out of our hands, but lets improve our odds of making it home.
That being said, the TSX is spending it’s first week or so in the driveway instead of the garage. I’m temporarily storing a couch in it’s spot. I know she’s fine out there, but it kind of irritates me seeing it out there. Especially covered in snow and having to remember to start it ahead of time for it to warm up and thaw the ice off the glass so I can see…And so that brings us to our latest mileage reading…Only about 7,000 to go before the big 400k! I’m thinking maybe around the end of March will be the big day. I think I’ll celebrate by having the AC system replaced for the summertime. So far it’s the only major expense I’ve had to have done (or will do, dont need AC when it’s 32 degrees out) Thanks for stopping by!