The View From Squam Lake – Our Blog
The View From Squam Lake – Our Blog
Here is a time lapse video showing the first day of the 2016 RDC ice harvest on January 27th. There are 4,300 photographs in the video showing two and a half hours of real time in two minutes and 30 seconds of video.
SANDWICH- The ice harvest is a tradition that has been going on for more than a century at Rockywold-Deephaven Camps, and due to a strange start to winter with unseasonably warm temperatures, the start has been delayed slightly.
Camp manager John Jurczynski has been monitoring the ice on a daily basis and believes they should be able to start the harvest sometime around Jan. 19.
“The earliest I’d say we’ll be doing it is a week from Tuesday — a day after Martin Luther King Day,” Jurczynski said. “Realistically, it will be the following Monday, but it really all depends on the weather.”
He said surprisingly, this isn’t too much later than normal, as last year the harvest started about a week earlier than this year’s projection. The starting date tends to vary, with two occasions happening as early as the week between Christmas and New Year’s and others, like in 2014, being as late as Feb. 7.
“Normally mid-January is the time we do it,” said Jurczynski. “We’ll be close to that, and maybe a little bit later.”
There are two locations where the harvest has occurred. Jurczynski said on Saturday that Squaw Cove has more than seven inches of ice, while the historic location of Deep End has next to nothing. Twelve inches of ice is required for the harvest to happen, and he said unless something drastically changes, they will be harvesting in Squaw Cove. He said there is a 99 percent chance they will be at Squaw Cove.
“Odds are, we will be harvesting from Squaw Cove,” said Jurczynski.
Jurczynski said about 15 years ago, there was a similar winter with mild temperatures. Ice wasn’t forming in Deep End, so they sought out Squaw Cove to continue the harvest. He said with only a few inches of ice that year, they became nervous and started searching for a spot that was more protected. They found Squaw Cove and now it has become one of their harvesting spots.
Jurczynski said with the rain on Sunday, it should actually work out fine for the ice because the temperatures are expected to drop as the week goes on. He said issues arise when there is too much wind or snow, as the snow will insulate things and decrease the speed of the growth of ice. Fortunately, there is not much for snow in the forecast.
The ice harvest is an annual tradition on Squam Lake, and one of the last remaining ones in the entire country. While the camp has been open since 1897, organizers have to make educated guesses on how long the tradition has been going. Back in the day, there were no trucks and chainsaws. Instead, there were horses pulling the ice from the lake.
Each year, a crew of about a dozen people cut through the ice with a massive straight saw and several chainsaws. Many have been involved for many years, including Norman Lyford, who has been helping cut the ice for more than seven decades. He learned from his father, Colby, when he was only a teenager.
Each ice cake is about 12 inches-by 15 inches-by 19 inches. The ice is moved along in an assembly line fashion, being pushed with long sticks, and taken up on a ramp into a pickup truck. The truck then takes the blocks of ice to a couple of ice houses named Rockywold and Deephaven that are lined with saw dust for insulation.
Each block weighs about 120 pounds and each year there is more than 200 tons of ice harvested. There are about 1,200 blocks harvested per day. The process tends to last about three days.
Each cabin at Rockywold-Deephaven Camps is equipped with an old-fashioned ice box instead of modern refrigeration units. There was actually a time when the camp toyed with the idea of having mini-fridges in the camps, but this was frowned upon by guests.
During the summer, ice is distributed to the cabins to be put into the ice boxes for keeping food and beverage items cold. Guests generally stay at Rockywold-Deephaven Camps for a 14-week period over the summer.
|Rich Lundy||Brice Eldridge||Mitja Pelcl|
Fun & Adventure
|Christine Joern||Nancy Roberts||Lee Bagwill|
Flora & Fauna
|Betsy Komjathy||Jana Macikova||Holly White|
|Stephen Anderson||Klement Perko||Jana Flores|
Congratulation to the winners and thanks to everyone for submitting great photographs to the RDC Photo Contest. Click on a photo above to see a large image in a new window – note: you may have to disable pop up blocker settings in your web browser.
Click here for the 2016 RDC Photo Contest Rules
Photo Contest winners will receive a gift certificate to the Camp Store and all photos will be considered for the RDC Calendar.
We look forward to viewing your photos of RDC and Squam Lake!
SQUAM is an aerial cinematography film created by Will Strathmann (RDC Guest) on Vimeo.
Due to recent cancellations, we have just two cottages open during the remainder of our peak season (Our peak season ends August 29th).
Sheltering Pines (above) a four person cottage in Rockywold is open this coming week (July 25 to August 1).
Shadow Pines (above) a four person cottage in Deephaven, just opened up the week of August 1 to 8.
At this late date, we will offer a 20% discount if you are able to take advantage of these rare peak season vacancies. If interested give us a call at 603-968-3313.
Due to some recent cancellations, we have a few cottages available in the coming weeks. To fill these last minute vacancies, we are offering partial week stays on a prorated basis and we will also offer a 20% lodging discount on any new (cottage only) bookings. This deal only applies to cottage vacancies from Tuesday, June 30 to Friday, July 17. This discount will not apply to any previous bookings. Call us at 603-968-3313 to discuss the possibilities and feel free to pass this information on to anyone that you think might be interested in joining us!
Just before our summer season kicks into high gear, come join us at Rockywold-Deephaven Camps for a community dinner and square dance on Friday, June 19th. A buffet dinner with salad bar, desert and non-alcoholic beverages included will be served from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Rockywold Dining Room. Just a short walk away at the RDC Playhouse, a square dance will begin at 7:30 p.m. and continue until you have had your fill. The cost for “Dinner and a Square Dance”, including tax, is $20.00 per person, $12.00 for children under 10 years of age. If you plan to attend, please RSVP to 603 968-3313 by Wednesday, June 17. Space is limited.
RDC’s Friday Night Dance will feature Tom & Annie’s CaravanBand. Tom and Annie have been leading New England Barn Dances and performing throughout New England for over 20 years. Tom tailors each dance to the ability of the dancers, from beginners to experienced ensuring that everyone has a great time that is memorable and fun. (Sit in musicians are welcome to join in on stage.) Come join us and experience this exciting RDC Friday Night Tradition.
To learn more about RDC visit our website @ http://www.rdcsquam.com/
Also visit CaravanBand’s Website @ www.caravanband.com there you can Watch an RDC Friday Night Dance, learn more about Barn Dances and Listen to CaravanBand’s music.
“We feel rooted within our own families as well as with those special friends we meet at this place. We are regenerated by Squam Lake’s natural wonders– fragrant pines, mountain summits, star-filled night skies, and haunting loon calls, to name a few.
Those of us lucky enough to spend some summer days at RDC share in a restful calm. We are certainly grateful for this unique place of simplicity and peace. I know we take this spirit with us when we leave Squam, counting the days until we can return”.
Margie Howe Emmons
RDC Photo Gallery