Midwest Hurricane; Lake Mille Lacs, MN

“I love to feel the temperature drop and the wind increase just before a thunderstorm. Then I climb in bed with the thunder.”

Amanda Mosher

If you’re looking at a map of Minnesota, Lake Mille Lacs is a large lake in the middle of the state. Out of the 10,000 lakes (actually 11,000, or more if you back off Minnesota’s </= 10 acres threshold), it is one of the largest. Surface area-wise, it is slightly bigger than Lake Tahoe, although Lake Tahoe is a bit deeper (as in 1600 ft deeper). For the last three decades, my family has had a small lake cabin sold off from an old resort off the shore of Lake Mille Lacs. It is a peaceful place of refuge that we have been blessed to experience.

After being on the road so long with our baseball tour, I took a little vacation by myself (actually to isolate and work) and spent a few days at the lake while Keke and Soren stayed in the Twin Cities. It was a “vacation” I won’t soon forget.

The cabin is pure joy in our life, but there is one vulnerability; the weather. It’s definitely better than a tent as its made of wood and has electric and plumbing, but it has a minimum level of sturdiness. I am pretty sure I could push it over if I really tried. Being 100 years old, we don’t ask to much of the place.

The part were this all matters is during legit storms. I had a legit storm.

The cabin held, no over the rainbow-style journeys, but the most interesting part is the storm surge that elevated the lake level, not just higher waves, but the whole lake swell. Being from the Midwest, I’ve never experienced a hurricane, but I remember seeing reports of storm surges in connection with hurricanes via news reports.

Terrible photo, but this shows the lake elevating four feet up to our dock; not just the waves, the actual lake.

We had something similar on a much smaller scale than would happen with the ocean. In those three decades my family has owned it, I’ve never seen the lake elevate like that.

The lake never comes this high up on shore. Our brick patio by the fire pit was demolished.

Our dock is about four feet above the lake, but during the storm the lake/waves came up that high and pushed two of every three sections off and sent them adrift.

Two of every three sections came off the dock frame and headed out to sea.

During the storm I ended up wading out into the water to retrieve the dock sections that had come loose. I wasn’t too keen on the lightning that I was still seeing occasionally, but being in the water was actually kind of fun. I did slip on a neighbors boat launch and eat a bit of concrete, and I did also step on a nail that was exposed on a dock section, but without a subsequent concussion or tetanus diagnosis, I was okay.

Our dock was put back together, but our neighbors dock didn’t fair so well. It ended up severed and vertical.

Storms don’t last forever, and this one was no different. Despite the sky and sea violence, the clouds parted and the lake calmed. The result was one of the most well-earned sunsets I’d ever seen.

A solid frame weathers the storm. The rest can be rebuilt.

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