To the editor:
As you are aware, this year's Ice Palace construction was entirely different than last year. Although the weather was warm and the ground bare, we began anyway. We even needed to get snow for slush from the civic center. I thank the village for its help with that. After a couple of days of warmth, the weather became very cold. I really thank all of the workers who came out each day and worked in that cold. Not only was it cold, but it was quite windy.
Due to the strange weather we had from October on - no snow, but cold - the ice grew thicker this year than it has for quite some time. We began with 14 inches and ended around 19 or 20 inches of ice. Some of that is due to the people who came out before Christmas and cleared the ice field, then kept it cleared: Mike Knapp, Tucker Houghton and Mark Weller.
I can't thank everyone individually, but I would like to thank those individuals and businesses that gave us time, equipment or money for this year's palace. If I have forgotten anyone, I apologize in advance.
I want to start by thanking the Belvedere Restaurant for providing a meeting place and the meal for the design committee. We have been designing the palace there for many years now. The ideas are usually good, but the meals are always great. Thanks to Hyde Fuel for the fuel and fuel storage tank; having the fuel on site is a tremendous help and time saver. Thanks to Sturdy Supply for the skid steer, the heaters, the chainsaw and fuel. On some of those cold days, it took up to two hours to get all of the equipment running. Thanks for Paul Smith's College for the use of the log loader. Thanks for Douglas C. Cochran for the excavator that takes the ice out of the lake, and for operating it daily. Thanks to the following people for providing tractors to transport the ice once it was removed from the lake: Lee Foster, Mike Knapp and John Pietras. We also had skid steers donated by Taylor Rental and Great Camp Masonry. Thanks also to the Superintendent of Moriah Shock Camp for the work crews and officers sent over to help us. The crews really worked hard, and we appreciate it. Thanks for Garrett Foster for using the ice saw to cut all the ice blocks. Each year we cut more than 2,000 blocks. I thank Kim Duso for the loan of the saw. Madden's provided its crane, and it was put to good use.
Many thanks to the Lakeview Deli for the bowl and roll they provide for the workers each day for lunch. We really appreciate the warm space next door to eat lunch, as well as the effort they put into feeding us. The deli also provided some of our slush buckets, as did Ace Hardware and Aubuchon Hardware. Ace also provided much of the rope we used to enclose our cutting area this year.
Thanks for the Women's Civic Chamber for providing us with coffee, hot chocolate and the delicious baked goods as they always do. When it's cold and the wind is blowing, hot drinks are wonderful. Thanks also to Nonna Fina for the donation of meals, and to Dunkin' Donuts which provided us with treats.
I believe that Saranac Lake has to be the volunteer capital of the world. I counted around 110 who signed in this year. What a great place to live.
Dean W. Baker
Ice Palace chairman