It has been a week since I was last out on the Tanana River just south of Fairbanks. With the cold weather we had this past week, it seemed like time to see how the river was freezing-up. So I brushed a couple inches of snow off the car, called the dog, and buckled-in my two young boys. Down the hill, past spruce and birch forests with snowshoe hare, and coyote tracks marking the snow. On the way a small flock of sharp-tailed grouse flew low over the bumpy road. After a look at all the floating ice I decided boating season has officially come to an end for me. It is possible to navigate in this kind of slushy river but the risks far outweigh the benefit, and with each passing day it becomes less advisable. Not to worry; I love the sound of grinding ice and the way slushy pans adhere to the shelf ice. Plus, it is only 7 months until we get to paddle again.