I have a good case!

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I can’t remember another winter when I got stuck twice with my truck and fell through the ice while hiking. While these events all happened on photography outings, they didn’t help me get a single photo.

I could argue that these strange incidents really weren’t my fault. It would be a spirited performance.

A strong part of my defence would be my cautious nature. I would rather put the work into planning than trying to figure out how to deal with an avoidable crisis. My wife and friends would definitely vouch for that. My wife might even be tempted to do so too vigorously.

I have a long history of avoiding these types of incidents. In the seven years I have owned my four-wheel drive truck, I have never gotten stuck. That should count for something!

The prosecution might find out that one of the times I got stuck, I was rescued by two snowmobilers driving on the road toward me. I’d be hoping that information would stay hidden where it belonged. But if it surfaced, I would point out that one of the snowmobilers mentioned I should have a heavier truck. I agreed that the truck definitely was an issue.

As for crashing through ice, well that never happens. I really dislike getting wet, especially inside my boots. As a young boy I occasionally misjudged the water levels on rubber boots but I am happy to say I learned from that experience.

The ice situation really was a fluke. I had carefully weighed the risks. I knew the water was moving under the ice so it would be thin in the middle.


When I walked over the bridge to get a photo from the other side, I planned to be careful. I walked along the shore and only ventured a couple of feet onto the ice when I noticed there was more land between me and the main part of the river. This should have meant still water. Then I crashed through the ice and was standing with both feet in water up to my knees while holding up my camera. Surprisingly, the water was freezing cold.

Notice how safe it looks in Exhibit A the photo below. Notice the completely unforeseeable hole I created in the ice. How could anyone avoid that?


So after reviewing all the information, I believe most reasonable people would come to the same verdict:

  • Acts of God 0
  • Mistakes by Lyle 3

And I’d have to agree.

I wonder where I can buy hip waders?

Latest Comments

  1. Inspired and pretty says:

    Oh, but it was worth it ! The photos are wonderful ! What a great idea to wear hip waders. I have them as I used to go fly-fishing and I’ll wear them this summer to photograph rivers and streams. Have a nice week-end 🙂


    • lylekrahn says:

      Glad you liked the photos. I was joking about the hip waders and now you’ve got me thinking! You have a great weekend as well.


      • Inspired and pretty says:

        I also have waterproof boots with felt soles to prevent from slipping on the rocks. It’s perfect for photography 🙂


  2. 23thorns says:

    Hey Lyle. I’ve taken your name in vain in a post on my blog. If it causes any offence (I hope it doesn’t), just give me a shout and I’ll take it down right away.


  3. caleephotography says:

    Love the pictures and your sense of humour 😀 Don’t forget to get a waterproof case for your camera as well 😉


  4. Phil Lanoue says:

    Be careful with those hip waders, they fill with water and they will drag you down with them. Don’t ask me how I know.
    Lovely snow scenes. 🙂


  5. melodylowes says:

    Ha ha ha! (Oops – I mean, ‘Oh, dear, how awful!’) Too funny. I think there are hip waders in the general store in my local community – shall I get them to set aside a pair your size??


  6. Kyle Kuns says:

    When I fell into water, I did so in over my head and drowned my camera in the process. Thankfully that’s only happened once. It was also in spring, so not near as cold. Fantastic that you didn’t drown any of your equipment.


  7. Deb W. Trotter says:

    So you did get one photo: Exhibit A! And a lovely one, at that. The blues of the snow are gorgeous.


  8. westerner54 says:

    Love to think about what the deer who come upon your tracks to the hole in the ice will be thinking. (I’m pretty sure “another doofy human” will come up.) Great post!


  9. doraiswamyganesh says:

    Dear Lyle, Great entertainment for me at this age ! The snow looks lovely and how I wish I was there ! Thanks pal for lighting up an evening of an old man ! Regards, Ganesh.


  10. rachel bar says:

    A. So I was right after all (all women are right all the time), when I expressed concern about your safety a while back. B. Beautiful pictures! C. If my husband were stuck with his 4×4 he would simply use it as an excuse to buy a better one… Just a suggestion, but don’t tell your wife I said it:)


    • lylekrahn says:

      A. With all due respect to your gender’s infallibility, I would put this incident in the inconvenience category rather than safety. The truck was close, it was a nice day and being a little cold is a normal part of winter here – this was just a little colder. B. Thanks C. I learned the value of heavier vehicles though the incidents but I actually don’t want a bigger vehicle otherwise it would be worth pursuing. Your husband’s logic is infallible as I’m sure you’ve discovered.


  11. Simone Lipscomb says:

    It’s great to know that the water under ice is freezing….that’s always been a question of mine 🙂
    Glad your camera stayed dry….even if your feet didn’t!!


  12. Rick Alonzo Photography says:

    Funny stuff Lyle! You have a great storytelling ability! By the way, my wife and I left Minnesota almost three years ago because we didn’t like all the white stuff and ice and freezing temps. 🙂


  13. Fotografin Thee Ballmer says:

    I’m just sitting here with my morning coffee and a large smile on my face. Sorry, to have cold and wet feet isn’t funny, right? but I remember my little accident last year in February. I was so focused on long exposures photos with water and ice. I found a great river. I started at the edge and was brave to go more and more inside, of course I was sure, the ice is strong enough. But one false step and it happened, Thee was in the middle of the freezing water. My cam was safe:-) I had to walk quiet a while back to my car. Although I turned the heat to the max. the result of my adventure was: great shots and a pneumonia. This year I was not really brave and to time a trip like this is difficult.
    So, how’s about that we are going to wear Neopren suits for the whole body?:-)
    Gut least you got great shots too:-)
    have a good day, Thee


    • lylekrahn says:

      Glad my wet feet made you smile! I have enjoyed telling the story many times. It really was just a bit of an unexpected adventure. It sounds like your incident was a lot more serious especially if you get sick afterwards! I thot it was interesting that you mentioned so quickly that your camera was safe – that is important!


  14. Seenorway says:

    Highly possible cause: Fault of Lyle ! 😀
    But the experience can’t be valued in money! In fact, it might save your life – one day! Never take unneccessary chances. You think you know, but when nature is covered by snow, you just never know! You might assume, but 100%? Never!
    Consider yourself lucky! Be thankful that only your feet got wet. Walking across rivers, of which you actually know far too little, neoprene is a good thing, Lyle. And it’s a good insulator and waterproof in case you step through another time.
    Never ever walk on rivers where the depth exceeds 2 feet! You might get swept under the ice, and there is no way of getting back!


  15. Mandy says:

    Wonderful photography but you’ve only been stuck twice? Are you even trying? I’ve been stuck so many times I’ve lost count, but as for falling through ice – you can keep that idea.


    • lylekrahn says:

      See, I told you I am cautious! I’m definitely not trying very hard and I still got stuck. That ice experience will make me a lot more cautious. The end result of it all is that I’ll have nothing to write about but it sounds like that won’t be your problem!


  16. Mike Powell says:

    Your photos and narrative remind me of the joys and challenges of living in a place that has a real winter. The pristine snow looks so beautiful, but sometimes, as you show, it covers up the dangers that are lurking just below its surface. Fortunately, you made it through the experience with no more than a bruised ego and a shopping list (and it seems like your camera gear survived the encounter). If you are like me, one of your first reactions after falling through the ice was to look around to see if anyone had seen your “accident.”


    • lylekrahn says:

      Yes there are real joys and challenges to go with the remarkable beauty of winter. I’m actually working on a beauty of winter post.

      I had dry stuff to put on in the nearby truck and the camera gear stayed dry so I didn’t even have to buy anything. As for looking around, I don’t think there was anyone for miles around so I could do it all alone. I was actually more concerned about my feet sliding around on the slippery surfaces resulting in a full baptism!


  17. hannele says:

    heh… i hope you had some dry socks to put on! was your car close by? falling through the ice when you’re out on a long hike can be mighty uncomfortable.

    thanks for a fun post, again! 🙂 sorry you had to suffer for it.


    • lylekrahn says:

      The truck was close, I had dry stuff to put on in the truck and it was a sunny warm day for winter so it was just a coolish inconvenience. It was really just an adventure to laugh about (at my own expense). If it had been a long ways away then it would have been a different matter.


  18. niasunset says:

    so beautiful so beautiful. Thanks and Love, nia


  19. Gunta says:

    Ahhh… the joy of photography! 😀


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