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Ed Dodge hopped in the bench of his Suzuki auto and looked aback at his commuter to accomplish abiding he was adequate in his “geargo” one of two bootleg two-wheel carts fabricated out of old 55-gallon artificial drums the ATV was towing.
“Right now I’m affairs two geargos, but if I put the third one on, I can booty about six bodies out at a time,” said the 44-year-old Sterling citizen as he able to arch out of his driveway to his choice ice shanty, which was set up about a bisected mile abroad in the average of Dark Sodus Bay, off Lake Ontario.
The ride out was a little aflutter and algid as the thermometer hovered at a bone-chilling 10 degrees. A columnist followed in a abstracted ATV supplied by Dodge.
As Dodge pulled up abutting to his shanty, it was bright this was no accustomed structure. A baby woodstove aqueduct and a accessory bowl was arresting at one end, a wind agent at the other.The roof and abandon of the 9-by-12-foot berth were composed mainly of vinyl balustrade put on a tubular animate frame, with several bright artificial windows in board frames. An American banderole was added to one corner. To the larboard of the advanced aperture was a mailbox with Tuesday’s copy of The Post-Standard in it.
Suddenly the aperture access open. Neighbor Tim Haworth came out smiling.
“My wife threw me out a anniversary ago. Do I accept to leave?” he joked. “It’s 75 degrees in there appropriate now.”
Welcome to Ed Dodge’s home abroad from home on the ice, which he calls his “shantaminium.” With all its amenities, it qualifies as the Taj Mahal of ice shanties in Central New York.”We had a house-warming affair aftermost Saturday,” he said, acquainted that 13 guests feasted on hors d’oeuvres, steaks, elk meat and, of course, beer.
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Dodge lives on Dark Sodus Bay with his wife, Amylynn. He is a renewable activity practitioner/service bigger for Sieman’s Building Technologies, alive mostly from home.
The shantaminium, he said, has accustomed him an befalling to use some clutter and debris he’s afraid on to in accession to befitting up with Haworth and several added neighbors, who accept their own shanties.
“The way things are, if it ain’t the tax man extensive into your pocket, you’re attractive at a blow abutting week,” Dodge said. “It gets us out of the abode during the winter. Keeps our chins up.”Dodge’s berth is a low-budget project.
“Everything you see in actuality is free, with the barring of the 400-watt wind agent and the electrical goods,” he said. “I paid $599 for the wind turbine, $119 for the accessory receiver, a few hundred dollars at best for the inverter aggregate abroad was free, actuality I had laying around.”
The wind agent accuse two car-sized batteries that Dodge has inside. From the batteries, he has two 12-volt circuits set up that augment into the inverter, an electrical accessory that converts the absolute accepted to alternating current, authoritative it accessible for his DVD/radio, the 13-inch blush TV/VCR and the aerial light.
Dodge said he’s been allowance neighbors, including Haworth, put their shanties calm for about seven years. This year for the aboriginal time, Dodge absitively to body his own. He abject it out on the ice with his ATV (it sits on skis and wheels) abutting to Haworth’s berth about Christmastime. It’s been out on the ice anytime since.
Dodge acclaimed how the attic central was bisected ice, bisected an old artificial bed liner from a truck. He has amplitude to assignment a aperture to ice fish, but hasn’t. He said he wants to abbreviate any baptize inside.He explained that the shanty’s animate anatomy came from an old carriageable barn that “ravaged my Corvette in a 50-mph windstorm.” He cut it bottomward and adapted it.
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“I siliconed all the vinyl balustrade joints together, giving them rigidity,” he said. “I acclimated some cream in some areas to beating bottomward some of the big holes. Back you accept 30- to 40-mph apprehension and minus-5-degree temperatures outside, any arising takes its toll.”
Dodge estimated the anatomy weighs 500 to 600 pounds. It’s currently sitting on 11 to 12 inches of ice over 35 anxiety of water.
“You try to accumulate it as ablaze as possible,” Haworth said. “Once you calefaction it up inside, it will accept a addiction to sink.”
Dodge acicular out a aback bend area he had penciled in a amplitude for a proposed mini-urinal. He and his wife accept talked it out and absitively it has to board men and women. He abstracts he’ll use a window dark that can be aloft or bargain for privacy.
He additionally acclaimed some brim about the chase of the baby woodstove. “That’s a hot baptize heating element. . . . it’s a approaching thing,” he said. Same with the orange crate he affairs to adhere aloft the aperture to authority the TV, he said.
With all this comfort, does he anytime ice fish?
“I got all the gear. I got the license. I haven’t done abundant fishing,” he said. “I bent one branch a brace of weeks ago.”
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Each weekend, Dodge said, his berth draws a host of ice fishermen who array about it for one acumen or another. Sometimes it’s aloof because it provides a wind break. Anglers generally blink in the windows or accessible the aperture to see what’s activity on.
“The allure is the camaraderie, of actuality out actuality with the boys,” he said. “We adhere out here, alcohol beer, acquaint lies you know, the things fishermen do.”
Waworth keeps an eye on the shantaminium back Dodge isn’t around.
“Ed, he’s appealing ingenious. We’ve never apparent annihilation bigger than this,” he said Wednesday afternoon, beer in hand, sitting on Dodge’s couch. He acclaimed the temperature central had plummeted to 69 degrees.
“It does that back you leave the aperture open,” he said.
David Figura can be accomplished at [email protected] or at 470-6066.
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