Winter 2018

As the winter begins to come to a close, I wanted to share some of the photographs I took throughout this past winter season on Mackinac Island.

This turned out to be an exceptionally busy winter for me… although some see the island as a quiet place from the months of January through April, quite a bit is actually happening throughout the community. From jam sessions to ballroom dancing to archery and volleyball, street hockey, cross country skiing, and the list goes on… there was definitely a lot to do! This year, I did my best to embrace the community spirit and participate in as much as possible. That, combined with a few more weekends than normal traveling on and off the island, and I’d say I had a lot less free time this winter than in winters past… and for the most part, it was a good thing!

I think living on Mackinac Island year round has made me too much of a queasy winter driver though. I’m not a fan of driving in snow. However, I am quite alright driving over ice, and we fortunately all had the opportunity to drive over an ice bridge from Mackinac Island to St. Ignace this year, even if the ice bridge did only last a couple of weeks.

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Entrance to the ice bridge at British Landing
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Panoramic shot from the middle of the ice bridge (you’ll notice a few more people on the right… there was a big crack in the ice and a man was out there guiding people over the safest part of the crack).
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British Landing

 

Before the ice bridge was established, our only way off was by plane. I actually don’t mind the plane ride either as it only takes 5 minutes to get to St. Ignace. It’s also a great way to get pics of the Mackinac Bridge, the island, and see the ice coverage below. Every time I took a plane ride, my inner tourist came out and I’d be taking pics every time I went up in the air.

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Distant view of the Mackinac Bridge, frozen in a thick coverage of frozen lake

 

Of course the ice coverage in the lake is never a dull sight to see, either. We had a few areas around the island where large blocks of ice had been pushed to shore and stayed for the entire winter… although to be fair, Mackinaw City had some incredible piles of ice on their shores! I never actually walked out on their shores, but saw many people out on the piles of ice as I was driving by on one of my many drives across the bridge on the weekend.

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An iced in marina with the Coast Guard in the background
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Broken blocks of ice near the docks
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Ice stopped from floating into the bay by the breakwall
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End of March… ice is almost gone here
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End of March… the last remains of the ice bridge, seen from St. Ignace
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Taken late March – Round Island Lighthouse passage with the bridge in the background
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I love to see that blue water!

 

My favorite moments of the winter always happened outside, taking hikes and exploring the island covered in snow. This is the part of island life that I would say is peaceful and quiet during the winter… spending time out in nature! Most of the time I had my camera with me with the intent of taking photographs for instagram, or saving up for blog posts, but sometimes I’d just leave the camera in my bag and get lost on a good long trail.

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A view from Pontiac Trail
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On a trail between the two sets of stairs that lead up to West Bluff. Under the snow was a nice thick and smooth layer of ice. Not the best conditions for a hike!
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Stairs leading up to West Bluff
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From one of my walks up to the airport, stopped at a fork in the road
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                             Owl surveying the land up in the trees. I had the pleasure of seeing                                    him several times this winter!

 

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A northern view of Arch Rock
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Nearly Spring in front of the Grand Hotel
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The Grand porch
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Speed limit sign for snowmobilers
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New construction from the Shepler’s dock
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Horses and dray waiting to pick up more packages to deliver

Well it seems as though my spring break from work is over, so I’ll be getting back into my normal routine soon, and that will include many more trail hikes soon. Spring is a fun time to be outdoors because everything smells so fresh, and greenery starts to show up in my pictures again! I’m looking forward to another pretty Spring, and yet another exciting Summer…

Until next time,

Heather

Time for a Cool Down

With October behind us, it’s gotten rather cold in Northern Michigan. I’ve heard from friends all over the state that they’ve already received a bit of snowfall, and here on Mackinac Island we got to experience the same on the night of Halloween. That snow quickly melted, and as I woke up this morning I was greeted with the sight of some crazy snowfall! The mayor even approved snowmobile driving today and many students were happy to be able to drive their snowmobiles home after school.

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Mackinac Island, morning of November 9

Before I go on, I’d like to address the fact that my blog has undergone a little bit of a change… mainly, that I’ve changed the name to The Copper Lake, which represents my love of all things copper (especially the copper items I use in my candy shop) and that my blog posts mostly take place here on Lake Huron. And I imagine I’ll be capturing many more copper-shaded sunsets over Lake Huron in the future… Anyway, if you type in my old blog address, it will still redirect you to the new name – and don’t worry, the content will basically be the same with a few more lifestyle posts sprinkled in, but as for Mackinac Island blog posts, those won’t go away… I promise!

Although the stores here on Mackinac Island are closed for the season, life still seems pretty busy downtown. It’s that time of year for construction to start up again! I hear trucks go by every morning up the Grand Hill, a few places on Main St. have already stripped apart some of their store fronts for new construction, and even our fudge shops are getting a new coat of paint inside. I also got a little too preoccupied with work and completely missed out on taking pictures of horses leaving the island… I’m sure you’ve all seen some nice pics out there, somewhere?

I decided to weather the storm and take a quick trip off island, buying my set of surcharge tickets at Starline Ferry to use alongside my Shepler’s resident pass, and rode the catamaran to St. Ignace. One thing that I miss during the off season is having access to the book store, where I would also have access to magazines… so I got off the boat dock in St. Ignace and walked straight away to the bookstore across the street to stock up on a few food and fitness mags. Unfortunately I was met with somewhat of a shock when I saw that the bookstore in St. Ignace is closing!!!!!!! It’s been since I was a kid. At least I was able to get all of my magazines at a discount, but I’ll be very sorry to see that bookstore disappear…

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Leaving the bay

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Passengers waiting to get off the boat

After a quick drive down the street and back, I caught the next boat back to the island, caught a great view of a freight boat passing by us as we neared the Round Island Lighthouse passage, and I biked back home as fast as I could to head inside my warm home.

I have just a few photos left from late October that I’d like to share, so I’l share them here at the end.

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Until next time,

Heather

Mackinac Island / Fall 2017

This year’s fall season has been taking it’s sweet time to start cooling down… and I’m totally okay with that!

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I haven’t had much time to blog this summer, but did have an opportunity recently to organize some recent photos. The sunsets this time of year are wonderful, and I like to join the other tourists down at the boardwalk to wait for the day’s sunset. Every once in awhile, I have the great pleasure of catching a freight boat pass by, like in the picture above and below:

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Some quiet time on the beach…

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Life on Main Street has still been pretty steady as well! We’ve had the Republican convention, boy scouts, and senior citizens visiting in the past few weeks. And just when I think that business is going to be slow at the fudge shops on a Saturday… it’s not! Overall I’m pretty happy about the weekend business downtown:

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The view on Main Street
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Cream and butter delivery for May’s Candy Shop
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Fresh chocolate nut! Mmmmmmmmmmmay’s fudge 🙂

Just a few more outdoor shots for you. I’ve got a new camera coming in the mail and hope to put up some pictures with it soon! Take care, all…

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~ Heather