Ice Bridge

There’s a first time for everything… I finally got myself out on the ice bridge!

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You might recognize the picture above, but if you don’t, it’s the boardwalk! You can see how much snow has accumulated up here (actually, this picture is a couple weeks old and the wall of snow is much higher now!) The ice bridge that connects Mackinac Island to St. Ignace has been here for several months now, and people from all over have been making good use of it. And on my first trip over, I had to make sure to take a couple of photos.

My adventure took place a couple of weeks ago, on a sunny weekend with lots of people out and about on their snowmobiles. I didn’t start out at British Landing, where you can find one of the two ice bridge trails… instead, I took the “B-Line,” which starts at the end of the boardwalk:

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I figured if I get too scared to stop later in the trip that I should take a picture at the first tree!

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As you can clearly see, the ice bridge has snowmobile tracks that extend a fair amount away from the trees. But, don’t ever make a detour off the path! You may not end up at your destination… !

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Halfway through, and I decided that I could stop. We found a patch of ice not covered in snow, and tried to see how thick the ice was at that particular spot:

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Once on the St. Ignace side, I breathed a sigh of relief/pumped a fist in the air for my first trip over. Fun stuff! We even ran into some tourists making their first trip over and they actually asked us for directions! We told them to follow the trees. Since my first trip I’ve gone across the ice bridge another 4 times, and it has really been a good year for a bridge. If you’ve never been, always go with a buddy! And of course, always always ALWAYS, be careful and take all precautions while traveling the straits.

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mackinac island ice bridge panorama

Snow Day!

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It’s been several years since Mackinac Island Public Schools saw a snow day… and even then, it wasn’t even about the snow. Actually, I can’t totally recall what it was, either too much ice on the roads or too many teachers out sick… in any case, the snow is never what closes our school here. Today, school was cancelled on account of the extreme wind chill that the straits were experiencing. I think it went as far as -30! Boy was it cold out. I didn’t go out until later in the day, when I braved a walk down on the boardwalk. Before we get to that, however, here are a couple of pics around town… before the blowing snow came in!

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Here we see the school the day before our school cancellation
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If you look hard enough, the Mackinac Bridge is between the trees. Well… trust me, it’s there!

Now before school started back up, I had spent the new year over in Petoskey, and on my way back on January 2nd, I had to wait awhile at the St. Ignace airport for the next plane, not because there was a line, but because there weren’t enough people to fly! But as you can see in the picture below, that wasn’t the case on the island side. Just as my plane landed, a taxi had dropped off a group of tourists who were all waiting their turn to leave the island:

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My favorite sled on the island 🙂 And he made it himself, too!

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For those of you who have ever visited the Lucky Bean coffeehouse, the snow was plowed up above it so high that I couldn’t even get in it to change my sister’s holiday sign for her!

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Walking out to Yoder Dock, we got a good look at the frozen lake:

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Now about that wind chill… I heard that it went down to -30 degrees, and by the time I checked it myself later tonight it was at -21. Eek! I took a walk down to the boardwalk, and didn’t think it was that windy, not windy at all, one block away at my house:

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But when I finally reached the boardwalk there was a big difference in the winds. The bridge was covered in a haze of snow, and the street under my feet looked as though it were moving! The snow was blowing seamlessly underneath me:

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I’m sure tomorrow will be a nicer day, but in any case, stay safe outside, everyone!

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~ Heather

(follow me on twitter! @MackIslandGal)