A Mackinac Winter

Out of all the wintery days that we’ve had in this new year, none have seemed more like winter than last Friday. Just a brushing of light snowfall, so constant and unwavering that it gently coats the tree branches and winter foliage just enough to cause a whiteout all around you. When it snows, air is trapped between the snowflakes, attenuating vibration, and absorbing sound. That’s why it seems so much more quiet when it snows. 

I always think of this when I’m walking to work in a light snowfall; just a calm moment before the everyday noise and jumbling of work begins is what I consider an ideal way to start the day. Better than a hot cup of coffee. And then on other days, when work is over, that is, a little noise is a welcome addition to the day. That’s when the revving of snowmobiles around town seem more exciting than normal. 

I haven’t had the opportunity to find myself on a snowmobile ride in recent years, but when you’ve got an adventurous driver, you know you’re in for a good drive. Most drivers are friendly as well… I will often times find myself walking up the big hill past the Grand Hotel and someone will stop to offer me a ride. Now that the island’s roads are full of snow (compared to the first week of the New Year when the snow had disappeared), snowmobiles are much more frequent around town. There’s also plenty of opportunities to travel by fat tire bike, cross country skis, or snowshoes, but at the end of the day, I will always be in favor of a walk. Anyway, if anyone reading out there happens to be located in a place with snow right now, and you have the good fortune of walking (or driving) on snow-covered trails, I highly recommend it. It’s a delightful way to start out the new year.

-Heather

Spring Surprises 2018

So… how about this weather!?

Although this weekend was full of braving a boat ride across Lake Huron and staying out of the horrible weather as much as possible, last weekend was full of island hiking, and I decided to explore around Sugar Loaf and see everything else along the way:

The lighthouse passage as seen from the top of Fort Hill

 

The Mackinac Bridge at sunset

More lake ice at sunset

There are a few Mackinac Island landmarks that are fairly close to each other, so whenever I visit one, I try to visit all three… Fort Holmes, Sugar Loaf, and Arch Rock. Being a resident who lives downtown however, I don’t always realize how much more snow is in the middle of the island. I walked up Fort Hill, strolled behind Fort Mackinac, and proceeded to hike along one of the trails towards Sugar Loaf, when I quickly realized that none of these trails had been touched and were covered in a good half foot of  thick snow. But I had made it up that far so, why not keep going?

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Here you can see my lone footsteps in the snow, and a tree that had fallen into a very interesting spot!

At every intersection I tried to calculate how much further I had to go and kept telling myself that I was so close. Also, knowing that arriving at Sugar Loaf would be so worth it, I kept trudging along until finally, I was there!

It’s a pretty big rock! I know lots of people try to climb it, even though you aren’t supposed to… my older half sister once climbed it back in the 70s and she somehow got stuck! She had to get pulled out by the local firemen. Anyway, there’s a small path that you can walk around it, but I decided to rest my feet and just take pictures from the road.

I then realized that I chose to visit the landmark between Arch Rock and Fort Holmes… and not wanting to go one way just to backtrack the other way and trudge in more snow than I needed to, I decided that I would skip Arch Rock this time around and head towards Fort Holmes. So, I made my way up to Lookout Point (which I had to do very carefully up the snowy, slightly slippery stairs!) and took one final look at Sugar Loaf:

The road to Fort Holmes had a clear path and I was able to walk fairly normally the rest of the way! It also happened to be a beautiful, sunny day to take a clear pic:

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And one more picture to share… yesterday as I made a short trip to St. Ignace and back, there were two freight boats parked just outside the island, waiting out the crazy winds we’ve been having. Unfortunately I didn’t have a nice camera on me so this one I took with my phone, but I still think it’s worth the share! Considering that the winds picked up even more today, I’m guessing they’re still sitting out there… or if they moved, they didn’t get very far!

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I hope everyone is having better weather than we are, and here’s hoping that Spring actually decides to show up soon!

~ Heather