Monday, February 14, 2011

Northern Michigan Glaciers

If snowshoeing recharged my batteries two weekends ago, then the trip this weekend was the equivalent of swapping the old rechargeables out for new lithium ion ones!

After my Criminal Law midterm on Friday I hopped into the sideseat of the Subaru and pointed North for what I though was to be a weekend of quiet, boring studies alone. However, this weekend kicked more butt than I could have ever imagined. Not only did I get the majority of my work done, but I also got to spend time with my family and we even got some outdoors time in!

Part one: The journey.

The Northernly trip started out under gray skies with a hint of ice in the air. While we remained on the eastern side of the state the weather was calm and frankly a little boring for traveling weather. However once we hit the great divider: Clare, we were blasted by thick, beautiful clumps of Lake Effect goodness. I tried to get a few shots but the great darkness in the sky did not permit such acts. You see, up north, when you turn out the lights it is dark! 

From here on the drive was accompanied by the type of snow that falls where I come from. It falls slowly, almost hanging in the air and then gently lays down with its kin to blanket the ground underneath. It is a wholesome snow, stout and soft.

Upon arriving home I feasted upon homemade chocolate chips! Thanks Mom. 

This is where I thought my journey had ended for the weekend, however as per usual, I over estimated the amount of time that I would need for my homework, and underestimated the amount of sleep that I need! Knowing that I wanted to be able to do things on Saturday I stayed up until around 4 getting a good jump on the work. The finished product was quite good if I do say so! Take that adverse possession!

Part two: Family time and a minor Glaciation 

Saturday morning we awoke early and zipped down to Chelsea's grandparent's house where we were greeted with pancakes and conversation. After spending some time with them we headed out to arguably one of my most favorite places in the world; Portage Point.

When I was a younger man I used to drive out here, daily. Then one winter I discovered that the water freezes into giant mountains far out into the lake during the colder months. These mountains resemble fractionalized version of the glaciers that carved out this great area and it is kind of neat to see them rising out of water where we swim and skim board in the summer. Lake Michigan really provides four seasons of awesomeness if you are willing to experience it!

Now that we live further away from the lake whenever we get a chance to come out to it we soak it up and make the most out of it. I would like to share a few shots of the ice hike with you, you will enjoy: (after enjoying check out what it looks like in the summer)
The ice extends easily 400' out into the lake. To put this into perspective I took this shot, I am about even with the end of the pier and the ice continued for another 150-200'

This is the top of a little ice cave I found, no good pics inside though.

The ice bubbles remind me of desert pavement, look it up it is pretty cool, made by a slightly similar concept too!

If we were in the Arctic, this is definitely where a seal would pop up!

One part Grinch who stole Christmas, one part explorer!

After the ice hopping we grabbed a drink at my favorite natural spring and headed to see my grandparents. Chelsea showed Grandma some new tricks with her camera and I discussed the prison camp-like settings of test-taking in law school. They even hooked us up with some new wine bottles to cut!

Saturday night we hit up the casino for dinner with Chelsea's Mom, Fred and Izzy. We had a good time and then settled in to ride out the remainder of the snowstorm watching Seinfeld and finishing up some homework!

Our return trip to SE MI was guided by beautiful sunshine, dry roads and minimal traffic, only in Michigan can you be in one spot and experience 2.5 seasons in less than 48 hours! That fact is pretty cool in that it makes even the shortest trips up there seem longer!

Take care all. Enjoy this week, and Happy Valentine's Day!


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Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Great adventure. I love the ice pictures, and it's all so much more special because you had to carve out the time from required activities.

miadventure said...

Well thank you, it was a great trip and because I had so much to do I really had to squeeze the most enjoyment I could out of it!