Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Best Ice Rink. Ever.

The last two days brought our first break in the snow since early December.  I can't promise that not a single snowflake fell, but no accumulation stuck.  It was traded for our long lost friend: the Sunshine!  I think Keweenaw residents will be rejuvenated for at least a couple weeks before we get all cranky again.

Now this next part is a feat I've been hoping to do since I moved here eight years ago.  A venture that requires the perfect blend of temperature, lack of wind, lack of snow and cooperation from Her Majesty, Lake Superior.  It is a rare occurrence, and by now it's already too late to do it again.  But I took full advantage when I had the chance.

I ice skated across Copper Harbor's bay.

Here is some visual media, so you believe me.

Looking toward Porter's Island over the Harbor's rink

Looking at Brockway Mountain from the middle of the rink

Giddy as I was.  I got a little video for you.  Hopefully it will help quell any fears you may have brewing in your stomach.

Skating out there was amazing.  Simply the most scenic, alluring, glassy rink I have ever skated.  

The first day (Thursday) I booked it all the way to Porter's to check out the scene there.  The ice was all chunked by the time I got to the opening on the east end toward where the boats come in.  The 20 mph south winds made it a little tough to skate back to where Duce waited, shivering in cold and fear.  But I gave 'er heck, and finally made it back.

When I went out Friday, my original launch spot at the Harbor Haus was more like a pool, so a couple buddies, a couple pups and I tried the shore at Third Street Dock.  Perfect.

We skated around on ice even better than the day before!  My curiosity antennae pointed to the gap on the west side of Porter's that day.  My friends were a little leery, but I knew what to look for.  By the time I got there, the ice looked only 3 1/2 inches thick.  We didn't stay there too long!

Besides the occasional burp through a fissure in the ice, it seemed really stable out there.  My heart fluttered the whole time with glee.  There was really nothing like it.  Maybe someday it will happen again!

In my own little world, I thought this was really rad.  I posted a picture on facebook, and it seems that over 100 people thought it was really rad too -- people that have never been here!  That made me think... maybe other people who don't know about this will think it's rad when they learn about it!

Here's where you come in.

You like this blog.  You enjoy the adventures, pictures and whatnot.  Why don't you share it with a friend?  One friend who you think might need a little inspiration or a smile in their day.  Go ahead!  Try it right now!  Just tell them that you think this is rad, and they might too.

Hopefully you can brighten someone's day for the rest of their life!  And thank you for sharing.

Now I have to pack for a trip.  I'm traveling to 5 UP ski resorts that I'm writing articles about.  Now that's my kind of research!

Oh, before I go, here's a picture of the north shore of Hunter's Point.  The ice stretched as far as I could see into the lake that day (Tuesday?).  But now, it's all gone.

Ice off the north shore

Have a great week!


  1. Really great posts over the past few weeks Amanda! Thanks so much for the look & feel of the Keweenaw delivered directly to my monitor. It's obvious that you're making the most of your time with one adventure after another. We all envy you so much!

  2. Hi Amanda - I was sent your blog from a cyber friend I've had for many years but never met. She lives in Michigan and I live in Atlanta, GA. Our Winter is such that I've had to put on a heavy coat a few times lately (with gloves and a muffler this past week!!!), but mostly just wear a hoodie or light jacket. When we have a few flakes of snow, everybody heads for the grocery store to buy bread, milk and snack foods. Heaven forbid that we should be caught in a blizzard without enough to eat!!!! LOL Your skating trip across the Harbor was amazing to me. Don't think my thin Georgia blood could stand to live up there, but I would like to visit sometime in the Winter with all the ice and snow! Thanks for sharing such a great adventure!
    :o) Marian in Hotlanta

  3. You're so right, the conditions for free-wheeling skating rarely happens. My experience was that it felt very strange to be "floating" above the stuff on the bottom when the ice was totally clear. Great stories. Keep up the energy to keep 'em coming!! John

  4. Way cool, we don't get skating conditions like that in the keweenaw very often.

  5. Welcome, Marian! Thank your cyber friend for me!