Tuesday, February 21, 2017

School Forest Snowshoe

Over the weekend we had sunshine and warm temperatures in the 40s.  I went on a great snowshoe with friends in the Burt Township School Forest.  A good time was had by all.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Sable Falls Ski

The other day I cross country skied with a friend over to Sable Falls.  We took our skies off and hiked down the steps.  Some sections we actually slid, since it was safer.  There is no ice on the falls themselves, but their are sections of snow covering parts of the cascading falls.  We also saw a bald eagle.  It was a great ski!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

UP 200 Sled Dog Race

This weekend is the UP 200 Sled Dog Race.  Fourteen teams participated this year.  They started in Marquette Friday night and arrived in Grand Marais, which is the turn-around point, around mid-day yesterday.  Temperatures along the route were in the 40s and 50s, which is too warm for the teams, but great for the spectators.  Once they arrive in Grand Marais, the teams rest in our baseball field.  The town plows out spaces for the mushers' rigs and equipment to line up.  There are also numerous checkpoints manned by locals to help direct/stop snowmobile traffic to protect the dog sled teams.  This event is a qualifier for the Alaskan Iditarod race.

Friday, February 17, 2017

First Cross Country Ski of the Year

It is embarrassing to admit that yesterday was the first day of cross country skiing for the year.  Between working on the book, weather issues, the holidays, and the trip -- it just didn't happen.  I'm going out again today before the meltdown.  Temperatures during the next week are supposed to be in the upper 30s and 40s.

First, when I drove to town I captured a picture of the road commission.  This plow is used to remove the snow banks.

The national park trails yesterday were perfect.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Lake of ice on the Great Lakes

When I drove to and from Marquette yesterday, I noticed how little ice cover there is on the Big Lake. I just looked it up. The ice coverage of all five lakes is only 8.9 percent. This is weird. Usually, by this time of the winter, most of the lower Great Lakes are mostly frozen over. The Lake Superior average for this date is 32 percent. The current ice coverage on Lake Superior is only 3 percent.  The comparison stats are below.
     Mid-February 2014                                 Mid-February 2017
Lake Erie, 95.8 percent                                     8.4 percent
Lake Huron, 95.5 percent                                19.0 percent
Lake Superior, 94.6 percent                              3.0 percent
Lake Michigan, 82.3 percent                           10.1 percent
Lake Ontario, 43.4 percent                               2.9 percent