Snowy and Cold February

The average temperature in Marquette for February 2015…..2.4 degrees F. Yeah. 2.4 degrees. I can’t even count how many days I have got up and started my car in the negative double digits. There were several mornings below -20 degrees. So cold!

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While the cold really sucks, we have also been blessed with a ton of snow.

11001528_10100957076408407_419654277299482556_oFebruary is full of fun activities in the Upper Peninsula. The UP 200 and Midnight Run sled dog races start in Marquette and that brings in quite a crowd. We volunteered again this year at a road crossing with some friends. It was a lot of fun. I also raced in a snow bike race in Marquette. The 15 mile 906 Polar Roll.  Probably one of the hardest things that I have ever done! The trails were quite beat up and it was physically exhausting. But still a great accomplishment.

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(Photo by Gary Vidlund)

My parents visited during the sled dog races and we had a good weekend exploring in winter wonderland. As well as celebrating my mom’s 60th birthday!

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I have done quite a bit of biking, skiing and I even tried dog sledding with my mentee from the YMCA’s Reach and Rise Mentoring Program.

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Yesterday, we skied out to Grand Island to view the ice caves. Last year was one of the first times in years that the ice between the mainland and the island has been safe enough to cross. And we were lucky this year too. One of the benefits of the cold! We skied the 1/2 mile from Sand Point in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore to the East side of Grand Island. It was an easy ski and the snow was packed nicely. A lot of people were walking across too.

11050708_10100973300370457_1860338683130643604_nYou will notice that the ice in my photos vary in color. That is not photoshopped. The ice appears blue because it is so dense. When ice is this dense, it reflects every other color but blue, which gives it that beautiful appearance. The brown and orange ice are from the tannins leaching into the ice from the vegetation above. Gorgeous colors. You can walk under a lot of the caves but there were spots that you can see where huge ice chunks have broken off. I would imagine that if the ice fell on someone, it would not end well. Most of the visitors were being careful.

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It was about 25 degrees and sunny, so for us, it was very warm. You didn’t need to cover up every inch of exposed skin, which is a plus! There were people out there snowmobiling, skiing, snowshoeing, ice climbing, camping and hiking. I love how one sunny day will bring some sense adventure out of people! Yoopers are tough and love winter!

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