Michigan’s famed bodies of fresh water now are transforming into captivating sculptures, luring one to venture beyond the “cabin” and witness the intriguing metamorphosis that some days changes by the hour.
This issue focuses on the seasonal enticements that lure one to big and small adventures, whether in an endeavor to participate with Mother Nature’s fresh delivery, capture a unique Instagram post (which is almost a certainty) or seek the invigoration of winter sport. Every outing provides an instant blush of skin color and the tingling of expectation.
I make a distinction here: participating with the outdoors in the pursuit of fun or inspiration is far different than all the everyday activities that can become drudgery in any month. As is noted in Michigan Top 5, the sheer fun of sledding, skiing or walking up to frozen falls only adds to the pleasure of warm drinks and cozy fireside chats.
In what is likely an adventure known only to a few hardy mariners, Managing Editor Howard Meyerson provides an almost first-person story of life aboard a freighter through the eyes of a marine photographer invited aboard. Those delivering important cargos to ports around the Great Lakes have unique vantage points and generally unimagined challenges in winter navigation. The story is indeed a tale of adventure, though to the crew, it is a season’s work.
And there are those who seek to challenge the nature of the season: Ron Sherry, an international iceboat champion; the volunteers who open Michigan lighthouses to visitors for 360-degree views of port cities, but only on Dec. 2; and those who know (and will teach willing students) the meaning of the word “mush.”
This issue wouldn’t be complete without celebrating another pursuit, known only to vintners in a few states. Canada, Germany and Austria are the countries recognized as top producers of ice wine, along with few U.S. states, Michigan among them. The climate of warm summers to grow grapes and cold enough winters to let them freeze gives Michigan a “top producer” status. Like everything in the winter season, it is a symbol of challenge and great reward.
This issue offers each reader a personalized winter bucket list of ideas and prompts for enjoyment.
— Carole Valade, Editor, Michigan BLUE Magazine