There are places where residents remain indoors, taking warm refuge from the winter cold, but Michigan is not one of them. Leaving the home hearth offers the reward of memorable new vistas; even the same old place is changed by winter’s unique landscape.
Michigan BLUE offers enticements to head out and join the onlookers. For the feature Small Town Charms, BLUE Managing Editor Marla Miller, in collaboration with Designer Melissa Brooks and Art Coordinator Kelly Nugent, selected a variety of charming winter scenes from Michigan photographers that capture the state’s “frozen paradise.” The Great Lakes put on an amazing show and become unrecognizable to eyes on the near shores: Waves frozen in formation and ice sculptures impossible to replicate are spellbinding even without a glint of sunlight.
Some part of a Michigan adventure is trying to identify people you know, even as they’re covered up in Michigan-made Carhartt bibs, scarves, goggles, gloves and hats. Michigan natives learn from childhood that, to stay warm in the outdoors, movement is essential. Michigan BLUE amps up the excitement and the activity level with contributor Jon Osborn’s “The Need for Speed.” No summer sail can compare to whipping across a frozen lake, given the wind speeds of winter and a sleek boat on ice. Vice commodore of the Grand Traverse Ice Yacht Club Chris Stoppel offers this more apt comparison: “Iceboating is like flying a fighter jet or driving a top-fuel dragster.”
If you prefer two-wheeled adventure, a trip to Marquette may be in store to try out the Noquemanon Trail Network’s dedicated singletrack that’s groomed for fat tire bikes and the focus of this issue’s The Sporting Life. Even winter camping is growing in popularity. As Michigan Top 5 writer Bob Gwizdz notes: It’s made easier by reserving a yurt, mini-cabin or lodge at a state-owned property.
The Alaskan Iditarod doesn’t get underway until March 5, but Michigan mushers are competing in various areas of the state all season. Ludington native and Michigan State University grad Ed Stielstra is listed among the mushers competing in the Alaskan Iditarod; he operates one of Michigan’s sled-dog adventure and racing businesses in McMillan in the U.P. The sport of mushing is a big draw for several Michigan resorts now offering short runs for guests, but for real adventures, look for those identified in the BLUE feature by contributor Howard Meyerson.
Winter eating is a celebration, too, especially if the menu features the season’s special offerings like duck, elk, pheasant, quail and venison. Dining Destination offers tips and insights from chefs on preparation, recipes and the health benefits of wild game. Readers will likely be inspired to rediscover the “food value in Michigan’s wilderness.”
BLUE celebrates Michigan’s water winter wonderland, each year unique for natural changes of scenery and artistry.
Carole Valade, Editor, Michigan BLUE Magazine