A boisterous season of unending “to-do” lists and holiday frivolity is given comparative respite, as winter cloaks the Michigan landscape. Concluding the introduction of the BLUE photo essay of winter’s beauty, Managing Editor Howard Meyerson instructs readers to “throw another log on the fire and enjoy” the images from a variety of Michigan photographers. Perhaps, it will inspire readers to wrap up and head to favorite places, changed sometimes hourly by a season of crystal glistening.
BLUE celebrates all aspects of the winter season, from short walks enunciated by the crunch of snow underfoot to high adventures. While some are content to stay inside to observe the seasonal transformation, one also is drawn to the excitement and drama uniquely created by snowfall, the more the better. The BLUE cover story, “Skiing the U.P.” by Frida Waara is a well-crafted prompt beckoning readers to the ski slopes and offering new insight: “Many people in Michigan don’t realize that the birthplace of organized skiing in America was not in Aspen, Stowe or Sun Valley, but right here in the middle of the U.P., in Ishpeming,” said Justin Koski, director of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame. “Skiing has been a way of life since hearty Norwegians came to mine iron ore, bringing their ski-jumping tradition.” The photography accompanying the story captures adventures in known and coveted venues in the Upper Peninsula.
Contributor Linda Odette offers a tour of the Pine Mountain ski jump in Iron Mountain, where the only U.S. jump on the International Ski Federation annual calendar offers competition every year. The excitement of watching often triples the town’s population, with an estimated 20,000 attendees last year.
New adventures also wait along snowshoeing or cross country trails in both peninsulas. Michigan BLUE contributor Dianna Stampfler provides a roundup of the increasing events and activities marking these trails, from Wilderness Sleigh Rides to “taste and glide” mini feasts (some offering musical performances). The craft of making your own snowshoes appears on page 24. Readers who prefer to ride into the winter should review the Michigan Top 5 column for best snowmobile trails. For those feeling an urban pull, contributor Alexandra Fluegel provides a guide to the morphing Detroit District and its heart, Campus Martius Park.
Take the time to inspect the landscape changing dramatically with every unique snowflake falling from “lake effect” skies, and don’t forget to wear a Stormy Kromer.
Editor, Michigan BLUE Magazine – (Photography) by Aaron Peterson
For many, the weekend stay with a dog-sledding package offered at Chamberlin’s Ole Forest Inn is the ideal winter getaway. The inn on Big Manistique Lake is a historic hotel built in the 1890s, where guests often gather around the 10-foot fireplace for hot chocolate or cocktails after a day of dog sledding.
A wintertime visit to Mackinac Island promises secluded adventures, pristine views. “In the winter, it’s a whole different world than you’ve seen if you’ve visited in summer,” he said. “It just looks very pristine. Arch rock on a winter day? It’s so beautiful with ice and the lake behind it.”