Feb 23-05

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2005: February: Feb 23-05
Road trip    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Peter Djiovanis


By
Mary Drew enjoying the southern hospitality on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 05:37 am:

Driving along a wintry U.P. highway can be a tricky thing to do when the wind is howling and buffeting your car. Add in the swirling and blowing of a recent snowfall and it becomes downright treacherous, as Peter Djiovanis experienced here on M-28 between Marquette and Munising. Lake Superior borders the highway offering some beautiful wide-open vistas, but the Big Lake and that same exposure multiply the effects of the blustery weather. Yes, getting behind the wheel in the snowy north is a different affair than driving around other portions of the country, but then again, just being in the Upper Peninsula is an occasion unto itself!

Sure seems strange to be riding my bike around on the roads down south here in Brunswick, GA, when I know it's only February and my senses are conditioned for snowing and blowing. Don't worry though, I'm adapting just fine! It's nice that I don't have to adjust to being away from my Pasty.com connection, since it's just a phone call away with Pasty.net's Nationwide Dial-in.

Speaking of Pasty.NET, quite the excitement last night with online streaming sports from Calumet. In basketball, Calumet defeated Houghton 48-44, with play-by-play from WMPL and Pasty.NET member Mitch Lake calling the action. Meanwhile, from K-Bear 102.3, Mr. Norm and Jimmy the Greek provided the color as Calumet skated to a 2-2 tie with Marquette. Both audio events were carried live on Pasty.NET - one more way for out-of-state yoopers to stay in touch with home.


By Jim & Pam on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 05:43 am:

Good Morning. Yes that can be one bad stretch of highway when the wind and snow come off the lake. Mary, hope your having an enjoyable vacation, and having great weather too. Jim & Pam, Calumet


By Cindy, St. Clair Shores, MI on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 05:46 am:

I love all the winter pictures from the Keweenaw, but this one is the reason I haven't been up there in the winter yet. It's already a ten hour drive in good weather from my home. Maybe when I retire in a few years and it doesn't matter how long I take to get there, I'll enjoy some winter fun, too.

Mary, I'm glad that you are enjoying your trip. Maybe you'll bring signs of spring back with you.


By JK, Gaylord, Mi on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 06:03 am:

That stretch of road gets BAD sometimes. Trips from home to NMU and vice versa through that stretch were always interesting.


By julie b., MI on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 06:26 am:

Yes, this is an interesting stretch when the winds are up and its snowing hard! Recall one of our trips home from NMU when it was white-out conditions and finding the road was virtually impossible. All of a sudden we drove off the LEFT side of the road and were buried good. A family in a station wagon stopped {bless their hearts} and drove us into Munising where we got a wrecker. When we got to the car the guy said 'i've never had one stuck this bad'! That was a badge of honor we could have done without!

Be safe out there everyone!


By Margaret, Amarillo TX on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 06:44 am:

Ah, for a UP winter.


By PETE ex UPER, California on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 07:10 am:

Greetings from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Hot and humid here going back to Stockton, CA. Friday.


By Gary, Surabaya, Indonesia on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 07:14 am:

A quick flick of the wheel and it is off in the ditch. I'm sure everyone has experienced it.


By Roudy Mi on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 07:23 am:

I've had the problem where the road turned and the car didn't.


By Don again in Mqt on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 07:24 am:

1966 was my first winter back in the UP after 18 years away. That Thanksgiving we went to Detroit, returning on Sunday with our two boys under five. It was pouring rain and passing through Flint we saw a soaked hitchhiker under an overpass with a forlorn sign reading NMU. He climed in the back seat with the two urchins and somwhere north the rain changed to snow and then to BLIZZARD. Any sensible person would have called it quits in Munising. But I blunderd on, the north wind was wicked and there was little visibility on those lake stretches of M28. Somehow I made it and delivered the student to Northern. He couldn't get out of the right side door as there was 4 inches of ice on that side of the station wagon. Had to park in the Snow drift on my street. We must have been the last people to get through as those who went by 94 instead and those coming north on US41 spent several days at the Ideltime Bar out in Skandia. Many MTU and NMU students did not make it back till the end of the week.


By Bob on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 07:41 am:

Makes it even trickier when the driver has his hands on a camera instead of the wheel lol

;-)


By Kathy from Whitmore Lake/Cheboygan on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 08:13 am:

What you want to watch out for is the guy in front of you stopping or slowing abruptly in low visibility. We used to get white-out blizzards when I lived over by Kalamazoo, well within the reach of lake effect snow (Lake Michigan rather than Superior).


By sur5er on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 08:36 am:

Ok, now this is about the only thing I don't miss about the UP...the 'white knuckle driving' in white out conditions. One mistake, and all the cars end up in the ditch, making it look like a scractch and dent sale at Sears.

Like Kathy from Whitmore Lake, I now deal with Lake Michigan lake effect white outs. Now Kathy try driving in that with a bunch of Chicago drivers, who believe that 'all wheel drive' and 'four wheel drive' means they can go 80 on I-80 in white out conditions...and you're in front of them going 30.


By Sarah, Central WI on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 08:44 am:

That looks awfully cold...but, oh to be there!


By Dale B, Lansing on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 08:46 am:

Most folks attending Michigan Tech in 1985 (as I was) will recall this stretch of road. It was part of the infamous "Thanksgiving Drive of '85". I was lucky and made the post-Thanksgiving trip back north in good weather on Saturday that year, but during the day Sunday and into Monday a huge winter storm came through. There were pictures in the local newspapers of cars that were completely encased in ice after running off the road there, and of driftwood logs thrown up onto the road by the waves. That early in the year the water hadn't frozen over yet, so the waves were crashing up onto shore and covering everything in their path with ice. My roomie ended up spending a couple nights sleeping on the floor of the Marquette National Guard Armory because the roads were impassable. As I recall, Houghton got 17" of snow in a 24 hour period. It was one of the few times in the century that Tech was closed because of weather.


By Missin the UP from NJ on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 08:59 am:

Good Morning!
Lotsa interesting talk, as usual. I'm curious if there are pictures on the net of that Thanksgiving storm that Dale B. told of. Sounds like a 'Storm of the Century'.
The pic today made me think tha movie 'Fargo' may not have been filmed in Minn. after all! Heehee!
Thanks for the cool (brrrr) pic!


By JJ MI on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 09:03 am:

This past Oct. we left Munising, (great food - dog patch) and headed west toward Craig lake, and the Porkies. Rain, sleet, and snow greeted us as we drove out of town in the per-dawn darkness. The wind howled off the Big Lake, and I have to slow down to avoid (what I thought was) snow drifting accross the highway. Limited visibility, combination of dark and elements, yet after a slow down or two, we realized it was sand dunes covering the road (a lot more difficult to drive through than snow I might add). All in all that area of road, winter, spring, summer, or fall has it's own stories, personality, and is a reflection of the many sides of the U.P.

Great photo


By Roudy Mi on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 09:07 am:

Up on the Rice Lake road we were following the the County plow with the school bus in a blizzard. The storm was bad enough that day that we had to wait at school for a plow to lead the bus home. There were white out conditions. The driver got a little cross ways once and we had to get out to guide him in getting the bus straightened in the "path". The next thing that happened was that enough of the swirling snow got under the hood to start shorting the buses ignition system.
Thank heavens for Oshkosh trucks.That county plow opened the road pushing banks that you had to look up to see over when seated in the bus and pulled us back down to the Bootjack road. At the foot of the Rice Lake Hill we had to pile into a second bus that took us the rest of the way home as our bus wasn't running any more. It was quite crowed for a while on that bus till some of kids were able to get their respective homes which relieved the crowding. We were better off than the unlucky bus driver and Superintendant who had come along that day. They had to walk back to Lake Linden in the storm.


By JP dfw, tx on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 09:09 am:

I say stop whining about the tough weather, turn the wheel and hit the gas eh? It's doughnut time! Plus if you go out of control you just hit the snow bank and push her back out!


By MATILDA on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 09:11 am:

CAME THRU THIS AREA IN JAN. LAST YEAR. THERE WAS A BLAZER UPSIDE DOWN IN THE DITCH AND ATTACHED TO IT,UPRIGHT I MIGHT ADD WAS THE NICEST LOOKING 19 FOOT BOAT YOU'D EVER WANT TO SEE. GUESS THE GUY WAS TAKING IT FOR SERVICE CAUSE THE LAKE WAS FROZEN SOLID.


By Marg,Houghton, MI on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 09:15 am:

I drove back from Saginaw this past Sunday and had snow all the way along with the blowing and drifting snow and the light fluffy stuff coming off behind you the drive was not the most pleasant. This picture reminds me of how it was along US2 and M-28. I would have to say the poorest visibility was around Munising and towards the Seney Stretch. Thanks for the reminder that winter is still upon us.


By Kathi/ Newberry on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 09:34 am:

That stretch of road is just as hazardous in the summer when a big wind blows off the Lake and covers the road with sand!!!


By JP from the UP on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 09:41 am:

I remember that Thanksgiving storm up 1966. We had come up to the Rapid River area (Perkins, actually)to visit my in-laws for the holiday. My brother-in-law tried to go back to Superior, WI through Marquette but ended up turning around and going the southern route through Menominee instead. We ended up staying where we were until Monday and then returning to Detroit by way of Chicago because US 2 was still closed! However - that Sunday is also one of my best memories of being secure in a winter storm. My in-laws still had a wood cook stove in the kitchen at that time, so we made chili on that, lit candles (power was out) and played cards with the kids. It was great!


By Kate, CA on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 09:47 am:

Hey JJ, every time I visit the U.P. my kids always want to go to the Dog Patch in Munising for breakfast! Their eyes are wide as saucers as they look at the mounds of sausages and gravy in the breakfast buffet!! They can't wait to dig in! (Poor things, their mom never makes sausages and gravy, do you think they're deprived?) Thanks for the memory, JJ.


By Mary Lou on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 09:48 am:

That is what makes us Yoopers such a hardy bunch....no place for wimps!!!!....look at it as training for the real world!!!....those Florida drivers can realy make it rough going!!


By Finnlander's Wife on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 09:50 am:

All those white out stories put the tune "Slip Slidin' Away" in my mind. We were on our way back up to LSSC (in the Soo) back in the 70's after Christmas. Great old clunker car with 4 bald tires and four baldies in the trunk... and it was a lovely sunny day! The "I" was a solid sheet of ice from St. Ignace to the Soo. Fortunately, there didn't seem to be a soul on the road that morning. Then off in the distance; we could see flashing lights, and vehicles... we began the sensitive task of "stopping" as soon as we saw the lights. "Slip Slidin' Away" happened to come on the radio...

Lets' say it was an appropriate song for the moment... and fortunately we DID stop "just" in time... and we did make it safely to the Soo.


By Mr. Bill on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 10:19 am:

Watch out for driving into what seems like an increasing intense WHITE OUT .... You could be catching up to the snow plow.

Been there ~ done that.


By Yooper Stuck in PA on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 10:25 am:

I also remember Thanksgiving 1966. I was heading back to Detroit with a carload of people and as we broke through the woods near Teal Lake in Negaunee, the wind blew the car sideways and we yawned back and forth for at least a half a mile alternating between the drop off to Teal Lake and an even bigger drop off on the other side of the road. My Great Aunt was in the back seat drinking coffee and didn't spill a drop. A friend from Dollar Bay left about an hour after we did and spent a couple of days in the Idletime bar.


By Candy, CA on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 10:34 am:

Looks like a little white out has taken the bridge, from the Tech View Cam view:

snowyview


By julie b., MI on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 10:35 am:

This reminds me of another trip back to NMU after Thanksgiving. There was a storm with high winds blowing in from the southwest and the Lakes weren't frozen yet. Called the State Police and they said US2 was closed with several feet of ice in places.

The other girls wanted to stay overnight, but i didn't have much dough in college and said i'd drive. Got off 75 and headed north on 123 - which showed no evidence of being plowed! I aimed for the crown of the road - and praying for our Lord's protection. We made it to Tony's Road House in Trout Lake and no motel ever looked so good!


By DH, Tornado infested Temecula, CA on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 11:35 am:

My college travel took me the opposite way from most of the TOOTS - I lived in the CC, but went to college in Big Rapids. Trips to the north for Thanksgiving in '81 and '82 were both memorable. In '81 in the LP was a huge mess and '82 along the South Shore of Superior we did what Julie B did from Ishpeming to Lanse at 2 AM - used our fog lights to stay a *little* closer to the right hand snow bank than the left. We saw exactly one vehicle (an MDOT plow) along the entire stretch. Fifty miles of almost solid white-out. I remember knowing we were close to Lanse when we *FELT* the railroad crossing in Bovine.


By ric, WI on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 11:40 am:

I remember taking 7 hours to go from Copper Harbor to St Ignace one year....YIKES!


By Mary, Milw WI on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 12:09 pm:

I remember Thanksgiving of '85 also! My grandparents were still alive (Ahmeek) and I brought my husband with me to visit for the holiday. I don't think he had ever been with me to visit the UP in the "winter". We were snowed in until the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, and it was YEARS before he would go with me in the winter again! We still laugh about that trip - only one channel on the TV, nothing to do, nowhere to go. Now that my parents have retired to Calumet I still have a lot of coaxing to do if I want him to join me on a visit between October-April.

I get a kick out of your weather reports up there too - "some snow flurries today, accumulations of 4-6 inches expected" !!!


By pam, fruitport on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 12:22 pm:

Ahhh, the U.P. and Lake Superior, no better place on earth..... in any kind of weather... and always there is a story.... love it and love ya, Peace


By Marsha, Genesee/Aura on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 12:46 pm:

So many stories and so little time! I haven't spent much time in the winter in the U.P., but it's always eventful. I love how people talk about the white-outs they've been in, meaning it was snowing hard and had to slow down a little. Once we were coming across Highway 2 not too far west of the bridge. Everything was fine and we were driving right along at an acceptable speed when it seemed as if a white sheet were dropped over us. You can't slow down, because there are semis behind you and in front of you, and the one behind you is also surprised by the white-out. I tell friends that if I had stuck my hand out the window at that time, I wouldn't have been able to see it. Now that's a white-out and all others pale in comparison!


By Mike, Michigan on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 12:52 pm:

I remember the trip back to Tech Thanksgiving 1966. We left Lansing and it was raining and got to Grayling I think (I was just a freshman passenger) and had car trouble, of course by then it was snowing. Jim the driver called his dad and he came up and switched cars and off we went.

When we crossed the bridge you could not see anything. I don't think they ever closed it in those days.

We stopped at the gas station resturant just on US2 (may have been a Shell station I know it was not the Standard station ) and talked to people who were coming in the opposite direction. (they recommended we not go further) After food and gas and potty stops off we went. It was snowing so hard the windshield wipers were only black strips in the white. We navigated by having both side windows down and looking for the ditches and watching for the tailights of the car ahead.

This went on forever until suddenly the cars in front were stopped. We got out and stood around It was probably 9:00 pm or so. Nothing was moving the snow was about up to the bumper and so we slept in the car. Six guys no blanket or anything just our winter coats & gloves. We started the car up several times and ran it to warm up and then shut it off to keep from getting carbon monoxide poisoning.

When the sun came up in the morning we got out and started looking around. The hardest thing was opening the doors. The snow was up to the windows.

We walked around talking to people. We walked up to the resturant. I don't know if it was the idelwild or what. It was between Gould City and Blaney Park. They had no food and their toilet was plugged up from the hundreds of people out there that day.

At about 11:00 that morning we could see the Hiway department coming from the east. They had a big plow truck and a small 4 wheel drive truck and they were plowing and turning us around. When they got there they told us to go to Gould City where they put on a goulash dinner for the stranded people.

We ate and waited. Later that afternoon we heard that it was clear if you went up to 28 so we went up thru Engadine to Seney and then on to Tech. We got there about 10PM.


By Kathy from Whitmore Lake/Cheboygan on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 01:00 pm:

SurSer, I no longer live in west Michigan--Whitmore Lake is between Ann Arbor & Brighton--but, while white-outs are very rare, I do routinely encounter the type of drivers you were talking about.

Marsha from Genesee, I can't speak for anyone else, but what I meant by white-out is what you describe.


By julie b., MI on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 01:07 pm:

Kathy,

AMEN! That's my definition of a white-out too!


By Doug the Troll, Wixom, MI on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 01:27 pm:

When I first saw this picture today, I thought it was US 2 along the dunes and the "other" lake. Gets pretty extreme there at times too :o)


By cg, MI on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 02:33 pm:

On our way back to NMU that Thanksgiving of l966, we were stranded just past Engadine -- snow so deep we could drive no further. Very nice local people came to get us (in the dark), took us back to Engadine where the Community Center/Fire Station was opened for many, stranded travelers. Nice local ladies were serving soup and sandwiches to everyone, and some of us slept on available spaces on the fire truck. Such great people!


By LZ, SW MI on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 02:38 pm:

Mary's, Milw WI, story made me chuckle as a few years prior to her trip, I also took my husband-to-be (at that time) to my family's home in Kingsford for Christmas. Not only did we drive up in some fierce snow, but the highest the temperature got over our visit was -15! What a way to introduce him to winter in the U.P. It was a very long time before we made a winter visit again.


By Marge in Cincinnati on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 02:41 pm:

Oh my! I've seen that stretch of road many times, but only in July. Amazing what goes on when you're not looking!


By Jack in CT on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 03:30 pm:

I remember one fall trip on that stretch of road.
We were in my dad's old motorhome and the wind was blowing so hard the windshield wipers wouldn't come back across the windshisld sometimes. There were a few gusts that I'd swear took the right side tires right up off the ground.
I had my license (not very long though) but I would have turned down any invitation to drive that day!


By Charles in Adrian on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 04:10 pm:

Such great stories of travelling in the U.P. in winter! I have never
written before on this great site. I have recently retired and
finally have the time to learn about the computer. If I mess up
with this message please forgive a rank beginner. I think it was
in 1966 that my wife and I went back to school in Ann Arbor
from Esky. I think I drove to the Straits so it was my wife's turn
to get us to Clare. South of Mackinac it was nothing but
sheetice on the road. My wife was more than willing to turn the
wheel over to me. I got real hard of hearing as you can imagine.
Even when a very slight gust of wind was enough to turn our
little VW into a spin, I thought "better her than me behind the
wheel. " For some reason we have not gone up to Esky for
Thanksgiving since then. My wife is a lurker when it comes to
this site. I wonder if this message is enough to smoke her out
to mention all the things I got wrong or leftout when it comes
to that awful trip. I apologize for no paragraphs in this note.
My wife has not told me how to do those yet -- maybe she will
never will now!


By Beverly, San Jose on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 04:19 pm:

Looking in my rear view mirror, I remember one Christmas holiday driving to Calumet in white-out conditions, in the middle of nowhere, when all of a sudden a snowbank hit me. It buried my car up to the windows, and I had to crawl out of the windows and walk a good distance to find a farmer to help me. I guess that makes me a 'whimp' for moving to the warmer climate of California.


By Kathy from Whitmore Lake/Cheboygan on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 04:38 pm:

Hey Charles in Adrian, I have a cartoon relating to an older gentleman trying to use a computer. The What's Up page reminded me of this.
>
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/comics/archive.pl


By Charlie Cloutier, Onekama, MI on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 05:27 pm:

I used to make the Munising run for the Mining Journal on 28 and then come back thru Rumley, Sundells & Dukes. Trenary was the turn back towards Marquette spot. One winter in the 50s I made it into Munising and made my other drops there. Couldn't get out the other side of Munising and when I tried to get back to Marquette 28 was blown closed around the pumping station. Wound up calling the journal and spending the night in Munising Couldn't even get to the Knotty Club. What a bummer.


By maijaMI on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 05:43 pm:

Down here in south eastern MI they call heavy snow a 'white out.' I've only been in true white-out conditions once and that was in Calumet. It was an experience I'm extremely grateful to have had, and for my children to have experienced. You really cannot imagine it if you haven't been in a "true" one!

Charles in Adrian: join the club! There are lots of knowledgeable people on this site who will help you. Welcome to retirement!


By Carole on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 06:40 pm:

To Doug in Wixom: I also thought that it was along US 2. But then, if you REALLY look at the sign ahead with the arrow pointing to the right for the scenic turnout, I realized it was not US2 but along M28.


By ra on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 06:55 pm:

My grandparents spent their winterís south in calumet. They spent their summers north at Lac La Belle. I drove up with my wife one February before we were married. It was late 70ís or early 80ís, I donít remember. What I do remember is the snow that trip, lots and lots of snow. Falling out of the sky clogging the wipers, messing up the road, bring traffic to a crawl. It was one of the greatest trips we were ever on. You know you can live with somebody if you can get along on a14 hour truck ride. It was the ride that made me think being married might not be so bad. Now when it gets really bad outside in the winter and the roads are snow covered and nasty we still go out for a joy ride, and rememberÖ..


By Vicki Rae in Mi. on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 07:08 pm:

I remember the snowstorm of 1966, also. We CC kids were headed north to the Copper Country from Ann Arbor for Thanksgiving. We chose to not drive on the Munising to Marquette stretch because the lake effect snow was VERY bad. However, it turned out that the snow was VERY bad where we were, too. I steered a mid 50's Roadmaster Buick by looking out the driver's side window and having the passengers tell me how close to the snowbanks we were on the passenger's side. I couldn't follow the driver's side snowbank because there could have been some oncoming traffic. Fortunately for us, most of the truck traffic and UP drivers knew enough to stay off the roads and did not cause us any difficulty. Returning to Ann Arbor was less of an adventure.


By Al, So.Cal. on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 07:37 pm:

Bev S.J., Sneaky Snowbanks, eh?


By Grimmace on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 08:30 pm:

WINTER TRIP

The auto goes where every horse knows you shouldn't be there.

That weekend trip to see your gal is the only thing your mind can contend with.

Big old Chrysler New Yorker full of ****** toots
blastin down the highway.

Stop here and there to help your fellow man and then your way again .

Time goes on, the trips are gone , which end of the highway do you live on?

Poor and happy in the U.P.


By Beverly, San Jose on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 08:44 pm:

To Al, So. Cal.
Chuckle, Chuckle, yes, it hit me head on, and believe me, it was not a soft landing. I hope your are not in danger from all the flooding down there. Keep safe.


By FLYIN on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 09:13 pm:

Ah da Seney Stretch..........hitched it once and thought I would die in da cold. Drove it once and it was 44 hrs from Detroit area to Houghton. You just never knew.......but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger..........


By FLYIN on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 09:16 pm:

Mike........the 1966 trip was the one I was talking about. We hit the same store, bought bread and cheese and whatever, and four in the car for 26 hrs until they opened it up.....We had a Plymouth with a 26 gal gas tank, and it probably saved our butts. We even popped open the door of a local cabin and probably 150 people crowded in to get warm....Long night that one...


By Phil, DeWitt, Michigan on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 10:03 pm:

It must be why I love winter and UP snowstorms. Even though I didn't show up in the world until March of '66 (Which by the way it was warm enough in March for my dad to be out playing golf in Ann Arbor with his boss the day before I was born.) My UP storm story starts in Saline, Michigan and ended some 36 or so hours later. Driving up to Tech back from thanksgiving break in '86. Houghton didn't see any snow until the Thursday of finals that year and we had 24 inches in 24 hours. My '68 Plymouth Barracuda was covered... I brought a different car back to school and that Sunday it did the same thing. 26 inches in 20 hours or something crazy like that in the UP. I had a couple of people with me and we did great. Even though there was alot of snow I took my usual route. M123 to Trout Lake, M28 to Munising, then M96 to US 41. I don't think we passed a car the whole way. (Between Munising and Chatham.) I knew M28 would be bad with all the Toot's coming back. I used to cut across on county road 480 into Negaunee then up to 41 from there. I used to cut time and miles off and never had any traffic. However, by the time I got to the Lindberg gravel pit I couldn't see a thing. All of a sudden the snow stopped I saw the center line and notice that I was on the WRONG side of it. When I tried to steer back into my lane BAM... I had a winshield full of snow. Then I heard a bump. We were way off the road by then. Fortunately some guy came by in a 4 wheel drive pickup and took me into Ishpeming to some friends of my Parents. Their neighbor got his four wheel drive out so that we could go find the car. We found it, but we didn't have a chance to get it out. After staying the night I had the car towed, jump started and ready to go. We made it back into Houghton by mid afternoon Monday glad we made it back alive...

The same storm scenario was replayed the weekend we came back from Christmas break as well. I made it up to Houghton that time in 15 hours but only with nerves of steel.

As I recall Tech called off school the following monday both times. As rumor has it (and please correct me if you can refute my statement) That was the only time in the history of Michigan Tech that school was ever called off more than 1 day in a given school year due to weather conditions.

The twist is that we only had 170 inches of snow that year.... Go figure.


By The Pasty Eater, MI on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 11:09 pm:

I have only visited the U.P. three times in the dead of winter, but each time, at some point on the trip, I encountered white-out conditions, once around Calumet and twice on the Seney Stretch. Looking at today's photo gives me an instant terrifying memory of the driving mile after mile toward Munising at night with snowflakes as wide as golf balls completely blinding my vision as the light from the headlights bounced off of them.

I was in a Jeep, but I couldn't see where the road ended and the ditch began, so 4x4 means nothing if you can't even see.

I was trying to make it to the bridge as my half way point, but was desperately happy when made it to Munising intact where I found a modest but warm motel room. The yooper motel proprietor found it amusing that I thought the snowy roads were such a big deal. It was just another night of "partly cloudy with flurries" to him.


By j A P E i on Thursday, February 24, 2005 - 01:56 am:

My grandpa was here 1907 year!!!


By Keith Randell, Seattle on Thursday, February 24, 2005 - 03:55 am:

I spent part of my childhood in Calumet (Albion location) and part in Laurium. I remember the "white outs." And you are right when it is said, others refer to heavy snow as "white outs," and then there is the real thing.
I remember the storm that hit Calumet the nite the Edmund Fitzgerald went down, "God bless the men and families." It was gale force winds and we couldn't see the neighbors house 15 feet away. The house moaned and the timbers wailed, windows rattled and we thought the roof was going to come off.


By Jim of Ann Arbor on Thursday, February 24, 2005 - 06:24 am:

to ric,WI ?
To get from Copper Harbor to St. Ignace in 7 hours, wow. I've
done Ahmeek to the Bridge in 6, in perfect conditions (little
traffic, dry roads, no smokies, daytime overcast), and most of
the time the speedo was @ 80+. I hope you didn't do that 7
hours in conditions like the pix. by the way, back in the maybe
late 50s, the hearse from Watia's would make Detroit supposedly
in 9.5, and that probably included the ferry crossing!


By TechToot69 on Thursday, February 24, 2005 - 09:09 am:

Lived at Watia's Cabins in Chassell....an experience..........


By Lynn, South Idaho on Thursday, February 24, 2005 - 10:47 am:

This picture remindes me why the term "It's not the Arrival but the Journey that is memorable" has such meaning. Travelling in the UP any time of the year is an experience like no where else on earth. It's the only place I've been that the people will actually stop and help you if you slide off the road during a blizzard, take you to their homes, and feed you.


By Al, So.Cal. on Thursday, February 24, 2005 - 02:59 pm:

Bev, S.J., No flooding in our area - "breaks" of hrs. between hrs. & inches of rain


By Michelle, FL on Thursday, February 24, 2005 - 08:54 pm:

Yikes! Now I know why I live in Florida!!!


By Ann on a Moose on Friday, February 25, 2005 - 02:59 pm:

"Now I know why I live in Florida!!!"
'Cuz hurricanes are more fun?


By sur5er on Saturday, February 26, 2005 - 01:30 am:

Ann on a Moose: ROFL :)


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