Turnip Rock, Port Austin and The Thumb

Turnip Rock, Port Austin, Michigan

Turnip Rock, Port Austin, Michigan, photo by jensenl.

It’s been a while since Michigan in Pictures got out with the incomparable Lars Jensen, for my money one of Michigan’s best outdoor photographers.

His winter visit to The Thumb offers this photo and many more larger and he writes:

Turnip Rock and Kai standing on the “thumbnail” in Michigan’s thumb area. Unfortunately, this area is privately owned so Kai and I skied to it from the harbor at Port Austin (about 2.25 miles away) on Lake Huron. We then skied out to the Port Austin Lighthouse which sits out in the middle of the bay on a shallow shoal (about 2.5 miles from the shores of Port Austin). We saw all sorts of interesting ice formations along the way and had a great time on a cold and blustery day.

Click over to his site for the whole day of photos. Here’s more of Lars Jensen on Michigan in Pictures and I also recommend kicking back for his Michigan slideshow.

PS: Too cold for you? He has summertime photos in Kayaking the Thumb!

into the 10s

Mulligans Hollow

Mulligans Hollow, photo by GH Patriot.

I had originally thought about a more sober and reflective photo as we head into 2010, but when I saw this one in the Absolute Michigan pool this morning, I changed my mind.

I don’t think that anyone can deny that the first decade of the 21st century has been a brutal one for Michigan. We’ve lost a staggering amount of jobs, countless public services and tens of thousands of residents.

While we probably have farther to fall, it feels to me like we’re reaching the point where we’ll have to readjust to the world as it is and make some changes in what we do and the way we do it in Michigan.

My mood as we head into 2010? Happy. Hopeful. Ready for some hard work.

How about you?

View this photo bigger or check out his whole Mulligans Hollow slideshow for more big air.

PS: If you’re looking for something to do tonight, here’s Absolute Michigan’s New Year’s Eve Happenings.

PPS: Governor Granholm has proclaimed January as Michigan Snow Sports Month. I hear that Absolute Michigan will be doing something with that.

Big Air at the Midwest Super Park

Midwest Super Park

Midwest Super Park, photo by Hometown Invasion Tour.

This is one of a number of photos from Nick Baumgartner’s cool Big Air Competition slideshow.

You can also see them at 2009 Midwest Super Park – Marquette Mountain at Yooper Steez, where Nick explains that every year some of the Midwest’s best snowboarders and skiers take to Marquette Mountain and showcase some of the best talent around.

Powerline Trails


DSC_9909-1, photo by Skywalker_ranch [Dennis].

Powerline trails, running south out of Gaylord
Two tracks, and the sky looks fine
Heavy snow so deep that you better not fall,
and we can ski to the cabin on the Crawford County line.
~Mustard’s Retreat, Powerline Trails

This photo is part of a neat set of black & white pics (slideshow) that Dennis took yesterday.

The photo reminded me of the song Powerline Trails by Michigan folk duo Mustard’s Retreat. I’m guessing that if you enjoy this web site, you’ll also enjoy their music.

Through the miracles of the internet, you can listen to Powerline Trails, what one reviewer calls possibly the only sexy song about cross-country skiing in existence.

More winter backgrounds on the Michigan Winter Wallpaper page

Luge Run at the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex

DANGER--Wipeout Ahead

DANGER–Wipeout Ahead, photo by taterfalls.

Tate says that this is what happens when you don’t steer enough. Be sure to check the photo out bigger.

The Muskegon Winter Sports Complex is located at Muskegon State Park. This amazing complex features over an acre of skating rinks (including a 700′ skating trail), 16k of groomed and lighted cross-country trail through woods and along Lake Michigan (he longest lighted trail system of its kind in the Midwest) and the luge track.

The Muskegon Luge is one of four luge tracks in the United States and is considered the most publicly accessible. Although much smaller than the Olympic tracks in New York and Salt Lake City, the Muskegon track was designed with the public in mind. The track was designed by three time Olympian Frank Masley. The track consists of six curves and two starting areas, the public start for recreational “learn to luge” sliders and the other from the top for more experienced sliders from the Muskegon Luge Club.

Click through to the Muskegon Luge page to see a cool video from Wild Weekend TV showing how accessible it is to the public.

Ski it up, Michiganders!

Chris 360 Cross

Chris 360 Cross, photo by btwphotography.

Absolute Michigan has some cool resources for skiers from beginners that are summarized more or less neatly in today’s Michigan Skiapalooza Thursday which begins:

While Winter 2008 hasn’t been good for things like car makers, investments and national economies, it has presented us with some incredible conditions for skiing and snowboarding.

USA Today noticed that Midwest skiers have all kinds of options in Michigan where we have more downhill areas – 42 – than any state except New York with 200 chairlifts, 840 runs and 40 terrain parks!

There’s even a deal for beginning skiers for the whole month of January that you’ll definitely want to check out if you’re a novice without equipment!

You can see this photo (and many more) bigger and bolder in btw’s Nubs Portfolio slideshow (view set) or his Skiing – Nubs Nob slideshow.

Boyne Mountain & Michigan ski industry pioneer Everett Kircher

Snowmaking on Victor @ Boyne Mountain

Snowmaking on Victor @ Boyne Mountain, photo by Boyne Michigan

If you’re a skier in Michigan, chances are you’ve heard the name of Everett Kircher. Boyne Resorts history page says that this Detroit native moved to northern Michigan in 1947 to build a ski resort, buying the land for what has become Boyne Mountain for just one dollar. Boyne founder Everett KircherIn addition to founding one of the world’s largest ski empires in Michigan, Kircher (who passed away in 2002) was one of the ski industry’s leading innovators:

Kircher had many firsts including the world’s first triple chair installed in 1964 at Boyne Highlands Resort, and the world’s first four-person chair, installed in 1969 at Boyne Mountain. In 1990 Kircher installed Michigan’s first high-speed detachable quad chairlift at Boyne Highlands Resort. And in 1992, Boyne Mountain unveiled America’s first 6-seat high-speed chairlift.

Kircher’s ski innovation also included the introduction of snowmaking. He invented the Boyne Snowmaker, the first efficient snowmaker widely accepted as the standard for marginal temperature snowmaking. It combines small amounts of air and electricity with large quantities of water to provide a high efficiency snowmaking system with energy savings, and minimum noise level. He also pioneered the design of much of the snow grooming equipment and techniques in use today.

Be sure to take a moment to watch this 2001 interview of Everett Kircher by Michigan Skier TV’s Jim Neff about the growth of Boyne, snowmaking and the ski industry.

Atop Mt. Bohemia


1, photo by edm00se.

Here’s a photo from a few years ago of Mt. Bohemia, a ski area located on the Keewenaw Peninsula near Copper Harbor. Eric has several more photos of Mt. Bohemia that you’ll want to check out.

With a hefty vertical and a ton of back country options, Mt. Bohemia has a well-earned reputation as Michigan’s most challenging ski area. Check their web site for a great extreme skiing photo gallery!

Grinding the Icy Rail


CRW_8205.JPG, originally uploaded by Just an Idea.

This photo was taken recently at Crystal Mountain ski resort in northwest lower Michigan. It has the feel of a colorized black & white.