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Blog

2016 Glen Arbor Area Winter

Posted by bob on 28th Jan 2016

Above is a favorite angle of the Crystal River at the Dunns Farm Rd culvert. Here is a second view of the Dunns Farm culvert looking straight up the Crystal River.  If you have never paddled the Crystal in the winter, this mild winter would be a great year to do it. Can you see the duck in flight at the far side of the Crystal.  If the river freezes over, the ducks all head to Lake Michigan. The plows were out in mass.  We had a two hour school delay, which is almost as ...

Spring in Northern Michigan

Posted by bob on 19th Mar 2015

Ice formations on the Lake Michigan shoreline in Sleeping Bear Bay After a long, cold winter, spring is coming to northern Michigan! While there is still a chill in the air and doubtlessly more snow before summer, the sun is noticeably warmer and the piles of snow and ice are melting. If you picture spring in northern Michigan, you probably imagine blue skies, cherry blossoms, and tulips and daffodils. We're a long way from any of that right now. While we've had some beautiful, sunny days ...

Lake Michigan Ice Cave Exploration

Posted by bob on 26th Feb 2015

For the second year in a row, frigid temperatures over Lake Michigan have left it nearly 60% frozen. Those cold temperatures coupled with the strong winds we've had over the past month are the perfect ingredients for the formation of ice caves. There were ice caves on Lake Michigan last year, but none had formed so far this year. Until last week, that is. Eric LaPaugh, owner of Leelanau Adventures, shot some footage from inside an ice cave near Glen Arbor and shared it with us. Inspired b ...

A Skate to School Across Glen Lake

Posted by bob on 28th Jan 2015

Setting off on the annual hike to school Somehow, the stars aligned to make the whimsical and uniting annual Sutherland family walk to school happen in the middle of winter. We hiked on Tuesday and planned to take a shortcut across Big Glen Lake. I excitedly thought we would set a new record time for this seven-mile trek. And our secret would be skateable ice on Big Glen Lake. Colebrook, Hawthorn, and I did it as a threesome last year and the year before. This year, we had a new partic ...

Hockey on Little Glen Lake

Posted by bob on 5th Dec 2014

As we have been driving back and forth between our Glen Arbor HQ and our Empire Warehouse fulfilling orders, our staff has been driving by perfect ice on Little Glen Lake. The ice has been smooth as glass and hard as diamonds across the entire lake. We knew it wouldn't be thick, but we thought it was time to kick off a beloved winter activity -- ice skating. So yesterday, a few of us pulled away from work early and I grabbed my boys and Steph and we skated in the wind protected lee of the Sleepi ...

Winter Comes Early to Northern Michigan

Posted by bob on 17th Nov 2014

Early snow blanketing the meadow in front of D. H. Day Farm in November. Winter has returned to the Republic a little ahead of schedule this year. No sooner had the spectacularly colored leaves fallen from the trees than they were being covered by snow. The snow came in light sprinkles at first. A dusting at the end of October didn't stick around for long, but that's changing. An inch or two last week and continual flurries over the weekend have us looking out the frosty windows at a w ...

Spring Thaw

Posted by bob on 24th Apr 2014

Spring, at last, is making its presence felt in the Republic. The days are noticeably longer and warmer, the snow has almost completely melted, and ice is gradually yielding to open water. Patches of grass are even turning green! There doubtless remain a few snowy days ahead, and we can never forget the risk of frost, but the weather has turned. The long, cold winter of 2014 is finally relenting. Spring is here. Yesterday was mild and gloriously sunny. With so much open water, I wanted to ...

A Cherry Republic Spring Break

Posted by bob on 28th Mar 2014

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVWEOz_yPpY] What some have dubbed "the endless winter" may at last be drawing to a close. Spring Break is here! Like many around the country, several at Cherry Republic have skipped town heading for warmer climes. Those of us left holding the fort in Glen Arbor decided to get out for our very own Cherry Republic-style Spring Break, complete with sunbathing and swimming. So either the weather is finally warming up or our cabin fever is approachin ...

Hiking to North Manitou Island

Posted by bob on 7th Mar 2014

Hiking back from North Manitou Island towards the Crib with Pyramid Point in the distance. On Thursday, March 6th, 2014, we attempted something that hasn't been done for 40 years: to hike the treacherous ice across the Manitou Passage to the islands 8 miles out. In the 1970’s, Bob's father and two brothers left the shore in Glen Arbor early one morning to attempt the crossing. They were cut off by open water a mile from South Manitou. Their hike took so much longer than planned that Bob's ...

Ice Caves of Lake Michigan

Posted by bob on 18th Feb 2014

The wild winter this year has brought frigid temperatures, mountains of snow, and large waves to the Republic. We can now add ice caves to that list! The spectacular formations on Lake Michigan have been caused by the way the lake has frozen this year: a mixture of sudden freezing caused by historic low temperatures, a gradual pileup of pack ice, and wave action adding freezing spray to the equation. The results are stunning: cavernous caves, precipitous cliffs, and an ice pack stretching ...