Mar 24-04

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2004: March: Mar 24-04
Springtime on the big lake    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Paul Roberts

Mary Drew at Pasty Central on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 06:26 am:

It's hard to tell from this photo, just how far out on the ice Paul Roberts had to venture to bring us a close-up view of Lake Superior cracking up! I always knew "she" had a good sense of humor, rough and foggy one minute, smooth as glass the next. As with any time of year, springtime breakup is a time to give the big lake your utmost respect, by not taking any unnecessary chances. A beautiful sight, but that crack could let loose and you'll be floating before you know it. I bet there's more than a few hair-raising tales out in Pastyland from folks who've been there, done that!

By darrell oinas/Saint Johns Michigan on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 06:36 am:

I remember a picture of my mother out on frozen lake superior and my dad was mad because she had gone so far out from shore, would not want to take a dip in that water right now.

By Tony MI on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 06:42 am:

I went backpacking in picture rocks this last sumer and even then the water was cold in july. Id hate to fall in this time of year.

By JP on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 07:33 am:

Reminds me of when the Koivunens got stranded on the ice off Pequaming. Must have been about 1940.

By Boundary waters nut in Calumet on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 07:54 am:

Nice shot,

Sunday while the sun was out we went hiking down in the deer yard by McClain S.P. and went out and layed on the ice, in the sun, on bear lake. The whole time you could hear the ice buckling all over the lake... very cool.

By d.c. on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 08:04 am:

I see from yesterday's postings that the erudite Mr. Wheatman has captured our imaginations. Wherefore (whofore?) art thou, Wheatman?

By Mike, Kalamazoo on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 08:11 am:

"d.c." you're right. In fact I think the Wheatman should be the PastyCam spokesperson. I will officially submit the nomination as soon as I can figger out what "guerdon" means.

By Roudy Mi on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 08:17 am:

He masticates the dictionary and regurgitaters it withe the best!

By jgb laurium on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 08:18 am:

would some one tell me what lol means in the computer world?

By Brent, Rochester, NY on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 08:23 am:

Note to jgb:

lol = Laugh out loud

roflmao = roll on floor laughing my a** off

Great pic too.

By Fran, C. FL on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 08:33 am:

Guerdon "a reward"

By tm, formerly of Pelkie on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 08:44 am:

To JP:

Are you referring to Nan Kuivanen and her husband? I remember reading about that about 10-15 years ago (I think in the L'Anse Sentinel, on a "history" page). I can't even imagine getting stuck out on the ice when it is breaking up.


By CKLL on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 09:11 am:

I remember my dad telling me of the time he ran a Ford Model T from Rabbit Bay to Point Abbey on the ice. It seems there was much better and thicker ice years ago. Fishermen would go out of Rabbit Bay and Jacobsville most evety winter. Now we have'nt fished out there since about 1995. It's a lot of fun and can get real exciting.

By Mike, Kalamazoo on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 09:13 am:

Thanks Fran. I think that Mr Wheatman should be named the official spokesperson of this site as a guerdon for his fine contributions.

By ed on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 09:31 am:

I went ice fishing once with my son in our 1980 Maveric out on Lake Erie..We were so far out could not see shorline homes and there were at least 200 cars, van, snomobiles and Winnebagos. The ice was at least 18" thick and could hear creaking and cracking all day long. I figured a perch dinner was best obtained at the Big Boy and have never been back out on the ice.

By Calumet girl, MI on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 09:32 am:

Mr. Wheatman somewhat reminds me of a gentleman I know from Calumet--Mr. Steve Marshall--he uses dictionary words in his vocabulary.

By rob on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 09:37 am:

hey now lets all just speak plain english and anjoy the day!!

By 1ce a yooper on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 09:45 am:

To quote Benjamin Disraeli:
"A sophisticated rhetorician exuberated with the exuberance of his own verbosity."

By B W nut in Calumet on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 09:46 am:

Calumet girl,
Yes... he does... in great length ;)

By Joe Finn, Rhinelander, Wi on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 09:46 am:

Summerizing from the Lanse Sentinal obtained from the MTU library archives. Ice floe break up.
It happened March 16, 1941, off Skanee. Mr and Mrs Ed Koivinen were among twenty trapped on three or four different ice floes. Howling winds and 12 below zero air temperatures constantly made the floes smaller. Some jumped off at the Huron Islands, and some drifted twenty eight miles before they hit shore. Amazingly, they all survived.
The details are a subject for a Hollywood movie, but nobody would believe it.

By 1ce a yooper on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 09:48 am:

oops I goofed My last post should read Sophisticated rhetorician inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity. Thats what happens when us plain folks try to use high falootin language.

By Fran, C.FL on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 09:50 am:

Mike! I concure!

By MJN03-Hancock2AZ on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 10:23 am:

Out of curiosity...does anyone know if you can still fish on the ice in Chassell ? Are there any shantys on the ice still ?

By Roudy Mi on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 10:31 am:

Bishop Baraga had a similar "travel on the ice" experience on a trip to/from (I don't remember which)LaChance. I highly recommend reading anything to do with his life. Another on our recommended reading list for today is "Lady Unafraid". Story of a Teenage missionary girl who lived in L'anse among the Indians. She met Bishop Baraga once. It's quite a heroing(sp)tale also for a young girl in the mid 1800's. I think it's good for us yoopers to know more of our heritage. I'd also like to hear more of what's available out there from the rest of this wonderful pool knowledge and information called "The Pasty Cam"

By the urban escapees on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 10:44 am:

Good morning. Beautiful shot. We are hanging out in beautiful Northern Arizona around Sedona waiting for the snow to melt up there. It just doesn't seem to be going, John Dee's snow meter hasn't moved from 24 inches. We'll keep checking in on the laptop, and as soon as we see bare ground we'll be there!

By ric, WI on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 10:57 am:

I remember great times out on the big Lake off of Esrey Park going out amongst the ice "haystacks"
It was way cool then...just doesnt seem to freeze enuf to do that weirdest memory is of going out on Fanny Hooe one spring, getting out a hundred feet or so near some friends, and hearing a VERY loud CRACK...we all froze in our tracks and I yelled :SLOWLY walk backwards towards the shore...we all made it and it was VERY scary!

By MJN03-Hancock2AZ on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 10:59 am:

Re: "The Urban Escapes"
I thought all the snow was gone already in Sedona ?? It feels like a cooler day here today. For the last week we have been consistently over 90 degrees and finally I think we are going to stay in the 80s today. We'll have to see. All of us in the Valley of the Sun are wishing you Yoopers warm up and get some spring weather to stick in DA U.P.

By Speaking for wheatman on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 11:05 am:

The Wheatman is greatly humbled and slightly embarrassed by the outpouring of support for his voticulate response of the day past. Wheatman will now be gone on sabbatical to allow the "Waters to Still". Harbor not a fear though, for Wheatman will again spread a few crumbs of verbage onto our screens when the topic is rife enough to wake his hands.

By Alice, Ventura, CA on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 11:20 am:

Urban escapees-

How's the weather in Sedona? I have been thinking of a drive there. The red rocks call to me.

By Snowlover on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 11:22 am:

to Joe Finn:

Thanks for the interesting story! I agree, I'd love to see a movie of their adventures out on the ice that night! Though I suppose, Hollywood wouldn't be interested unless they were out there cheating on their spouses! LOL! Hey! Maybe an Independent Film- sure would be an "on the edge of your seat" experience to watch! Especially with todays special effects.

By Dave M., Dearborn, MI on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 11:27 am:

Propter de verba Wheatmani cogitabo et magnopere laudabo.


By Josh, T.C., MI on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 11:52 am:

Hey Paul,

Great shot. Remember venturing out on the ice last winter/spring? Man do I miss the U.P. and the beauty of it all. Take care

By Joe Finn, Rhinelander, Wi on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 12:02 pm:

Post Script:
It was Mrs. Koivinen's first time ice fishing. What a first time experience!

By the urban escapees on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 12:03 pm:

Alice in Ventura, the weather in Sedona is absolutely perfect. For the past week, the area has been having above normal temps, but we're going back to the normal average temps, which are mild and soooo nice. Yesterday was in the mid 70s, and after dinner we strolled around in the evening , and it was 67. I could live here. The red rocks are something to see. The area has a soothing, calming effect on ones soul. So take that drive! You'll be glad you did.
MJNO3 - no snow in Sedona, just patches in shady areas up on the plateau. Cooler on top too. Have a super day!

By Becky, Lansing/Tamarack City on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 12:12 pm:

Spring weather must be here- there is a fly on the bridge cam!!

By Great 'n Granny, MI on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 12:34 pm:

To Roudy, MI,
I am currently reading "CALL IT NORTH COUNTRY" by John Bartlow Martin. Very interesting reading and it amazes me how tough and hard working the persons settling our great part of the world were.
I really have respect for the surveyor, William Austin Burt, for whom Burt Township, Alger County was named. He was very meticulous in his surveying. I also learned there was a "Sam Hill",
and when I was a child this name was a swear word!
There are many books written about our peninsula on the market. Another one I enjoyed was "UP PEOPLE" by the late Charles and Barbara Symon. This contains many stories of UP people who really made it big-time. I bought the book from the library at Iron Mounain because the Symon's had been our friends in Munising.

By Ray Martin Washington on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 12:36 pm:

Sedona is a beautiful place, however it is a zoo, traffic all day long, unless you are climbing or walking outside of the conjestion. I cant see a yooper enjoying it at all.

By Marsha, Aura and Genesee on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 12:41 pm:

Roudy: Lady Unafraid is a favorite book of mine ever since I found it at our local library after Charlie mentioned it on Pasty Cam a year or so ago. As a shoreline resident in Aura, it was fascinating to read of the girl's adventures and wonder exactly where they took place. I've been looking for a copy of the book to own, but haven't been able to find it anywhere. Maybe I'll have to check it out again and "lose" it! It had only been checked out about 3 times since it was written decades ago.

By Roudy Mi on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 12:52 pm:

Marsha: I think Mr Crabassa mentioned in the book was Jacobsville's first lighthouse keeper. You can see the light from Aura. From Jac. we can see you,when your there. Should be required reading for C.C. school children.

By Rose - Channahon, IL on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 01:10 pm:

Mary Drew: Thanks for the link to the skypix!
I just happened to check back on Monday's comments and found it!

By Karen P, MN on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 01:39 pm:

Mary Drew: Please help. I tried to download the WOW from week of March 18, 2001 but kept getting the picture from March 11! The 3/18/01 picture has just enough snow to act as a reminder of winter. Can you e-mail me the 1600X1200 file? Here in St. Paul, it's suppose to get into the 60's. All the snow except the biggest snow banks have melted. Thanks for all your good work.

By dc on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 02:16 pm:

Don't go, Wheatman, we love you!!

By Phyllis, Texas on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 02:22 pm:

To Marsha, Aura and Genesee, What is the auther's name that wrote: "Lady Unafraid". Or if any one else has the answer to my question.

By Phyllis, Texas on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 02:48 pm:

To Marsha, Aura and Genesee, I found a copies of the book you were talking about. You can buy a copy on-line at barnes and noble from a used book dealer.

By Ms. Curious - North End on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 02:54 pm:


There is no need for you to feel embarassed. Would just like to know more about you. I want to know what your IQ is. I can only imagine.... My IQ is a mere 132 and I find myself looking up some words you use. I work in the ''South End'' and would love to take you to lunch someday.

Please come back, Wheatman.

Let me know if you're interested in treat.

By Marsha on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 03:04 pm:

Thanks, Phyllis! I'd tried Amazon, but not B & N.
You can find out anything on Pasty Cam, getting help from all over the U.S. and the world.

By UP_gal on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 03:20 pm:

A discussion of the book, Lady Unafraid, and it's author, appear in the pasty archives.
Easy to find...Just *Google it *

By sd in In. on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 03:51 pm:

Looking at the Ripley cam its not going to be long before we see open water. You can almost see the ice melting on Portage lake.

By Patti, TN on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 04:03 pm:

I far prefer to read Wheatman's colorful prose, than the catty jabs and putdowns that sometimes appear on here. Donn DeY. is another eloquent & intelligent writer of his opinions.

Please continue to contribute, Wheatman & Donn.

By The Dam Guy, Parasite Creek on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 04:16 pm:

Great'n Granny:

I read "Call It North Country" a couple months
ago; it's an excellent read. You might also
try "Boom Copper" by Angus Murdoch, and "The
Iron Hunter" By Chase Osborn. "Landlooker in
the Upper Peninsula of Michigan" by John M.
Longyear is also quite interesting.

By Downstate on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 04:34 pm:

Mr. Wheatman remind me of the late "Wilson" of "Tool Time" fame.

By Barry Seymour on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 04:58 pm:

Hey Guys and Gals....

I'm feeling particularly homesick for Marquette and Harvey today and am looking for some shots of me old stomping grounds -- downtown Marquette, Presque Isle, Picnic Rocks, McCarty's Cove, the Chocolay River, Lakewood Lane... if anyone has 'em to post (or e-mail!) I'd be most grateful.

Thanks in advance!

Barry Seymour
(and the Silver Uper Band)

By maijaMI on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 05:16 pm:

Wilson's dead!?

By Joe Finn, Rhinelander, Wi on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 05:22 pm:

Mr. Wheatman reminds me of Professor Erwin Cory. For those that can not remember, he was a very funny double talk comedian.
Please keep posting Mr. Weatman, I enjoy your input. Even though I can not understand a word of it.

By maijaMI on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 05:23 pm:

Referring to March 18: was the fox stuffed?

By Joizey Clamdigger@exit98 on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 05:32 pm:

I've enjoyed the UP short stories of Cully Gage. It gives you some great insight to life in the early UP

By Trapper on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 06:18 pm:

Maija: The fox was probably stuffed with rabbits, squirrels,mice, birds, bird seed and a lot of other goodies. It looks like it was or is well fed.

By maijaMI on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 06:43 pm:

Wonderful pictures in your gallery, Paul. I bring pasty cam shots to work down here in southeast troll land, and people absolutely cannot believe them! I've told them about flying off roofs in winter, and now I have a pic to show.

They are fascinated by two of us telling them about the bridges from 2nd story windows/doors to the road on Calumet Ave. Does anyone have a picture of that?

Thanks forever to all pasty cammers!

By Jody,MI on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 06:56 pm:

I agree with many previous posts; PLEASE DON'T GO, Mr. Wheatman. I so enjoy hearing from you on this site!!!!

By Lowell MO. on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 08:06 pm:

to those that are looking for used books: try and for new books try they beat Barnes and Noble and Amazon for books and prices.
To those that are interested we may even have someothers that I can't remember. Just e-mail and ask.

By steve the flyin troll on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 08:53 pm:

Cully Gage wrote 8 great books about life in Champion........(but he called it Toivola)

Still in print and very reasonable at

By Fran,Ga on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 08:55 pm:

Lady Unafraid is my favorite book of all time! I take it out and read it every so often.I want to try to find a copy for my brother. I let him read mine once and liked it too. Will check out the sites mentioned.

Come back Mr. Wheatman you belong here just like the rest of our Pasty Cam Group.

By Therese from just below the bridge on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 09:24 pm:

Regarding ice-break-up stories, a friend of mine was out on Little Traverse Bay (on Lk Michigan between Grand T Bay and the Mackinac Straits)when the ice split between him and shore and the section he was on started to slide under the ice farther out. Said he broke all speed records running for the widening gap and made it across; his dog too. The ice sank below the surface within seconds. I don't go out on ice. Would rather stay on top the ground than a hundred feet under for some poor beachcomber to find three months later.

By Catherine--Holland MI on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 10:13 pm:

Sam Hill was a real guy (lumberjack, miner?) in Ontonagon in the 1800s who had such a foul mouth that his name became synonymous with swearing.

I grew up hearing, "What the Sam Hill..." from my grandma all my life and so was surprised when I learned the connotation. She is from right outside Superior, WI, and says that she remembers hearing it already from around 1910.

I am now interested in knowing how far this expression has spread. Some people I know in California are familiar with it, but they have MI/upper Midwest connections.

Can any of you far-flung readers ask a little bit to see if your non-Yooper-ish neighbors know it?

Thanks--any responses should be interesting! Please post back here for the enjoyment of all.

By Connie - Colorado on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 10:26 pm:

I'm so happy to see that my beloved home town has once again achieved national fame! This week's issue (March 22) of Autoweek Magazine has an article regarding the test drive of the 2005 Dodge Magnum. My husband, Vito, pointed out that they tested 3 models on a snow-packed track at the Keweenaw Research Center at Michigan Technological University in Houghton. See page 21 center column near the bottom of the page. Not quite as famous as the Nimrods, but getting there!!

By ed on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 10:50 pm:

Cully Gage was a pen name for Dr. Van Riper.....

By Mary Drew at Pasty Central on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 11:25 pm:

To go along with Connie - Colorado's comments:

KRC test track
Compliments of Rick Anderson/Skypixs

tom tc mich on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 11:30 pm:

I have lived in central michigan, Traverse City area all my 69 years and the term sam hill has always been with us.......go to for any hard to find books.

By Connie - Colorado on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 11:44 pm:

Very nice, Mary!! Where on the MTU campus is this?

By Louan-Elk Rapids on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 12:56 am:

Gosh, I just had a great surfing trip. I got to thinking about the Van Riper name and the state park and googled up the most fastinating stuff about a family of interesting people. Dr. Van Riper, what a guy. I wish I had met him in person.

By North End on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 01:14 am:

KRC is in Calumet

By matt, mi on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 01:18 am:

Any one know where to get a copy of Superior Heartland, both volumes. I have tried all the book engines and have had no luck for the past two years. I know its been out of print for some years and thought someone might have a copy the are willing to sell

By Jim of Ann Arbor on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 01:38 am:

from the references I've heard Sam Hill, who also hung out
further up on the peninsula, could supposedly cuss superbly in
several different languages for quite a while without repeating
himself. Please anybody who can put some more info to this
subject, especially numbers, please do. He was apparently
associated with a number of sucessful mining strikes (i.e. finds)
and mining operations. so many colloquisms(sp)....and there
backgrounds, Whee.....
Dr. Douglass Houghton, on the night that he died, was on his
way by canoe from Eagle River to Seven Mile Point to have a
meeting with Sam Hill. One can only wonder what the Second
Report in his pocket said.

By Vanessa, MI on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 02:43 am:

WOW I wonder if their getting dizzy driving them cars?? HAHA I'm just kidding.
Great picture. That ice looks too danagous to take a picture!!!!!

BTW--- Mary, if it was you, thanks for giving my comment to Charlie :)

By Louan-Elk Rapids MI on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 04:14 am:

My grandma never really swore. She said, shoot and darn, but she did say,"What in Sam Hill are you kids up to now." She lived in Williamston, MI.(10 mls. east of East Lansing). Her father owned a coal mine, there. That's probably how she got that sayism. I'm sure part of the work force was itinerant. They had their own culture and passed news and stories around as they traveled.

By Mike-Transplanted Yooper-Redford, Mi on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 06:40 am:

steve the flyin troll;
Cully's town was called Tioga.

By Paul, Webberville on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 06:45 am:

Louan-Elk Rapids. Have you saw the area around the coal mine/clay pit that your Great Grandfather owned lately? It has been developed with nice double wide homes all around it. It is called Williamston Lakes. Very neat. You also mentioned a Dr. Van Riper. There are several Van Ripers in the Williamston/Webberville area. Webberville, as you probably know, is about 5 miles east of Williamston.

By PSmitSC on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 08:08 am:

RE: "Sam Hill". I grew up in the Adirondacks of northern New York State some seventy years ago and the term "Sam Hill" was heard frequently in the same context as used by the lady from Williamston.

By Troll, Lwr MI on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 09:36 am:

I thought that picture was a crop circle.....

By Paul, Lake Linden on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 01:32 pm:

I was actually about 50 yards offshore. I ended up going a lot farther out then that a walked about a mile on the ice (staying within 200 yards of shore)

By Doug the Troll, Wixom, MI on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 01:45 pm:

And I thought there was a new "crop" of crop circle things showing up when I read about the test track at the Keweenaw Research Center at Michigan Tech. .... :o)

By Fred on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 04:11 pm:

It's the Yooper version of a "crop circle"

By Jo Ann, Hancock on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 06:09 pm:

Isn't the KRC near the Houghton County Airport?

By BP, Michigan on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 09:10 pm:

Yes, the KRC is right next to the Houghton County Memorial Airport (which is about half way between Calumet and Hancock on the east side of US-41.)

Their website is:

By Connie - Colorado on Saturday, March 27, 2004 - 02:57 pm:

Thanks, BP.

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