Posted by: Kath Usitalo | January 29, 2010

This Is Snow Fun

Our family's wintertime trip to Calumet; I'm second from right on the snowbank. At least, this is how I remember it (Van Pelt Archive historic photo)

Where’s the snow? It’s January in Michigan. We’re supposed to be shoveling and cursing and reveling in the white stuff.

But here in the Detroit area the ground is bare and it’s no fun. We expect to be compensated for the cold temperatures with a blanket of snow, whether we venture out into the elements or look at the scenery from a cozy spot inside.

I’m ready to head north to get a fix, and would love to go all the way to the Keweenaw Peninsula, where 111.3″ of snow has fallen so far this season; there’s currently about 16″ on the ground.

Check out the roadside Keweenaw Snow Thermometer to see the historic high and low snowfalls recorded since 1910.

On the trail to Blue Skies, Naubinway

Yes, it’s true: in the winter of 1978-79 a record 390.4″—that’s more than 30 feet—of snow was dumped on the northernmost part of the UP.

As a kid I remember our family visiting relatives in the Calumet area nearly every summer, but we made the trip only once during the winter. In my version of events the snowbanks alongside the roads were at least 20 feet high.

Every time I think of stepping out into that frigid air the hairs in my nostrils instantly freeze. Maybe they never defrosted.

Each year at this time the Blue Key Honor Fraternity sponsors Michigan Tech University’s Winter Carnival, an annual event since 1922 (minus a handful of Depression and war years).

Campus games and competitions get underway this weekend in Houghton, but what I’d like to see are the incredible snow statues that students create in a marathon session next week. Take a look at last year’s building-sized entries.

For now I’ll have to be satisfied with photos on The Pasty Cam and Lake Superior Spirit blog, and browsing the Upper Peninsula Travel & Recreation Association Web site.



  1. C’mon up north to the Copper Country! There is plenty of snow here for everyone… 🙂

  2. Yeah what Kathy said….we’re always happy to share!

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