It's been cold around here. Northern Michigan. Last night on my walk it was 18 degrees with a wind chill that brought it down to zero. It also looks like the snow is here to stay already and it won't be long before the lakes are frozen over. Not the big lakes. I live close to Lake Huron and that doesn't freeze over but the small lakes do. This makes it great for ice fishing and snowmobile riding.
It also brings about the deadly time of year for snowmobile riding. From now till spring we will have at least two deaths a week from snowmobiles, either crashing or going through the ice. Mostly people from downstate (flatlanders we call them
). There are almost no hills downstate or in Ohio and that is where a lot of tourists come from. They don't know the lakes or the snowmobile trails that well and a lot of them are buzzed up as well. We have an extensive trail system and what is called rails to trails. They took all the old railway lines that are no longer used and turned them into snowmobile trails. Well the trails go through the towns and the towns have bars and pubs. Bar and pubs are great places to stop and get warm and have some food and drink. With a little liquid courage and a machine that can go 100mph on ice or snow and you get a lot of accidents.
I used to be a first responder but I got tired of going to these things and to be honest there isn't much you can do for them anyway. Even though I'm an ex-responder I still get a couple calls a year if I'm the nearest so I will go but not for the people who fall through the ice. I'm not going to go looking for dead people anymore.
On a more happy note. Ice fishing on first ice is usually fantastic with perch and crappy fishing being the best. My favorite is pike fishing and I would love to try spearing for Sturgeon but It's a lottery system to get a permit. No luck getting one yet.
We also have a few ski slopes that keep people entertained and ice fishing festivals as well. One of the more crazy things we do is bump and run races on the ice. This is when you take old beat up cars and race each other on an ice track. Bumping into other cars in allowed and encouraged. These are not published events and are technically illegal but we get away with it most years. You take the gas tank out of the cars and put a small tank behind the passenger seat. Reinforcing cars with roll bars and push bars is allowed but not necessary so are studded tires or chains. Unlike the snowmobile riders we have yet to have an injury.