2009-02-14 / Top News

Weather Slows Travel on Straits Ice Bridge

An early February thaw did not stop downstate friends from crossing a water-covered ice bridge between Mackinac Island and St. Ignace Tuesday, February 10. Pictured are (from left) Kevin Zedaker of Saginaw, Craig Parks of Bay City, Chris Rupp (standing) of Bay City, and Ed Samborn of Auburn. An early February thaw did not stop downstate friends from crossing a water-covered ice bridge between Mackinac Island and St. Ignace Tuesday, February 10. Pictured are (from left) Kevin Zedaker of Saginaw, Craig Parks of Bay City, Chris Rupp (standing) of Bay City, and Ed Samborn of Auburn. Temperatures nearing 50 degrees slowed traffic on the ice bridge between St. Ignace and Mackinac Island, although the warm weather and rapidly melting snow did not stop all sleds Tuesday, February 10. Four downstate friends made the crossing to have lunch on the Island. They were looking forward to it, and also thinking about the fact that all riders cross the ice bridge at their own risk.

"We gave each other a hug before we left," said Kevin Zedaker of Saginaw.

Before making the threemile crossing, the men surveyed those arriving by snowmobile from the Island. Opinions about the advisability of the trip were strong, they said, yet varied. Some arriving snowmobilers told the men to stay in St. Ignace, while others advised them to head across the ice. The men decided to make the trip.

On the way there, they watched as fog rolled across Round Island Passage and lifted over the trees on Round Island. The sight was spectacular, they said.

There were no cracks in the ice, said Mr. Zedaker later, but there was a layer of water and a lot of holes.

On the return trip, they noted, the holes had grown in size, some from about a foot in diameter to some more than three feet. Other holes were about the size of a bathtub.

"It did change quite a bit in an hour and a half," said Mr. Zedaker of the ice conditions.

They had a good time, agreed the men, and were glad they made the crossing.

The group arrived in the Upper Peninsula over the weekend and had been snowmobiling from Trout Lake to Paradise, Tahquamenon Falls, and Newberry.

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