This warms my heart.
The Times Herald adopted Lakeport State Park because none of the fun events that are happening at state parks across the state ever happen here. We figure if we want it done, and done right, we’ll do it ourselves.
So last Saturday, we went snowshoeing.
I’m sorry you missed it. We had a great time.
What makes it especially enjoyable is that I learned Thursday that the state park activities elsewhere, the ones that made me jealous, were canceled. Officials blamed the weather.
They said it was too cold for winter snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Did I miss something? Aren’t they winter sports? You know, in my day, we snowshoed in sub-zero wind chills all the time, and it was uphill both ways.
It wasn’t too cold at Lakeport State Park as half a dozen of us flattened about two miles of absolutely beautiful snow. We trekked across the arch bridge, explored the woods, ducked under branches, discussed ancient geology and shared chocolate bars and homebrewed beer.
Did I mention that you really missed out?
I will admit that the strong north winds did sort of get our attention in the exposed, open area on the west side of the day-use area that nobody knows about. But snowshoeing through a foot of pristine powder under a brilliant blue sky kept us warm.
That gorgeous snow gave me an idea.
We have to go skiing while the weather is still amenable to winter sports. Really, it’s possible to cross-country ski in July, but it really isn’t any fun.
So meet me at Lakeport State Park at 1 p.m. Saturday and we’ll go on another explore. (Yes, 1 p.m. Saturday. If I type something different elsewhere in this column, please ignore it.)
The weather Saturday afternoon will probably be more accessible than last weekend. The weather service is promising new snow and temperatures near 30.
Cross-country skiing also may be more accessible than snowshoeing. The price of admission is much lower. You can rent cross-country skis; you can’t rent snowshoes. Check with Alpine Cycle in downtown Port Huron; they rent good cross-country equipment at reasonable rates.
Some people claim that cross-country skiing is the perfect exercise. Like swimming, it works the whole body. Unlike swimming, you can’t drown.
But don’t let the exercise thing intimidate you. It’s simple and easy to do, and just about anybody who can walk can master the fundamentals of classic cross-country skiing in a few moments.
Meet me Saturday at Lakeport State Park and I can teach you everything you need to know. For anyone who has gone skiing with me before and has doubts, just remember that the state park day-use area is almost perfectly flat. There are no tedious uphill parts and no hair-raising downhill parts either.
It’ll be easy and fun. I promise.
I also promise that winter sports weather won’t last forever.
The DNR is already reminding anglers that it’s almost time to haul their ice-fishing shanties home. The deadline for Lake St. Clair is midnight Sunday. Elsewhere in southern Michigan, shanties must go home at night beginning March 1.
The deadline is March 15 in the Northern Lower Peninsula and March 31 in the Upper Peninsula.
Right after that, we’ll be ready for some kind of open-water swim at Lakeport.
Contact Michael Eckert at firstname.lastname@example.org, (810) 989-6264, on Facebook @michaeleckert or on Twitter @michaeleckert.