Skiing Nipigon Bay

Ice Caves and Bridges
Ice sculptures on Nipigon Bay. This is the first of a few photos taken on a cell phone by Dave Crawford and Catherine Meharg on a recent Nipigon Bay ski tour.

It’s A Big Lake

Some people around Lake Superior might assume that it is wide open everywhere, especially when viewing footage taken recently in the Duluth area and on the south side of the lake. In other areas however, especially some of the larger protected bays, the lake remains frozen solid, and now, with recent snow having swept the region, snow covered.

Infosuperior recently received the following note, along with the linked photos, from a couple of Nipigon residents, one of whom happens to be the chair of the Public Advisory Committee to the Nipigon Bay Remedial Action Plan¬†and has been active in Lake Superior environmental efforts for many years. Thank you Dave Crawford and Catherine Meharg. The note documents a ski outing which took place within the last week but also, in a way, documents the huge size of the lake. While people in Duluth are being told not to use the Lakewalk due to large waves sweeping the shoreline, people in more northern areas are out skiing over a couple of feet of Lake Superior ice. Anyway, as you’ll see from the following note, a beautiful way to spend a day and explore Lake Superior at this time of year.

Skiing Nipigon Bay

“We awoke early Sunday morning and the weather was looking good. A South Wind was blowing and the ice still holding tight for a good ski day on Nipigon Bay. At 08:00 a.m. we headed out to a bush road leading to Lake Superior then strapped on our skis. A sketchy ski down the bush road led us to Superior.

Nipigon Bay
Nipigon Bay on Lake Superior, just east of Nipigon, Ontario.

First stop was Ruby Island for a cinnamon bun and coffee to warm up. Then a trek to the Speck Islands. Head winds slowed us down, but also warmed us up as we worked hard to keep our balance. We worked our way around the islands looking for a wind break. No such luck. A quick turnaround and back to Ruby Island and a sheltered spot for lunch. The hard work  on the upwind slog paid off. A tailwind pushed us all the way back to Ruby! We both felt like we were holding a parachute. We were literally flying over the snow-covered ice without effort.

The Ice quinsies are optical illusions to both the eyes and brain. How incredibly beautiful they were. We both played at taking photos and exploring the sculptures the heavens created. Hunger then set in as we thought about the warm coffee, tea and sandwiches in our pack. Another spot on the island caught our eye. Sunny, sheltered and a perfect log for a comfy seat. We contemplated life as our thoughts of peace and serenity calmed the soul. The wind carried us back to the mainland, then we unstrapped the skis and headed home.

A perfect, rewarding day.”

A Few More Photos

Taking excellent photos is no accident for Dave and Catherine. They’re both excellent photographers.

See more of Dave’s photos here.



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