I grew up in Florida and all of our family vacations were in tropical locations. Sun, surf, and sand make up most of my childhood memories. I didn’t see snow until later on in life, and winter sports were completely foreign to me. I was introduced to skiing, snowboarding, and all other winter games after relocating to the Midwest and meeting my now-husband. His family has a beautiful cabin located in Iron River, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula. The lodge is situated on the Ski Brule resort grounds. Ski Brule has been named the #1 Midwest Ski Resort and offers everything from skiing and snowboarding to sleigh rides and bike trails. Truthfully, the resort has something for everyone. Not athletic? Enjoy an Irish coffee in the lodge if you would rather spectate than participate – an option I happily embrace! I highly recommend you pay a visit if you find yourself in the area.
My first real trip with my now-husband was to his cabin and having only been dating for a short time and desiring to show off, I mistakenly thought snowboarding would be a breeze. An embarrassing tumble down the slope, a handful of bruises, numerous falls and spending more time on the ground than “shredding the gnarr”, I resigned to the notion that snowboarding was not for me.
Fast forward and now we are married (clearly my poor coordination didn’t scare him off) and our most recent trip back with friends was shaped differently. I decided to give skiing a go, and who knew two boards were easier than one. I made it down several runs with minimal falls and could not have been prouder of myself. I always believe in rejoicing in the little victories. In addition to skiing, I also tried snowshoeing, which let me tell you, is one helluva workout! I love going for walks and in the dead of winter, this allowed me to get out and explore.
Prior to our friends’ arrival, we decided to hop in our car and do some exploration outside of the resort. The Northwood’s are so beautiful… I have only been in the wintertime, and it looks like a winter wonderland. We first visited Bond Falls, a popular destination attracting visitors year-round. It was cold, but the sun was shining, and the sparkle of the falls with its pounding water amidst icicles and a sea of white was breathtaking. The spray from the falls coupled with the cool air sent chills to our bones, but it was worth every second. The second site we explored was completely by-accident! We saw a sign on the side of the road and decided to park and see what beauty we would discover. The footpath led us to Agate Falls, nearly 40 feet high and nestled underneath a large bridge surrounded by woodland, these falls were an incredible surprise. The only trace of other visitors were deer tracks left on the blanket of snow padding the falls.
The duration of the trip was spent with great friends, more outdoor activities, and nestling by the warmth of a crackling fire. As a born and raised Floridian, I choose to not give winter the cold shoulder, but instead look forward to embracing everything the season brings my way, sports included.
So, tell me, do you prefer a sunny or snowy escape?