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Thread: Ice Roads

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Ice Roads

    Every winter the commute from Garden to Gladstone in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula gets quite a bit shorter. Instead of heading up to US-2 and back down the other side of the bay… there is a shortcut… across the ice on Little Bay-De-Noc (part of Lake Michigan) The ice road is an actual maintained road that gets lined with Christmas trees to prevent blowing and drifting. I am sure that Bear has a bridge from De-Noc… or part of Garden to Gladstone.

    A new show on TV called “Ice Road Truckers” tells the stories of several truck drivers who make the garden ice road look like a joke. They bring heavy freight to places like Yellowknife Canada a distance 10 to 15 times longer than the distance from Garden to Gladstone. It is amazing how these drivers have to take everything from speed, to ice depth, to water depth, to temperature, to weight into consideration for every moment of their journey.

    With the heavy loads, they don’t want to get going fast because the vibrations can cause waves under the ice, causing it to crack in front of them. While in many sections they can’t go too slow because the weight can break into weak sections of the ice.

    Have you ever been on an ice road? Do you know of any ice roads in your area?
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  2. #2
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    You yoopers are crazy!

    No I have never been on an ice road. If given the chance I would still stay off of it. A short-cut is not worth falling through the water over.

    A woman my brother dated dad died up in the UP when he decided to cut across a lake on his sled. They did not find him for several months because he fell through the ice and it had froze back over by the time the search party went out after him. I would not want to do this in an automobile or a commecial truck.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Obligatory "what is this ice of which you speak?"
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

  4. #4
    Never been on one. They say the last time the Ohio froze in these parts was in '78 -- some snowmobilers went out on it, but no cars/trucks.

    Having driven a tractor trailer many moons ago, all I can say when I watch that show and listen to the ice cracking is this: No. Freakin. Way.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Here is the web site for the show. http://www.history.com/minisites/iceroadtruckers

    I have been across our ice road a few times when I was in college, and it is not unusual to see cars and trucks out on the ice in shanty towns that populate a little area known as Kipling.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  6. #6
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    Here is the web site for the show. http://www.history.com/minisites/iceroadtruckers

    I have been across our ice road a few times when I was in college, and it is not unusual to see cars and trucks out on the ice in shanty towns that populate a little area known as Kipling.
    There is also an ice road that is maintained every winter between Bayfield, WI and Madeline Island, WI over a part of Lake Superior. The rest of the year the connection is ferries. I wouldn't mind driving it someday.

    Ice roads are also SOP on pretty much every lake in Wisconsin, they serve the ice fishing spots. Lake Winnebago can take on a aura of a small city during the annual sturgeon spearing season.

    BTW, winter ice roads are lined with Christmas trees in order to prevent drivers from getting lost, they mark the way.

    Mike

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    I saw the first episode of Ice Road Truckers. It takes some serious balls of steel to drive those huge trucks over that ice. It couldn't and wouldn't be me. To answer the original question, no I've never been on an ice road. The roads down here flood, not freeze.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  8. #8
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    I have never been on an Ice Road, but I do know that there are auto/truck races on Lake Georgetown in the mountains west of Denver.
    I also seem to remember Jeeps driving around on a lake between Montreal and Ottawa while I was playing shinny with my cousins ca. 1991.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  9. #9
    maudit anglais
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    Ice roads, sure - who hasn't gone ice fishing? Also one of the best ways to move construction materials up to the cottage so it's all sitting there waiting when spring finally comes.

    Have not been on an ice road used by big trucks.

  10. #10
    Never been on an ice road but:

    Once a colleague and I were driving through southern New Hampshire and we noticed a lot of signs that said, "Caution, Ice Heaves." As he was from South Carolina and I am from California, we weren't quite sure what an ice heave was and why we should be watching for them in September. So we made up our own definitions, such as:

    A disease: "Grandpa got hospitalized with a bad case of ice heaves last winter."

    A food: "One chocolate ice heave to go."

    A dance: "Mary was sure lookin' wild doing a mean ice heave to that old Beastie Boys song."

    An animal: "Darn, the ice heaves ate the cat!"

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Oh Oh Factor

    Lake Erie usually does not freeze completely. But one of the years that it did (probably about 1977) this Bear decided to go ice fishing. I drove out to Catawba Point, a great perch fishing area. There were about a hundred cars out on the ice, about a mile from shore.

    I parked my truck (not on the ice) and walked out to the fishing spot, carrying my spud (to chop a hole), my smaller tackle box, some worms, my pole, and a bucket to sit on. I was sitting there not catching fish when I heard a loud sound. I turned and looked at the shoreline.....a big U-Haul rental truck was on the ice, towing a string of ice shanties.



    The ice creaked and groaned but no vehicles (including the rental truck) broke through the ice. Whew!
    _____

    Just east of International Falls, MN, is Rainy Lake. That lake has (or had) an ice road, lined with Christmas trees. Never saw it, just talked about it with locals when I was visiting "The Nation's Icebox".
    _____

    "Ice Road Truckers" is fun to watch. Freakin' amazing.

    Bear
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  12. #12
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    I can't stomach big bridges. Ice roads would make me panic.

  13. #13
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Chet View post
    I can't stomach big bridges. Ice roads would make me panic.
    You and me both. I HATE big bridges, especially the ones with narrow lanes and grating rather than concrete. Also not happy are those stupid concrete barricades placed right on the lane lines during construction making you feel like you are running the gauntlet. I had to drive a U-Haul through 7 miles of that in Pennsylvania in April. I thought I was going to have a heart attack.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Random Traffic Guy's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by kjelsadek View post
    especially the ones with narrow lanes and grating rather than concrete.
    Try being underneath the grating on the catwalk, and hundreds of feet above the water!! This was the Tappan Zee bridge near NYC, got a tour when I was in college. Whole thing jumped a couple inches when a tractor-trailer went over.

    I have driven on frozen lakes alot of times in my former life in the great white north, can be some fun driving in a sporty car once you are confident in the strength of the ice.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
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    There are ice villages that pop up on several locations of Lake Champlain ("New England's West Coast") every winter, complete with trucks parked by the shanties.

    I just learned last week of an ice road that is maintained by the locals that crosses the southern portion of the lake between Vermont and New York. I've already been told by my SO that I'll be dead if I try it - even if I don't fall through the ice.
    All these years the people said he’s actin’ like a kid.
    He did not know he could not fly, so he did.
    - - Guy Clark, "The Cape"

  16. #16
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by kjelsadek View post
    You and me both. I HATE big bridges, especially the ones with narrow lanes and grating rather than concrete. .

    How DID you live in Portland for so long? That was one thing that freaked me out about the City of Roses.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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