Winter is in full swing! If you think you’ve got a lot of snow, you should check out the UP!
Around the middle of January, our little marketing team of three (based in Green Bay, WI) made a whirlwind overnight trip up to Northwinds Adventures. Our main objective was to capture the beauty of the 220-acre property in photos and video to use as marketing collateral. We also had some fun while we were there!
Houghton, MI is about a four-hour drive from Green Bay, not counting any bathroom breaks or stops to eat. Gas stations do become few and far between north of Crivitz, so definitely plan ahead. Satellite radio is also fantastic to keep the 90’s tunes playing outside the reach of FM stations (because what else do you listen to on a girls’ trip?)
We arrived in Houghton at about noon—11 am our time— and popped into the grocery store for a few items, then grabbed lunch at Culver’s across the parking lot before heading to our destination.
Northwinds is only a few minutes outside of Houghton, and the drive is beautiful. Snow-dusted trees line the road as it curves and dips through the rocky, hilly terrain. Glimpses of a rushing, icy creek peek through the dense pines dotted with quaint cabins. Suddenly, the landscape opens to a rolling clearing blanketed in pure white.
Beyond this old farm field is the jewel of Northwinds; Love Lake. It’s currently frozen over and covered in white like everything else, but that only makes the sprinkling of warm, orangey-brown log cabins stand out like welcoming beacons in the cold.
We stayed in the Brook Trout Cabin, one of two mirror-image two-bedroom cabins on the property. Da Barn and Love Palace are also available to rent, but the smaller cabin was just right for the three of us.
We unloaded our truck and stocked the full-size fridge with essentials, then headed out to take some pictures. We spent about an hour out and about before returning to our cabin to warm up with some snacks and games.
The afternoon was beautiful, clear and sunny, and the intense blue sky reflected off the sparkling snow. Unfortunately, the clouds had begun rolling in by the time the sun set; a hint at what was to come overnight.
We met our gracious hosts, Carl and Michelle, out for dinner at The Pilgrim River Steakhouse, where we enjoyed some great food and learned about the slightly funky variation of spaghetti that Yoopers consider normal.
After dinner, the three of us headed downtown to check out Keweenaw Brewing Company and to grab a few pictures of the city at night.
Upon returning to our home away from home, we sat around on the comfy couches for a while, wrapped up in cozy blankets. We debated starting a fire in the wood stove, but opted against it. The modern convenience of a digital thermostat and furnace kept the cabin very comfortable! We decided to turn in early and headed off to bed.
We awoke in the morning to grey darkness and swirling lake-effect snow. With the time-zone difference, the sun doesn’t really come up until about 8:30 this time of year. The delayed morning allowed us to get caffeinated and make ourselves a nice breakfast in the fully-equipped kitchen before starting the new day.
The sun finally rose, and the wonderland that emerged outside was dusted with the softest powdery snow, the light in the sky was beautifully diffused, and everything looked like a winter dream. Big, fluffy snowflakes tumbled down from above, and we couldn’t help but catch them on our tongues.
Our little hike took us down near the edge of Love Lake. The brightly-colored paddleboards hibernate, dripping in sparkling icicles on their rack behind earthy piles of firewood, dreaming of the short but sweet summer season that seems so distant in the hush of winter.
In contrast to the ethereal silence of the morning, Carl and Michelle showed up to their photoshoot on a neon green snowmobile… wearing T-rex costumes. We all laughed, Merle barked, the snowmobile engine revved, and sadly it was time to pack up and head back to Green Bay.
Back to real life.