Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Lake Erie - Frozen

We always heard that the lake would freeze over. I couldnt believe that something this large could ever freeze over. It was mind baffling to me. So of course we had to go see it for ourselves. One day a couple weeks ago {when it was like -10 outside} we decided to venture out to the lake to see if the rumors were in fact true.

For those not from Erie, aka my family, here is a side note about the lake from Wiki: Lake Erie is the fourth largest lake of the five Great Lakes, and the tenth largest globally.[3] It is bounded on the north by the Canadian province of Ontario, on the south by the U.S. states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, and on the west by the state of Michigan. The lake is named after the Erie tribe of Native Americans who lived along its southern shore[4].

Like the other Great Lakes, Erie produces lake effect snow when the first cold winds of winter pass over the warm waters, making Buffalo, New York, the eleventh snowiest place in the entire United States, according to data collected from the National Climatic Data Center.[12] The lake effect ends or its effect is reduced, however, when the lake freezes over. Being the shallowest of the Great Lakes, it is the most likely to freeze and frequently does.[13]

I just learned so much.

So, you dont believe it either? Okay.. if you insist.. here are some pictures so you can see it for yourself:

Frozen Lake Erie
frozen lake erie. that used to just be water with sail boats in it.

Frozen Lake Erie
see those little boxes.. thats people ice fishing

Frozen Lake Erie
freeland was brave and took the first step to actually walk out onto the ice

Frozen Lake Erie
walking out even further

Frozen Lake Erie
I finally also decided maybe I would try it out too

Frozen Lake Erie
playing on the lake

Frozen Lake Erie

Frozen Lake Erie

Frozen Lake Erie
It was FREEZING. I wish you could see the number of layers I had on. That jacket basically wouldnt really button up from all the layers.

Frozen Lake Erie
Freeland brushing away the snow to see the ice

Frozen Lake Erie
playing footsie

Can you believe that these were taken at the same spot just a few months ago? And now were walking on top of it?

That was all on the bay side of the lake.

And that was definitely a first for me.. walking on ice like that.

I hear that cars drive out there.. I don't know if thats true?! But Im sure its a sight to see if it is.

I have pictures from the other side of the peninsula looking out at the rest of the ocean lake. I will post those for you too.


  1. That looks so fun. You need some ice skates :)

  2. The bay side is perfectly safe for walking around, and ice fishing now that it is frozen over.

    For your Texas relatives, think of a large left arm folding out from shore. THAT is our peninsula, Presque Isle. That band of sand protects the bay harbor area from wave action.
    Use Google Earth and choose Erie, PA. As you zoom in from outer space, you will see the peninsula (and how close it is to Long Point, Ontario....a Canadian peninsula area.
    In summer, people have swam across from Long Point to Presque Isle (though NOT recommended).

    We desperately need decent doctors in the area, and good looking bloggers are always a plus. To that end, I urge Brooke and Freeland Ackley to NEVER walk on the Lake Erie side of the peninsula.

    Wave action makes "ice dunes" form on that side, and you could easily fall through and freeze to death. Most HMO's do not cover this either.

    It appears as safe as the bay side, so people try to walk across Lake Erie when the Lake freezes from Canada to Erie (roughly a 29 mile wide chunk of ice).

    But the ice dunes disguise the "holes" under the snow, and if you step on one of those, either the blog stops, or we get no doctor down the road, or both.

    Worse, dating and anniversary pics in the future will have one of you kissing another face.

    Do NOT walk on the dunes on the Lake Erie side. Have all the fun you want on the bay side of the peninsula.

    Try ice fishing wait, that is Adam that goes fly fishing.

    Take no babies in the ice houses. (Some huts are up all the time, and people use them interchangeably).
    Take your gear out on a sled you pull behind you.

    You need an ice auger to open a hole easily, and short fishing poles as it is pretty much up and down, no playing the fish. You pull the line in like an Eskimo once the fish bites, and the pole bends into the hole.

    Blue pike and sturgeon (mostly) are extinct now, but there are fish out there nearly as big as Brooke's leg, called Muskies. Most folks are happy with perch, walleye, and salmon or trout.

    Be licensed or you do not eat next month, as you pay a fine. (Bait shops have the license).

    Winter in Erie, PA is every bit as exciting as all the seasons. It just takes people with life in their hearts to live it out. We welcome you to that select group of human beings.

    (check out "ice dunes" on line to see pics of the hazard from inside the dune).

    I don't know if dogs have to be leashed or not, but the pup would love to frolic the bay too.

    Erie-ites all enjoy you finding area delights we have known for years. For many people, it is kind of like living by Niagara Falls and never going there as a local.

    Begin now to plan a summer and a fall trip to Kinzua Dam by Warren, PA. Summer you hit the trails in the backwaters behind the dam.

    Fall is spectacular leaf color changes and perfect spots for pics of a lifetime.

    The area was an old Indian Burial ground, and dammed up to protect Pittsburgh from flooding from snow melt.

    Erie, PA is one of few places on Earth where you never have to grow up, just keep having fun!

    God bless you as you savor the joy daily.

    Best regards,
    Danny Lucas

  3. I read your blog often. I found your link from a friend of a friends blog. I love your pictures and was wondering what kind of camera you have? Also do you use any photo actions on your pictures or do you upload them straight from your camera? Your pictures are amazing! :)

  4. Thanks for the advice Danny. We will make sure to not venture past the trees on the other side :)

    Julie - we have a canon rebel and one of the other EOS camera's. I also have a sony cyber-shot that I carry around with me. So all the pictures are a mixture of those 3 cameras. Some are straight out of the camera and some I play with. The ones outside I just posted were straight of the camera without a flash used. I think thats why they came out clear - and the sky happened to be the most amazing blue that day. I hope that helps! Thanks for your sweet comment.

  5. You wrote February 4 and now it is Saturday, the 7th.
    Erie weather changes in a minute and we can go 60 degrees difference in a day and yawn about it.

    You have lived through bizzards and below zero only a short while ago.
    Today, it was almost 50 degrees.

    The Lake Erie ice is 2 feet thick. Winds generally blow from West to East and North to South, moving things from Detroit to Buffalo, passing by Cleveland and Erie.

    A few hours ago, 35 mph winds unhinged a chunk of Lake Erie ice. The chunk was 2 feet thick and a mile wide. Ice fisherman and snowmobilers were out for a day of fun. If you use your head and stay away from the drifting away from land... the Coast Guard will fly out and get you (take a cell phone on the Lake).

    Most of Lake Erie has no Presque Isle for wind protection.
    While the British burned the White House in the War of 1812, we were winning that same war by the battleship Niagara being protected from the Brits in Erie harbor.

    The warm temps today combined with strong winds. A mile wide ice cube broke off and started to move from shore. A snowmobiler thought he could race across to safety and died. 134 others were plucked off the ice and lived.

    From a news blurb:

    Officials: 1 dead, 134 rescued from Lake Erie ice

    AP - 1 hour, 13 minutes ago
    Story is here:

    It was safe when folks went out, and then changed in minutes. Caution is in order when on the Lake in all seasons. Plug the Coast Guard number in your cell phone if you wander out or go by boat in other seasons.

    One year, they alerted people to stop walking to Canada as so many required rescue about 10 miles out. They were too far to come back and too far from Canada to make it. Walking the dunes is tiring as well as treacherous.

  6. Hello,
    I just stubbled upon your page and wanted to tell you your pic are beautiful. I was wondering what kind of camera you have and where I could get one. The quality is amazing!!!!! Thanks,

    Kelsey B.

  7. Hey Kelsey .. thanks for your comment! We have a few camera's. One is a canon rebel and a Canon EOS camera. I also have a sony cyber-shot that I carry around with me in my purse. So all the pictures are a mixture of those 3 cameras. Some are straight out of the camera and some I play with. I hope that helps! Thanks for your sweet comment. Brooke

  8. hate to tell you Danny Lucas but neither side won the War of 1812. At the end of the war nothing about the border had changed and if you had won the war we would have the Stars and Bars instead of the Maple Leaf flying from our front porches. We just returned from a great trip to Erie so no animosity towards Americans just wish everyone would reserch the history of our joint areas a little better.

  9. @chrisvan

    I'm delighted to see you have found a good time in your visit to my hometown. We celebrate Thanksgiving Day this week in the United States, and I am thankful that you are able to safely travel to my hometown, and thankful I am able to come to Canada.

    Indeed, I have visited the Provinces from the West to the East Coast along our long shared border, most extensively in Manitoba.
    Many a fishing trip with my father to upper Ontario and Quebec made lifelong memories of shared times on your lakes, and great catches of fish as well.

    I hope I live long enough to one day visit the northernmost three Provinces.

    I appreciate your commentary on the War of 1812 from a different angle. Few Canadians I have met over the decades discuss it at all, but the locals in Erie are keenly wrapped up in it for the victory of the flagship Niagara.

    A remake of that tallship sits in our harbor now for the winter, and sails the Great Lakes and Atlantic Coast (I saw it in NYC). Oliver Hazard Perry let loose with his whoop: "Don't give up the ship!"
    and he did NOT!

    Pretty much all of the locals in town know his story and the battle.

    But given your plea to study up, I took a gander at the facts anew.

    My claim?
    "While the British burned the White House in the War of 1812, we were winning that same war by the battleship Niagara being protected from the Brits in Erie harbor."

    BOTH statements are true.
    The Brits torched our White House in one theater of war, and the Niagara, rather unexpectedly, won its victory under Perry.

    So I am gonna stand by my two true statements, and recognize that from across the lake, it could be viewed as a term of "war winning", instead of Niagara victory on this side.

    My main intent on comment at all was for the Brooke and Freeland blog to be able to continue, by the two of them being safe when out on the ice (on the harbor).

    Since my comment, Brooke and Freeland have taken to adding a new citizen born to the Erie community; little River!
    Given his fluid name, the lad will likely want to venture the ice even closer to Canada from Erie, eh?

    Winners and losers are in dispute for the War of 1812.
    There is a Popular View, a Canadian view, an American view, and of course, Historian's view.

    Their wide and varied contentions can be read by anyone at this link:

    I often listened to the Star Spangled Banner close out TV at the end of each night, in my youth.
    I quickly switched to CFPL TV in Canada, and heard the end of TV programming from across the lake, as O Canada was sung, and TV went off the air. (Both Channel 6 and Channel 10 come in clearly here when the weather is right).

    I admit I do not know the source of O Canada, but our national anthem came out of the War of 1812....pretty much known by all Americans, especially on July 4th each year in the states.

    Though we declared independence on July 4, 1776, the Revolution was fragile at end. The Brits were not against another try at regaining territory here (1812). The Royal Navy got a good whipping, and never again threatened the USA. The skirmishes in all theaters of 1812's War sealed the deal for our independence and freedom.
    The King of England (or Queen) have no say here anymore, albeit they DO have influence with the Maple Leaf, eh?

    I am fond of the Maple Leaf, your RCMP, Niagara Falls (better on the Canadian side) and Flin Flon! :)
    Plus, the many Canadian lasses I danced with on fishing trips, while dad slept in camp, and I went to a nearby community up there.

    And I am fond that you took the time for clarification, and perhaps inspiration to all who read this, to read the link and learn of our mutual, peaceful, history.

    I'll think of you when I get a cup of coffee at Tim Horton's tomorrow.
    Canadians make great coffee!

    Best regards,
    Danny Lucas