Have you ever walked through 100 feet of crystal ice walls? Pack a lunch and spread out the blanket. In the frozen Wonderland I can’t think of a better place to picnic than protected within the walls of an ice castle. Logic says you should be chilly. Maybe it’s the adrenaline, but there’s a strange comfort, even warmth, within the solid cold blue ice.
The pictures here were taken the first week of April. While my yard in Lower Michigan was bare and tulips sprouting in the garden, we discovered the most amazing ice caves in Eben.
Just 20 minutes West of Munising along 94, head North at the Blue Moon restaurant, follow that road through a sharp turn to the right, and park at the next bend. You’ll probably see a path made of other explorers through the farm field and into the woods. From there it’s another 30 minutes in pristine wilderness, with some exciting icy spots. You can’t go wrong having a pair of crampons or boot chains.
I brought 100 feet of rope, which came in very handy. Tied to a tree outside the cave, it allowed us the freedom to slip and slide through the entire area. I tied another end to an solid icicle inside the cave. Some other visitors used it as well, and I think they might not have gone inside without it. We didn’t have studs for our boots, and my elbow felt it on at least one good slip. But it’s manageable if you are careful.
The ice is formed from drops of water coming from the limestone cliff building up throughout the winter. It’s amazing to think that small drops of water can create such a lair. The colors range from bright blue, blue/green, white, crystal clear and shades of mineral brown.