Men Journey from Glen Arbor to North Manitou Island on a Frozen - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Men Journey from Glen Arbor to North Manitou Island on a Frozen Lake Michigan

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One man dreamed of following in his father's footsteps, and that took him on a walk across the ice of Lake Michigan.

In all, four men walked from Glen Arbor to North Manitou Island.

It's a journey decades in the making.

Forty-some years ago, Bob Sutherland's father almost made it the whole way, and then was forced to turn around due to open water.

Bob, along with three others, knew this winter would finally be their opportunity to make the trek once again.

"The last month it started to thicken," explained Sutherland, "And you saw less open patches and we made an attempt two weeks ago, and didn't get that far."

Last Thursday, the four men tried again.

"We started out pretty timidly, digging a lot of holes in the ice to check thickness and slowly we'd go further and further."

Dressed for the elements with safety gear packed on their backs, they knew what they were attempting was extremely dangerous.

"We had no idea that distance wise," said Tom Bisbee, "It was close to 7 or 8 miles, but when you're actually on the ice it means nothing, one foot in front of the other trying to be as cautious as possible."

All while taking in nature's majesty.

"It was absolutely incredible. I mean, this is one of the most beautiful places in the world really, and to be experiencing it in the middle of winter, with sheet ice everywhere, covered in snow, sparkling white, it was just magical out there, a winter wonderland," described Andrew Pritchard.

Once they made it to the island, their journey was only halfway over.

"We sat there and we took it in, but we also kept in the back of our mind, and really forefront of our mind that we had to make it back," said Andrew Moore.

With the sunset, then stars, as a backdrop to their walk home, they say they can only describe their epic adventure as a once in a lifetime experience.

"To be standing on the water out there as it were, it was just a remarkable experience, we'll remember it for a lifetime."

There is no such thing as safe ice, and 9 & 10 News stresses that no one should attempt such a risky trip.

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