Truck Underwater at Eagle Point

A truck broke through the ice at Eagle Point Saturday night or early Sunday according to Columbia Township Police.  One observer believed that a boat dock on the east side of the marina may have been damaged.  Today, police are at the scene.  Chief David Elwell indicates as of this (Sunday) afternoon, the “driver had not yet made contact with us, nor us with him.”

Crews with an excavator are working on pulling it out of the water.  There is a steep dropoff at that location and the truck is likely down about 25 feet.

Last year, a car broke through the ice at the west end near the boat launch, but the details were different.  To view the story, please click here.

Wonders of the Sky

Last night’s burst of light across Michigan is a reminder that there are wonders in the sky. 

Rewind to a clear October evening four years ago.  If you stood on the dock that night and looked up it was as if the night sky were decorated like a Christmas tree–flashes of red, green and white lights.  (Plane navigation lights are positioned the same as on boats with red on port; green, starboard; and white, aft).   A count of the sky that chilly evening revealed over a dozen heading in different directions.  Was that much traffic over Clark Lake typical, or was this an unusual situation? 

Fast forward to today.   As for many things in our lives, there is an app for it.  Flightradar24 tracks passenger aircraft, private planes and helicopters.  Aircraft icons move across your iPad or PC in real time, pinpointing their location.  Tap the icon and you get the plane’s make, a photo of it, altitude and ground speed.  If an airliner, you also learn from where and when it departed, where it’s headed and its expected arrival time.  All of this and more is free.  If you buy a subscription, the locks disappear, and you get more detail.

So was it unusual to see over a dozen aircraft in the air over Clark Lake that October night?   When a plane flies at 30,000 or more feet, it extends your view to many miles away and many planes come into view.  All you need is a clear night.

By the way, this app is a handy tool if you’re picking someone up at Metro.  It also answers a multitude of other questions, including why the night sky looks like a Christmas tree.  

     Postscript:

A final question about another wonder of the sky–UFO’s. Will this app track them?  There is no answer to that.  But if you’re interested, there was a recent UFO case on the west coast that has caused discussion. It was reported in the New York Times, and you can read about it by clicking here.  Clark Lake has also had its share of UFOs.  You can read about them under Unexplained.

Burst of Light

Many observed a flash of light across Michigan’s skies just after 8 pm this evening.  Speculation is that a meteor streaked across and was bright enough to change night into a day for a second. 

At least one security camera picked up the flash at Clark Lake.  This video was contributed by Karen Steiger Wilger on the Clark Lake Spirit Facebook page.  Click here to view it

MLive has reported on it and also posted home security camera video.  Check it out by clicking here.

Bill Leutz investigated:  “The meteor, traveling through southeast Michigan, apparently exploded. In extreme southeast Michigan, the explosion included a large boom.  There are reports that it actually shook houses in metro Detroit. The flash, however was seen all across the southern half of the state, including locations as far north as Traverse City, and as far west as Chicago. A number of Clark Lakers commented they also saw it.”

Check out this link for what was seen in Detroit.

Stop action of the Wilger video shows reflection of the flash on the lake surface.

Polar Plunge Prepares to Take on Clark Lake

Last year’s Polar Plunge raised over $30,000 for Special Olympics at Clark Lake.  That’s the amount brought in by participants who jumped off the marina dock and into the frigid waters in an open area at Eagle Point.

 Once again, the event will take place at the Point. Registration begins at 8:30 am. Participants show off their costumes beginning at 10:00 am.  The main event launches at 10:15 am. Awards and After Splash Bash commence immediately following the last plunger at The Pointe Bar and Grill.


At the time this story was assembled, nearly $5000 has been donated.  If experience holds true, that number should grow quite a bit.  You can get updated info on the Plunge by clicking here.  

To get an idea of what the instant loss of body heat is like to participants, check out photos and videos of last year’s event published on this website.  No doubt you’ll want to be sitting by a roaring fireplace as you watch. 

 

Clark Lake Business Moving Up

Approaching their 12th anniversary, Clark Lake’s A Plus Electric announces a major step forward.  The A Plus headquarters will soon move to the building formerly occupied by the In Good Company restaurant.  The building is located on 127 just north of Jefferson Road intersection, also Clark Lake.  The reason for the move?  More space for a growing business.

The A Plus Electric master electrician and owner is Carl Evanson.  “When we acquired our present building at the intersection of Hyde and Jefferson Road, our business increased.  People like to know their dealing with a solid company, and what’s more solid than brick and mortar?”

The increased space the new building offers is no small thing.  Carl says “we’re able to house major equipment and keep a larger inventory of parts.  That will cut down on service time and save customers money.” 

A Plus Electric stays on the cutting edge in a rapidly changing world.  Along with standard electrical items, there is space for inventory of innovated electronics that create whole-home solutions.  Carl explains “we recently contracted with Lutron.  They are leaders in connecting lights, cameras, audio and video.  Homeowners have control through a simple remote at the house or anywhere in the world via an app on a smartphone.” (To view a video that illustrates an installation at a Clark Lake home, scroll down).

Access also improves. “Being on major thoroughfare saves time in arriving at a customer’s home.  They know they can depend on us for quick, quality and affordable service.  This move boosts each one of those important qualities.”

The staff is happy about the move, too.  Carl is hearing “they look forward to more space for customer care and follow-through.

Before moving in, modifications will transform the restaurant building for its new role.    

How Thick Is the Ice?

Temperatures have plunged below zero leading to the question “how thick is the ice?”  BJ Lyons chopped four holes at different locations to find the answer. Starting from shore and extending his investigation to 300 feet out, he found ice thickness to range between 4 to 6 inches.  A Michigan sheriff’s department posted this chart to help people gauge ice safety.

Viewers have been keeping up to date via the DamCam.  They are coupling weather stats on the main page of the website with live 24/7 video to determine conditions.  Below are 14 photos from the DamCam taken over the last couple weeks at random times.   

 

Loving Clark Lake in 2017

Every year at Clark Lake creates a tough benchmark.  Can one year be topped by the next?  The reality is this.  Clark Lake does not disappoint.  It keeps getting better.  

Is it possible to sum up a year in 15 minutes?  Not really.  But this video provides an excursion through some highlights of what went on at our favorite place in the world.  It starts in winter and takes you through all four seasons.

Thanks to all who have contributed content for this video and the Clark Lake Spirit website.  Special thanks go out to BJ Lyons and Andrew Lajdziak for their dronage, and to Bill Leutz and many others who have provided photos, stories and story ideas.

Clark Lake is a wonderful place, and it’s that way because of the people who love it.

Rick Belcher
Clark Lake Spirit Foundation

 

 

Christmas Chill

Seven years ago, Will Stewart’s grandmother gave him a used wet suit and a pair of goggles.  That started a Christmas day tradition for Will–a jump into the icy waters of Clark Lake on the 25th of December.  So today Will, accompanied by his older brother, Connor, went to the open water at the Point and kept the tradition alive.  Connor recorded the act and provided the commentary.  At the end of Will’s Christmas chill, Connor asks “what are you thinking right now?”  Will didn’t answer for understandable reasons.  We can only guess. 

Connor and Will are experienced divers.  Only a few have explored the bottom of Clark Lake the way they have. Click here to read how they reopened the case of a Clark Lake tragedy.  They also have done something many at Clark Lake have wondered about.  What would it be like to enter the water at the northernmost tip of Eagle Point and follow the drop off down to its maximum depth?  Click here to see the video.

Below, Will and Connor on a much warmer day at Clark Lake.

Winter’s Eve at Clark Lake

The sky at Clark Lake came alive the night before winter begins.  Bill Leutz captured the moment from the Eagle Point shoreline.

A bit later, the deep colors softened, but left some of the texture intact.

If you were watching the DamCam, you could also view tonight’s sunset (along with the odd greenish tint to the north shoulder).

  As you can see, ice remains on the lake in spite of temperatures recently rising above freezing. Bill says there is about 3 inches of ice, but that may have receded somewhat.  It was enough to lure  Pete and Elizabeth Shawaker out on the lake for some skating.  With caution in mind, they stayed close to the shore.

For those keeping track, winter begins tomorrow, Thursday, December 21, and ends on Tuesday, March 20th.

Snow Making Its Move

Snow is moving in, and Clark Lake is feeling its effects. And there is more ahead.  As of 9:30 am today, the National Weather Service predicted a four to six inch accumulation with a winter weather advisory in effect until 11 pm.  For updated information, please go to the local forecast on the main page of this website.

The lake is showing the effect of the cold and has started to freeze.

 

The photos above are from Bill Leutz and show views of the west end from the Eagle Point shoreline.  

You can also check current conditions by going to the DamCam.