Rapidly Melting Ice Transforms Lake Michigan Into a Pool of Ice Shards

Mar 23, 2019

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Lake Michigan has never looked so sharp.

Although spring has officially sprung, it’s been an undeniably frigid winter in the northern US. And in the aftermath of a record-breaking polar vortex (which also inspired its own array of unique photo opportunities), Lake Michigan is still showing the effects. Hence why, due to some rapid shifts in temperature, the water beneath the lake’s surface has been pushing against the solid surface to form a jagged shard-like “stacked pattern” along South Haven’s pier in Michigan.

In case the lake’s spiky surface isn’t a hint enough: you can look at the ice shards in the lake, but the US Coast Guard strongly advises that you don’t touch them. The ice formations, while stunning, are also dangerous. “No ice is safe ice especially this time of year,” US Coast Guard BMC Grant Heffner said to Michigan Live. “The ice is certainly deteriorating and breaking up.”

If you’re trying to get to Lake Michigan to view the natural phenomenon before it all melts away, this is a great opportunity for you to utilize your backlog of points and miles. The nearest major airports to the pier are Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR), South Bend International Airport (SBN) as well as Chicago Midway (MDW), and if you don’t mind the drive, Chicago O’Hare (ORD).

ORD is a United and American Airlines hub, so if you’re loyal to United, you can use, among others, your United MileagePlus, Air Canada Aeroplan, or Singapore Krisflyer points. For American, you can use your AAdvantage miles and British Airways Avios points. While United and American also fly to SBN, most direct routes to the airport are operated by Allegiant and Delta — which you can book using your SkyMiles, Flying Blue points, and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points. As for the rest of the airports (MDW and GRR), there is a pretty even spread of the major four US airlines as well as Frontier.

Keep in mind that MDW is a Southwest hub, so in addition to earning or using your Rapid Rewards points, you get two free checked bags and no change fees. So if by the time you book the ice shards in Lake Michigan have melted — you don’t have to worry about the cost of switching or canceling your flight.

Featured photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

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