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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Saturday, November 03, 2007


With the upcoming snowmobile season in Michigan (at least we HOPE it is upcoming) I wanted to share this story with you as a reminder about riding on lakes, rivers, etc. This happened some place WAY up in Canada, but it could have easily been in Michigan. This is a photo of the village that the man managed to get to. The following is the story.
November 2, 2007
Woman drowns as snowmobile goes through ice
Husband suffers severe frost bite after crawling two km for help
KUGLUKTUK - A couple's quick trip from Kugluktuk's old graveyard back to the community turned to tragedy on Oct. 27 when their snowmobile fell through thin ice on the Coppermine River at around 7:30 pm.
Jeff Hopkins, 40, managed to climb out of the frigid water, but he was not able to save his wife, Mary Jean Hopkins-Hikomak, 43.

After his attempts to rescue her failed, Hopkins rolled over the ice onto shore and then painfully crawled about two kilometres towards houses with lights turned on - so that his children would have one parent, he later told a friend.

Hopkins didn't arrive near the New Town section of the community until after 2 a.m..

Richard Kusmack had been at friend's home watching a movie. He went outside to start his snowmobile, then heard screaming and headed out to see who was in distress.

Kusmack found Hopkins kneeling in the snow with his arms bent up in the air. His friend's hands were iced into fists and his face was purple.

Kusmack lifted Hopkins on to his snowmobile. Hopkins' legs were so frozen he had to force them open so they would straddle the seat.

Kusmack said he doesn't remember how he managed to lift Hopkins, who, dressed in sodden, frozen clothing, weighed at least 200 pounds.

"There was so much adrenalin flowing, I could have lifted a house," said Kusmack, who is the hamlet's recreation director.

Holding on to Hopkins with one arm and driving with the other, Kusmack sped down to the nursing station, yelling at passersby to telephone the nurse on call. They waited outside for a nurse to arrive when the husband of another nurse drove by and headed off to get the nursing station keys.

They carried Hopkins inside and laid him on a bed. They cut off Hopkins' frozen parka and removed his one remaining boot.

Water had frozen inside the boot and encased Hopkins' foot in ice.

The next day Hopkins was medevaced to Edmonton where he is recovering from severe frostbite to his limbs.

A search team retrieved the body of Hopkins-Hikmak on Sunday, Oct. 28.

The couple had recently moved from Iqaluit back to Kugluktuk, the hometown of Hopkins-Hikomak.
Police say the couple had several children.

This is not the first time that October has proven to be a dangerous time for travel over the ice in Kugluktuk.

On Oct. 14, 2004, elders Sam and Lena Kikpak were found dead in a lake near the community after the snowmobile carrying the Anglican minister and his wife crashed through the ice.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:23 PM

    I was just going through some memorabilia and found a card that obviously accompanied a soapstone carving I purchased years ago.

    Artist: Lena Kikpak
    Community: Coppermine
    Date: Jun' 81
    Description: Seal


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