Sure, it was nearly eighty in Minnesota today. But give it a couple of months and those temperatures will be a distant memory. Instead, our sisters and brothers in the Twin Cities will be dealing with mountains of snow. Even here in Seattle, we start getting quite a bit of snow in the mountains come December. A couple of years ago, I went on a snow shoeing expedition and had a great time. So if you are looking for a new winter activity, I highly recommend snowshoeing. And if you are in the market for a pair of snowshoes, you need look no further than snowshoes made by members of our extended American family working for the Iverson firm in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Clarence Iverson first began building snowshoes in the Upper Peninsula or “UP” in 1954 when he won a contract to provide snowshoes for the State of Michigan. Clarence made his snowshoes from Michigan White Ash, rawhides and pure copper hardware. Wooden snowshoes are lighter than metal snowshoes, so Iverson snowshoes allow you to walk on top of the snow, not through it. In addition, Iverson snowshoes are far quieter than metal snowshoes.
You can order 17 different models of Iverson snowshoes in different sizes and all are available laced with traditional rawhide, neoprene or nylon. If you are a do-it-yourselfer sort, you can purchase Nylon and Neoprene kits in 10×40 or 10×46 frames.
You might wonder why Clarence chose to make his snowshoes in the UP. It might have something to do with the fact that “Yoopers” routinely have to endure winters that dump between 100-250 inches of snow. Lake-effect snow from Lake Michigan and Lake Superior can cause blinding whiteouts at the drop of a tuque, and some storms can last for days. Some years, nearly 400 inches of snow hit the UP, which may explain the fact that while the UP accounts for 29% of the land area of Michigan just 3% of citizens live there. Go figure.