Feb. 2023 Cherryland

Page 1

Iceman The Cometh America’s Coolest Race Is In Northern Michigan COUNTRY LINES February 2023 MICHIGAN Cherryland Electric Cooperative A Woman, Her Dog, and Their Story Coming Home to Her A Little Pixie Dust Goes a Long Way: Rewriting Your Fairy Tale


You may not realize it, but your home is sitting on a free and renewable supply of energy. A WaterFurnace geothermal comfort system taps into the stored solar energy in your own backyard to provide savings of up to 70% on heating, cooling and hot water. That’s money in the bank and a smart investment in your family’s comfort—and with a 30% federal tax credit1 available, now is a great time to contact your local WaterFurnace dealer today to learn how to tap into your buried treasure.


Allendale Allendale Htg & Clg (800) 327-1937


Bad Axe/Ubly Cutting Edge Htg & Clg (989) 551-0986

Berrien Springs

Waterfurnace Michiana (269) 473-5667

gogreenmichgeo thermal.com

Big Rapids Stratz Htg & Clg, Inc. (231) 796-3717


Clifford Orton Refrig & Htg (989) 761-7691


Hart Adams Htg & Clg (231) 873-2665

adamsheating cooling.com

Indian River M&M Plmb & Htg (231) 238-7201


Lansing Candor Mechanical (517) 920-0890


Lowell Arctic Inc. Htg. & Clg. (616) 897-4213


Mancelona Top Notch Htg, Clg, & Geothermal (231) 350-8052


Michigan Center Comfort 1/Air Serv of Southern Michigan (517) 764-1500


Mt Pleasant Walton Htg & Clg (989) 772-4822


Muskegon Adams Htg & Clg (231) 873-2665


Portland ESI Htg & Clg (517) 647-6906



Mark Woodman Plmb & Htg (517) 886-1138


Traverse City D&W Mechanical (231) 941-1251


Geofurnace Htg & Clg (231) 943-1000


visit us at waterfurnace.com WaterFurnace is a registered trademark of WaterFurnace International, Inc. 1. 30% through 2032, 26% through 2033 and 22% through 2034

Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives


EDITOR: Christine Dorr


RECIPE EDITOR: Christin McKamey

COPY EDITOR: Yvette Pecha


PUBLISHER: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association

Michigan Country Lines, USPS-591-710, is published monthly, except August and December, with periodicals postage paid at Lansing, Mich., and additional offices. It is the official publication of the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933.

Subscriptions are authorized for members of Alger Delta, Cherryland, Great Lakes, HomeWorks Tri-County, Midwest Energy & Communications, Ontonagon, Presque Isle, and Thumb electric cooperatives by their boards of directors.

Postmaster: Send all UAA to CFS.

Association Officers: Tom Sobeck, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op, chairman; Gabe Schneider, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, vice chairman; Chris O’Neill, HomeWorks TriCounty Cooperative, secretary-treasurer; Craig Borr, president and CEO.


201 Townsend St., Suite 900 Lansing, MI 48933 248-534-7358 editor@countrylines.com

CHANGE OF ADDRESS: Please notify your electric cooperative. See page 4 for contact information.

The appearance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services advertised.


Ken Borton’s computer camera helped him share the great outdoors with his family ... and then changed his life.


Cherries: Sweet-tart flavor.


America’s coolest race is in Northern Michigan.

18 SHOULD I CHANGE MY CHARGING HABITS? Four things to know about extending rechargeable battery life.

MI Co-op Community


Instagram contest winner

Even the snow can’t cool down the pup’s excitement to explore the great outdoors! @906explorer (Ryan Peurach)

To enter contests, submit reader content & more, visit countrylines.com/community

Instagram Contest

Use #micoopcommunity for a chance to be featured here and on our Instagram account.

Win $100 for photos published!

Recipe Contest

See details on page 10. Breakfast for Dinner due March 1; Polish Favorites due April 1

Win a $100 bill credit!

Guest Column

Share your fondest memories and stories. Win $200 for stories published. Visit countrylines.com/community to submit.

Win $200 for stories published!

Contents February 2023 Vol. 43, No. 2 /michigancountrylines /michigancountrylines countrylines.com


/cherrylandelectriccoop @cherrylandec


David Schweitzer, President



Melinda Lautner, Senior Vice President



Gabe Schneider, Secretary 517-449-6453


Tom Van Pelt, Treasurer



Valarie Handy, Director 231-392-4705


Terry Lautner, Director



Dean Adams, Director



General Manager: Tony Anderson

Co-op Editors: Rachel Johnson

Courtney Doyle: cdoyle@cherrylandelectric.coop


Monday–Friday 7:30 a.m.– 4 p.m.


231-486-9200 or 1-800-442-8616 (Mich.)


P.O. Box 298, Grawn, MI 49637


Cherryland Electric Cooperative office

5930 U.S. 31 South, Grawn MI, 49637

Cherryland Electric Cooperative is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


Board Approves Rate Change

At its January 2023 meeting, Cherryland’s board of directors approved changes to the cooperative’s rates. These changes will go into effect in March of 2023. For more information on these changes and how they impact various rate classes, visit cherrylandelectric.coop/rate-change.

Cherryland Cares Awards $16,000 To Five Nonprofits

At its fourth-quarter board meeting, the Cherryland Cares board awarded a total of $16,000 in grants to TART Trail’s Recycle-a-Bike program, Grand Traverse Industries, Benzie Area Christian Neighbors, the Area Agency on Aging Northwest Michigan, and Traverse City Area Public Schools. In total, Cherryland Cares awarded $62,400 in grants to area nonprofit agencies in 2022.

The Cherryland Cares board is comprised of five volunteer Cherryland members. The funds distributed by Cherryland Cares are a result of members electing to round up their monthly bills to the nearest dollar. Members can contribute to the Cherryland Cares fund by calling 231-486-9200, signing up through SmartHub, or emailing us at cec@cherrylandelectric.coop.

If you are an area nonprofit agency seeking financial help, grant applications for the first quarter of 2023 are due Friday, March 17. For more information, please call Dawn Garrock at 231-486-9234 or email her at dgarrock@cherrylandelectric.coop.

Local Students Can Apply For Youth Tour In Washington, D.C.

High school juniors from Cherryland’s service territory are invited to join the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour: a once-in-a-lifetime, all-expenses-paid leadership travel opportunity to Washington, D.C., from June 14–18.

Applications must be submitted by Tuesday, Feb. 28. For more information and to apply, visit CooperativeYouthTour.com.

Serve On Cherryland’s Board

Any qualified Cherryland member can be elected to serve a three-year term on the cooperative’s board of directors. Two directors will be elected at this year’s Annual Meeting, including one at-large and one Leelanau County director.

To be nominated in 2023, candidates can file a petition with the cooperative’s administrative assistant starting the first day of March until 4 p.m. on the last business day of March. Nominating petitions are available on our website and at the co-op office in Grawn.

For more information regarding board nominations and the election process, review Article III of the co-op’s bylaws on our website.

Cherryland Offers Five Scholarships

Cherryland offers five scholarships—three worth $4,000 ($1,000 for four years) for high school seniors and two for $1,000 each for adult scholarships (post high school).

Applications for both scholarships are available on our website. The deadline for applications is Friday, April 7.


Coming Home to Her

In the fall of 1991, I failed in my first attempt to be a cooperative manager. While I sat dejected at the kitchen table after a 500-mile drive home, Mary, my wife, told me that she could feel that it wasn’t over. Sure enough, the first choice turned the job down, and I got the offer two days later. Her intuition was spot on. With her by my side, I have been managing electric cooperatives ever since for almost 32 years now.

With retirement looming in June, this is my last Valentine’s Day opportunity to thank my best friend and the last girl I ever took to the prom for decades of support. It is hard to focus at work if things are not good at home. I have managed three cooperatives that fired the manager before me. In the early years of each, my home life was my sanctuary. I could find calm and peace and always

had one great friend to listen about my day. While work was hard, I could concentrate because I knew she had the home front duties locked down.

In Wyoming, office phones were diverted to our house after work. When the phone rang at night, we never knew what we would get—an outage, a billing problem, or an angry member. (It was Wyoming, so there were never any tree complaints!) She often took the calls and relayed the messages. She was never on the payroll but always on the job.

In those early days of no cell phones, I carried a mobile radio that scanned the fire department, ambulance service, and the electric cooperative frequencies. Mary put up with my service to all three. I often left her and the kids in the middle of a meal and more than one ball game in the yard. One time, I literally left her in

the middle of pushing a stroller across town when a friend in an RV flagged me down with a medical emergency inside. So many late nights, I crawled into bed and woke her up for a kiss and a recap of the latest event.

Twenty years ago, she agreed to move with me “one last time” to Cherryland. I dove into the community and the rebuilding of the co-op. Ambulance calls and fires were traded for at-home distractions caused by cell phones and emails. She has also endured being introduced as “Mrs. Tony Anderson” at hundreds of community functions over our time here. Each time, she patiently stood by my side as I chatted continuously about work and community issues.

When I left her at home for a meeting or trip, I always laughingly told her that she would have all of me whenever I got back. With an eye roll and a knowing glance, she knew she would never have all of me. I am forever thankful that she was happy with what was left of me after a long day, a bad call, or one more community commitment.

I have many things to be thankful for near the end of a great journey. None are more significant than her. I have loved this woman since our first high school dance in 1980. Today, when I kiss her goodbye, I tell her one thing: “I will come home to you.” Coming home to her is all I want to do for the rest of my life.

“I have many things to be thankful for near the end of a great journey. None are more significant than her.”

Snowman Cam

When Ken Borton moved to Gaylord, Michigan, from the metro Detroit area in 2000 to set up a home office, he couldn’t have dreamed that the tiny eyeball camera that came with his new computer would change his life. Forever.

For years, Borton had visited his uncle who lived in Gaylord to enjoy the snowmobiling and skiing the area offered. He finally came back one summer to discover golf courses and amazing outdoor activities that had nothing to do with snow, and he was hooked.

“I knew it was where I wanted to live one day,” said Borton.

Borton and his wife Brenda, who are Great Lake Energy Co-op members, first bought their place in 1995 and finally moved in full-time in 2000. He was able to work remotely and got to setting up a home office. His new computer came with an eyeball camera. One day he was looking out his office window, enjoying the view, when he thought his family and friends back in the big city might enjoy the peaceful landscape he saw from his office chair.

“The camera couldn’t track, didn’t zoom in. It was nothing special,” said Borton. “It literally just looked out to our back property and the bird feeder nearby.”

As Borton dazzled his family with the natural wonders of northern Michigan, he upped his game in 2006 when he built and installed a wooden snowman that became the featured character in the video feed. The snowman joined the passing deer, turkeys, foxes, coyotes, black bears, flying squirrels, porcupines, and other wildlife that casually hung out and often partook of the fallen birdseed from the feeder.

Eventually, Borton was contacted by EarthCam, a streaming service, that offered to post his video feed for more individuals to enjoy. With temperamental internet and a desire to share the slice of heaven that is northern Michigan, Borton uploaded his Snowman Cam. He was shocked to see the feed gain a worldwide audience— including mentions on The Weather Channel and dozens of television stations—and, ultimately, millions of views year after year. It seems like an idyllic end to a heartwarming story, but that wasn’t the end.

“One day, I get a knock on the door,” said Borton. “It was a conservation officer from the Department of Natural Resources Michigan who had been called in to investigate a report of deer baiting.”

While many deer had partaken in the errant bird feed just eight feet from Borton’s back door, it hardly qualified as


“baiting.” The officer took one look, apologized, and went on his way.

Borton went back to work and life, but then the offi cer returned and said he needed to give Borton a ticket for the deer baiting. While the two of them were equally baffl ed, the ticket was issued. But that wasn’t the end of the story either.

Borton disputed the ticket and ultimately went to court, where the judge threw out the charges. State officials asked that Borton just take down the Snowman Cam so that they wouldn’t get calls about baiting any more. Borton refused.

“It just seemed wrong,” said Borton. “No one could come up with a good reason to take down the camera and it felt like most of the system agreed. That, in fact, it was the law that should change.”

For someone who had moved to get away from folks, Borton suddenly found himself in an election for county commissioner, which would put him in the middle of people and their daily struggles.

“I had never, not ever, considered running for a political office,” said Borton. “But what I found as I got into community politics is that it wasn’t about the negativity you see on TV, it was about helping people.”

In 2020, Borton’s state representative could not seek re-election because of term limits. He seized the opportunity and made a successful bid to be elected to the 105th District seat in the Michigan House of Representatives. He was re-elected to a second term in 2022.

“If it hadn’t been for the Snowman Cam, I would have never found myself in this position,” said Borton. “And this position allows me to help people every single day. It’s a privilege I never dreamed of.”

Borton has received messages from people around the globe saying how much the Snowman Cam has meant to them. From a cubicle worker in Houston enjoying Michigan snow, to an autistic child who was able to calm down by watching the cam, to Richard Guccini. Guccini and the Bortons became friends via the cam and built a relationship over the years. Guccini helped raise money to offset the cost of the cam, became the voice of Santa Claus on the channel, and built the snowman that you see in the feed today. In 2018, Guccini passed away, and the Borton and Guccini families created a plaque and bench dedicated to him that states simply reads— He waits for the bears.


Frey’s children’s book, “Sheldon’s Journey,” includes beautiful illustrations by Delaney Cavanaugh.

A Woman, Her Dog, and Their Story

o much of our lives are made up of small, seemingly mundane tasks and encounters that we often don’t think much of. But what if those happenings were somehow connected to something bigger? Something extraordinary. That’s how Cherryland member Tricia Frey likes to look at the world after one quick encounter ended up changing her life in ways she’d never expected.

“I’m sitting on my couch watching TV with a cat on either side, and I see this movement out the front window of my house. I stand up, and there’s this sheltie, and our eyes lock, and he runs to the neighboring property. I tear to my window to see where this dog is going, and I’m like, oh, the neighbor’s dog, you know, probably not supposed to be over here,” reflected Frey.

She saw him time and time again out that front window and eventually concluded he wasn’t a neighboring dog. He must be a stray. So she started calling him Sheldon: Sheldon the sheltie. At the time, she had no idea what a journey Sheldon had been on, how he was about to rope her into his adventures, or about the place he’d fill in her heart.

“It took me two years to touch him for the first time and another six months to get him inside my house,” Frey explained. “In the meantime, my sister and I converted an old shed outside into a house for him. We fed him and tried everything we could to draw him closer to us.”

Once Frey had gained Sheldon’s trust enough to let her bring him inside, two and a half years after she was


first drawn to him, the pair became inseparable. For Frey, Sheldon was a piece of her puzzle she didn’t know she was missing.

A few years later, Sheldon got sick. During a trip to the vet, Frey got some heartbreaking news about Sheldon’s health. But that’s not all, Frey explained, “When I got into the appointment where the doctor was going to tell me what we could do to help Sheldon, he put the x-rays up on a lighted screen. For whatever reason, the first words out of the doctor’s mouth were, ‘You see that little line there? That’s his chip, you know, his microchip.’ But I never had him microchipped.”

Did Sheldon, the companion Frey bonded with so deeply, belong to someone else? After all this time, was she supposed to give him up? And now, of all times, when he’s so sick and needs her more than ever?

Nine months later, Sheldon died in her arms. When it came time to cremate her beloved dog, she had one final request. She wanted to know where he came from, how he found his way to her, and why. Frey had Sheldon’s chip scanned and began unraveling his unbelievable story.

Frey’s memoir, her first book, was released in 2020. “River Love: The True Story of a Wayward Sheltie, a Woman, and a Magical Place Called Rivershire,” takes readers through that unbelievable journey. Last year, Frey released a second book titled “Sheldon’s Journey: The Story of a Sweet-Natured Dog in Search of His True Home,” a book geared toward younger generations with beautiful

illustrations to take kids on Sheldon’s many adventures that eventually lead him to his forever home.

Frey says, “In this first book, it’s how I envision Sheldon got to me. The path he took to find me. It’s from seeing him for the first time and stuff that was going on in my life and the property on which I live, Rivershire being the very special, magical place it is. River Love is a very honest story written with teens and adults in mind. But Sheldon was such a dear that I just thought, there’s got to be a story out there for kids. So, I decided to write the children’s version, Sheldon’s Journey.”

Frey’s love for Sheldon and his journey to her magical little corner on the Boardman River transformed into a lifechanging journey into self-discovery

through her writing. Something so impactful, sparked by one little, magically mundane moment. “So I ask myself a lot as I go through this life, what miraculous thing might happen to me today?” Frey said. “And I think people should ask that of themselves— instead of thinking, ‘Oh, another day and the same old, same old,’ say what amazing thing, miraculous thing, might happen to me today?”

You can find both of Tricia Frey’s books at local bookstores and on Amazon. Visit her website www.triciafrey.com to learn more!

Tricia Frey and her beloved dog, Sheldon the sheltie. Both of Frey’s books tell the true story of their journey to one another.
“I think people should ask that of themselves, instead of thinking, ‘Oh, another day and the same old, same old,’ say what amazing thing, miraculous thing, might happen to me today?”


Sweet-tart flavor

Recipe Contest

Win a $100 energy bill credit!

Breakfast for Dinner due March 1; Polish Favorites due April 1

Submit your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $100 bill credit and have your recipe featured in Country Lines with a photo and a video. Submit your recipe at micoopkitchen.com , or send it via email (include your full name and co-op) to recipes@countrylines.com



Marie Mercier, Great Lakes Energy

¾ cup all-purpose flour

¾ cup whole wheat flour

¼ cup flaxseed meal

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups old fashioned (preferred) or quick oats

¾ cup butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

½ cup sugar

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1½ cups dried tart cherries

¾ cup semisweet mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, flaxseed meal, baking powder, salt, and oats. Set aside. Mix butter, brown sugar, and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Add flour mixture to butter mixture; mix well. Stir in dried cherries and chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 9–11 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand one minute, then transfer to a wire cooling rack.

Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videos

MI CO-OP Recipes
Photos by Robert Bruce Photography || Recipes submitted by MCL readers and tested by recipe editor Christin McKamey
10 FEBRUARY 2023

4 cups sugar


Deanne Quain, Great Lakes Energy

2 cups finely chopped tart cherries

1 package SURE-JELL Premium

Fruit Pectin

¾ cup water

• small glass or plastic containers with lids

Mix sugar and fruit together. Let stand 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a small saucepan, stir SURE-JELL and

water. Bring to a boil on high heat for one minute, stirring constantly. Add pectin mixture to fruit mixture and stir for three minutes or until sugar is completely dissolved. Fill containers, leaving ½ -inch space at top for expansion during freezing. Cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Refrigerate up to three weeks or freeze up to one year. Makes about fi ve cups. This jam is also delicious when used as a topping over ice cream.


Crystal Riley, Cherryland Electric Cooperative

1 cup uncooked quick or old fashioned oats

1 cup flour

½ cup brown sugar

1½ teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¾ cup buttermilk

1 egg

¼ cup oil

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup frozen tart cherries, coarsely chopped (do not need to thaw)

Preheat oven to 400 F. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Combine liquid ingredients in a small bowl. Pour liquid mixture into dry mixture and stir just to moisten. Stir in cherries. Spray muffin pan or use liners. Fill cups about ²⁄ ³ full. Bake for 15–20 minutes.


Valerie Aspenleiter, Alger Delta Electric

1 stick butter, softened

¾ cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

¼ cup pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup quick-cooking oats

1½ cups flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup dried cherries

²⁄³ cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease cookie sheets. Cream butter and brown sugar in large bowl. Stir in egg, maple syrup, and vanilla. Combine oats, flour, baking soda, and salt and stir into butter mixture. Stir in cherries and walnuts. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheets. Bake 10–12 minutes, until edges of cookies are golden brown. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

1 cup water


Cathy Lautner, Cherryland Electric Cooperative

1 (3-ounce) package cherry gelatin

1 can cherry pie filling (not “less sugar” version)

• whipped cream (optional)

Bring water to a boil and dissolve cherry gelatin. Put in dish, stir in cherry pie filling and chill. Top with whipped cream if desired.


Cherryland Cares!

While we could all use a little help sometimes, some of us need it more than others. That’s why our members established Cherryland Cares— it’s a way of lending a hand to northern Michigan nonprofits doing good work in our local communities. The Cherryland Cares program allows members to round their monthly electric bill up to the nearest dollar. That spare change adds up in the Cherryland Cares fund, which then goes to help local nonprofits make our community a better place!

Visit cherrylandelectric.coop/cherryland-cares for more information on how to sign up, or give us a call at 231-486-9200! Nonprofits looking to apply for grant money can find applications on our website. First-quarter applications are due March 17.

$692,876.60 in grants to local organizations since 2006

$62,400 granted to local nonprofits in 2022

$6 a year is the average donation for a member who signs up for Cherryland Cares

5 volunteer board members review applications quarterly to help decide where these funds can best serve our community’s needs

12 FEBRUARY 2023

A Little Pixie Dust Goes A Long Way

When we think about love, I think most of us fantasize about that storybook fairy tale, with your perfect person living happily ever after. But more often than not, I think we could all use a little reminder to rewrite that narrative and spend more time investing in loving ourselves. It’s a lesson I’ve been working to reteach myself lately, and it’s a lot easier said than done.

The past 18 months have been pretty crazy in my world. I left a career I spent nearly a decade building. I started a new job in a completely different industry. I became a mom. I moved away from the only place I’ve ever really called home. Everything that was once comfortable and familiar went out the window. We started a new chapter, but it felt more like starting an entirely new book.

Don’t get me wrong, I chose and genuinely looked forward to every one of these changes. They’re all amazing,

exciting changes. Many of those changes were even fueled by love. Love for my growing family, love for the life we are building together, and love for a challenging new adventure.

But an avalanche of change all at once can be hard to handle, especially when you feel responsible for carving the path to your family’s happily ever after. I had completely forgotten that I needed to be my fairy godmother before I could strap the car seat into our pumpkin carriage and be on our merry way.

It took me a minute to figure out what that looked like and how to carve a little space into my heart for myself again. Slowly, I started doing little things for myself. When I say little things, I’m talking about lighting a candle in the kitchen because it made the house smell less like stale macaroni and cheese—kind of little. But that turned into taking the time to make home-cooked meals more often or spending an hour at the gym a few times a week. The little things slowly grew into bigger things, and I could feel the difference it made for me.

I went from digging out of my avalanche with a spoon to annihilating it with a John Deere snowblower. I realized that asking for help wasn’t a sign of failure, and taking time for myself wasn’t taking time away from my family, friends, or career. It’s the little bit of pixie dust I need to make the fairy-tale life of my fantasies a reality.

I still have a long way to go, and some weeks are easier than others, but I write to you today hoping you’ll remember that a bit of pixie dust goes a long way. Don’t forget to make space for yourself in your fairy-tale love story, too.

“I realized that asking for help wasn’t a sign of failure, and taking time for myself wasn’t taking time away from my family, friends, or career.”

Iceman The Cometh

America’s Coolest Race Is In Northern Michigan

Every year on the first weekend in November, around 5,000 mountain bicyclists take off down the runway at Kalkaska Airport and barrel through the woods across dirt paths, abandoned railroad beds, and rugged ski trails until they end up—muddied and ecstatic some 30 miles later—at Timber Ridge RV & Recreation Resort in Traverse City. The Bell’s Iceman Cometh Challenge is the largest point-to-point mountain bike race in the country and happens right here in northern Michigan.

“How would I explain it to someone who’s never been?” asked Kat Paye, executive director of the Iceman Cometh Challenge. “It’s an absolute riot.”

What started as a small “race” of 35 bikers over 30 years ago, with a course staked out by the event’s race founder, Steve Brown, has grown into an annual event that brings out professional cyclists and novice mountain bikers alike.

“It started as almost a dare,” said Paye. “See if you can make it on this crazy trail, and I’ll give you a burger and a beer at the end.”

The scope of the race has expanded since then, with not only 5,000 athletes descending on Traverse City every year, but nearly 10,000 volunteers, spectators, and wellwishers at the Celebration Zone. The event has also seen the addition of shorter and more kid-friendly races like the Slush Cup and the Meijer Sno Cone. Luckily, there is still

14 FEBRUARY 2023

beer at the end, as Bell’s Brewery has been a key sponsor for the past 13 years.

“You can’t help but get caught up in the energy,” said Paye, who has volunteered along the course for the past 10 years herself. “Everyone cheers for everyone else, amateurs, pros. It doesn’t matter your level; you’re a part of the Iceman family.”

The family has been headed by Brown since the beginning, who recruited friends and family to help as the event grew, knowing the more significant the event got, the more impact it could have. Iceman has always had a nonprofit angle, with proceeds helping to promote health and wellness, land stewardship, and the biking community at large.

“Steve is a really giving human,” said Paye. “He loves this industry and saw a way to have a homegrown, feelgood event that feels like a homecoming no matter how big it gets.”

From the beginning, the community in northern Michigan has been as much a part of the race as the course and the riders themselves. Folks staking courses, transporting riders and their bikes, running first-aid and food stations, and cheering wildly all along the way.

Since its inception, Iceman has given nearly $500,000 to youth cycling programs, trail-building organizations, biking associations, and many local nonprofit efforts. It’s amazing what this “little bike race” has done to impact the community and its members since 1990.

Paye encourages anyone who thinks they might be up for the challenge to try Iceman once in their life. Registration begins in March and fills up quickly, with over $70,000 in cash prizes for pro and amateur categories. If you feel like biking crazy terrains through all kinds of weather while you smile bigger the muddier you get isn’t for you, the team is always looking for volunteers and supporters to cheer on the maniacs on bikes.

When asked if there’s something about Iceman that still surprises her after her decade with the organization, whether it’s the course with its ever-changing finish line, the support from the community, the lion-hearted athletes, or even the volunteers and fans who make it all happen, Paye pauses for a moment, almost wistfully, and says...

“All of it.”

If you’re considering signing up for Iceman, keep an eye out on the event website, iceman.com, for registration details. Or, if you’re interested in volunteering, send a note to icemaninfo@iceman.com /icemancomethtcmi



Board In Action: December

• The board approved the co-op’s power supply cost recovery plan for 2023, which determines how much of the $0.117/kWh energy charge rate will go directly toward power supply costs. Due to increasing power supply costs, that amount is increasing to $0.0915/kWh for 2023 from $0.085/kWh in 2022.

• The cooperative’s chief financial officer presented the cooperative’s operating budget for 2023. The board reviewed and approved the budget.

• The cooperative’s engineering and operations manager reported that Cherryland completed 120 member construction requests in the month of November despite supply chain constraints and a major outage event.

Members have the opportunity to provide input to the board prior to any regularly scheduled board meeting. To have your comments included in a monthly board packet for review, please submit them to Dawn Garrock at dgarrock@cherrylandelectric.coop a minimum of three business days before the monthly board meeting.

Notice to Members of Cherryland Electric Cooperative Rate Changes Effective 2023 and Later

The Cherryland Electric Cooperative Board of Directors, at its meeting held on Jan. 23, 2023, took action on one matter:

• Revised the cooperative’s rates to meet current and future financial needs based on a cost-of-service study.

These changes will go into effect in the spring of 2023. For specific details on Cherryland tariffs or fees, please visit our website at cherrylandelectric.coop or call us at 231-486-9200.

Rising Temps Mean Slower Co-op Trucks

Have you ever wondered why big trucks seem to be driving slower as spring comes around? It’s because they are required to by law.

Every year, Michigan counties enact “Frost Laws” to help minimize the impact of heavy trucks on Michigan’s roads during the spring cycle of freezing and thawing. That means vehicles like Cherryland’s line trucks are subject to seasonal weight and speed restrictions (maximum of 35 mph).

As we approach spring, be on the lookout for slow-moving trucks, and keep in mind that we aren’t driving slowly to thwart your plans; we’re just obeying the law and doing our part to protect our roads.

Learn more about “Frost Laws” and which counties are currently enacting them at micountyroads.org.

16 FEBRUARY 2023

Family Time

Enter to win a $200 energy bill credit!

Submit Your “Furry Friends” Photos By Feb. 20!

Submit your best photo and encourage your friends to vote! The photo receiving the most votes in our Facebook contest will be printed in an issue of Country Lines, along with some of our other favorites. Our February theme is Furry Friends! Photos can be submitted through Feb. 20 to be featured in our April issue.

Enter Your Photos And Win A Bill Credit!

To enter the contest, visit cherrylandelectric.coop/photo-contest or visit facebook.com/cherrylandelectriccoop for a link to the current photo contest. Enter your picture, cast your vote, and encourage others to vote for you as well. If your photo is printed in Country Lines during 2023, you will be entered to win a credit of up to $200 on your December 2023 bill.


1. “Woods family snowman!” Christina Woods

2. “Family is the most important gift of all!” Mikayla Dennis

3. “John’s first Christmas!” Noelle Grett

4. “Sibling love.” Jessica Brown

5. “Cookie helper?” Anne Grant

6. “Beach time!” Kayla Morrison

7. “Grandparent fun at the Great Wolf Lodge!” Amy Morley

8. “Merry Christmas Cherryland, thank you for all you do!” Casey McQuade

3 4 7 8 6 1 2

Should I Change My Charging Habits?

Four things to know about extending rechargeable battery life

Many of us are so connected to our phones, tablets, and laptops that we panic when their battery nears the dreaded 0% mark. We want our device batteries to perform well for as long as possible. If you ever fret over your device’s power levels, here are tips on striking the right balance between battery health and how you work and play.

Keep your battery about 40% to 80% charged.

There’s a lot of reasonable advice around the internet to keep your phone charged between 20% and 80%, or between 40% and 80%. To understand those recommendations—and why you might want to either follow them or ignore them—it helps to understand how rechargeable batteries work.

Up until about 20 years ago, batteries benefitted from occasional “deep discharges”—running the battery down until the device shuts off. But because of the different materials used in batteries today, that’s not true anymore.

Rechargeable batteries contain two different materials that produce electricity when particles flow from one to the other. They flow in the other direction when being recharged. That process will degrade any battery over time. Keeping both sides of the battery in balance, with the device charged at about 50%, will put the least amount of stress on the battery and make it last longer.

But that’s unrealistic—no one’s going to keep their phone half-charged all the time. So, the experts try to make it easier by recommending 40% to 80% or 20% to 80%. Apple devices offer even more flexibility, pointing out that modern rechargeable batteries are designed to last for years in the various ways you use them. They recommend that rather than worrying about the battery, you just focus on using and enjoying your device.

Overnight charging can add stress to some batteries.

Charging your device up to 100% or letting it drain to 0% until it shuts down does put extra stress on the battery and can shorten its life. That’s why it can make sense to charge your devices occasionally throughout the day rather than keeping them plugged in while you sleep. Newer electronics will actually stop charging at 100%. But then, each time the charge drops to 99%, charging will resume.

Keep it cool, but not cold.

One absolute in battery care is don’t let your device get warmer than 95 degrees. Keep it out of the sun, and never leave it in a hot vehicle. If the device does get hot, don’t go to the other extreme and put it in the freezer. Just place it in the shade or take the cover off for a while.

Use less power.

It sounds simple, but one of the easiest ways to put less stress on the battery is to use less power. You can close energy-draining apps and functions when you’re not using them, and you can activate energy-saving settings like putting the device to sleep sooner. Another easy way to reduce battery use is to activate the “airplane mode” button every now and then.

If you’re the kind of person who likes to turn in their electronics every couple of years for the latest versions, these recommendations likely won’t apply. But if you’re someone who wants your devices to last longer, these suggestions can help prolong battery life.

18 FEBRUARY 2023



Connects to your existing furnace, giving you maximum comfort and maximum savings.


Minimal water flow required, making almost any well capable of heating & cooling your home.

Well-Connect is a hybrid ground source heat pump uniquely designed to operate with your existing furnace. Similar to how a hybrid vehicle greatly reduces the need for gas, doubling the fuel e ciency, a Well-Connect significantly reduces the amount of propane, fuel oil or wood needed to heat a home. This approach reduces the installation cost of the system to a fraction of the cost of conventional geothermal systems and saves a homeowner 50% to 70% on heating costs. It also provides e cient air conditioning all summer.


Can be installed in one day, any time of the year. No digging or excavation required.

Add a
for $0 down and as little as
Typical heating cost savings over $100/month.
pays for itself.
Geother mal Made Af for da ble WELLCONNECTGEO.COM
ADD a Geothermal System to Your Existing Furnace in 1 day. Heat & Cool your home for half for decades. ADD a Geothermal System to Your Existing Furnace in 1 day. Heat & Cool your home for half for decades.
cherrylandelectric.coop No one can help someone. but everyone can help everyone, Extend a helping hand to those who need it by rounding up your monthly electric bill to the nearest dollar. Investing your small change into our Cherryland Cares program brings about big change in our community. Visit cherrylandelectric.coop to learn more!
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.