Ice-pocalypse, as it became known through the paranoia of everyone I encountered this week, covered Columbus with a frustrating, frosty glaze. Schools closed and flights were canceled as variable winter blasts brought the entire state to a standstill.

Ice-pocalypse, as it became known through the paranoia of everyone I encountered this week, covered Columbus with a frustrating, frosty glaze. Schools closed and flights were canceled as variable winter blasts brought the entire state to a standstill.

You'd think Ohio had never seen the stuff. Not quite.

Let me tell you about some real Ohio ice.

On multiple occasions within the last 1.6 million years, a blink of an eye in geological terms, about three-fourths of the entire state was covered by frozen sheets up to a mile thick. We got maybe two inches this week. A mile? That's 63,360 inches - nearly 10 times taller than LeVeque Tower.

Over millennia, giant hunks of ice and snow smoothed out hills and created moraines, giant deposits of soil and rock that can measure up to 100 feet high and six miles wide. Some glaciers even reversed stream directions and tore ridges into the land.

A great example of that last power is Glacial Grooves, a small preserve on Kelleys Island. Looking like someone dragged the rock with a giant rake, the deep troughs are the best examples of glacial striations in the world.

Unique geological features can be found in each of Ohio's five physiographic regions: lake plains, glaciated Appalachian plateau, till plains, unglaciated Appalachian plateau and bluegrass.

All bear the stamp of the moving masses that shaped and reshaped the Buckeye landscape during much of its history. Sliding under their own weight, these enormous icy brigades even affected the level of Lake Erie.

You can see that sort of development at Goll Woods State Nature Preserve, a primeval forest growing through remnants of the Great Black Swamp. The flat, rich plain was once at the bottom of a large body of water known as Glacial Lake Maumee.

The last glacier finally retreated about 14,000 years ago, and it left its mark in numerous holes, called kettles, that filled up with water to become lakes.

A great one lies about 30 minutes from Columbus at Stage's Pond State Nature Preserve, where an aquatic monument testifies to Ohio's intensely icy past.