Saturday, January 7, 2012

Beach Hike and Breakwall Photos

Yesterday it did not feel like winter. Temperatures were in the 40s so some of the very little bit of snow we have melted. Before exercising, I decided to go out to the end of Coast Guard Point and see what the break wall and lighthouse look like. Amazing. Most years the channel leading into the harbor would be completely iced in. This year -- no ice at all. Normally there would also be large ice formations on the break wall. This year -- the break wall is coated with ice, but there are no accumulations.

Snowmobiles are few in numbers.  You can see it is difficult for them to find snow on which to ride.

No ice in the bay either.

Then I drove out to the School Forest and snowshoed the North Country Trail from the bridge to the shoreline.  Once I reached the shore, I decided to walk west with intentions of heading up the bluff at the next access point located around a half mile down shore.  It has been a few months since I have been to that access point so I didn't realize that the fall storms must have taken it out.  All of the bluffs were vertical and too high to climb, so I kept walking west.  First, here are a couple of pictures documenting what the beach looks like.  A shot looking west....

A shot looking east....

As I proceeded west, I was amazed at some of the ice formations on driftwood.

The top layer of the dune bluff is frozen, and is collapsing at the bottom.

More ice formations....

Then I reached a section with absolute devastation.  The power of Lake Superior is obvious.  All of the trees taken out by the fall storms were approximately 70 feet tall and more.  They were lined up on the bluff.

More ice...

There were also sections of the bluff that were absolutely vertical.  You can see where the top sections crumbled.  I knew that I had walked a lot farther west than I wanted.  Finally I saw a place that I could possibly diagonally walk up the frozen bluff.  At the top there was a ladder placed to allow you to get over the lip of the bluff.  Since this location was in the middle of the woods, I figured the home owner would not be there.  They were not.  At first I wasn't sure exactly where I was, but there were snowmobile tracks.  I followed the tracks back to the east and found the way back to my car.

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