Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Lake Superior Beach Update for Agate Hunters

Yesterday was supposed to be sunny, but that didn't happen until late in the afternoon. So once the sun popped out, I headed over to the school forest with the goal of skiing back to the Lake Superior beach to check the shore ice condition. I actually drove to the bridge, but then backtracked a bit to park. The road was a bit iffy -- I wouldn't recommend it. It will probably get worse before it gets better. Some of the base was still frozen last night which allowed the possibility of driving on it. That won't be true in the days to come with temperatures expected to be in the 50s. Everything will melt and turn to slush. But yesterday since I didn't start skiing until almost 5:30, I wanted to cut a bit of the time required to ski to the shoreline and back before dark.

In just the last two days it is amazing how much snow and ice melted around the Sucker River.

The ski was inconsistent.  In spots it was wonderful, but there were also icy spots, debris, and even some sandy areas.   I skied the 2 1/2 miles straight back to the beach. You can see from the picture below that there is almost no snow on the bluff.   I took my skies off and walked down to the beach.

The row of shore ice is much smaller on this beach east of town as compared to the shore ice west of town.

I usually never walk on the ice.  This shore ice, however, was completely over the sand.  I did fall through in one spot, so it is still not safe to walk on.  I took a few photographs and then backed off.

Yes -- you can see rocks.  However, the shore ice is around six feet high.  I didn't see any safe and easy way to access the rocks.  The waves were crashing into the ice.  It will be a couple of weeks before we can access the rocks.  I reached with my camera as far as I could to get these shots.  I am getting a little better taking shots without looking through the view finder.

I arrived back in town for the post-sunset color.  I propped my camera on the boardwalk railing and zoomed into Au Sable Lighthouse for this shot.  I did not alter the colors -- they are real.

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