Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Log Slide to Au Sable Point Hike -- Post 1

Yesterday I went on one of the most fun hikes in a long while. It was a very photogenic day so I will post the pictures over multiple days.

But first, when I woke this morning and looked out the window, I was surprised that it looks like winter.  We received at least two inches of snow....

As for yesterday's hike, you are invited to go along....

The temperature variation around Grand Marais varied on either side of the snow accumulation line.  Along the lake in town, and even on the hike, there was no snow.  But at my house and especially at the top of the Log Slide, there was just a dusting of snow. 

Here is a picture of the field along the parking lot at the Log Slide.

Evergreen trees along the trail between the parking lot and the Log Slide.

The first icicles I have seen this year.  They were hanging off the roof of the pole barn that houses the antique logging equipment.

White birches near the Log Slide overlook.

I was excited to get onto the North Country trail heading west to the Au Sable Lighthouse.

As I looked back east, I noticed that it was snowing up in the Grand Sable Dunes.

In the late fall it always delightful to see the green ferns.  These incredible plants will stay green under the snow all winter.  In the spring when the snow melts, they have a head start for the next year's growing season.

I have taken this hike hundreds of times, but never noticed the pile of lumber pictured below.  The pile was located a couple of hundred yards south of the trail around a 15 minute walk west of the Log Slide.  It was hard to tell how long the lumber had been sitting there.  It was even harder to tell how how these heavy boards got here.  It must have been by helicopter, but there was some forest canopy over head.  Although the lumber didn't look all that old, maybe it has been sitting there for a decade or so and the tree canopy has filled in the gap over head.

I'm not sure that I have ever seem shelf fungi this beautiful red color...

After around a 20 minute walk, the trail goes down "the hill that never ends."  Actually, this hill is not all that big since it has a descent of only 500 feet over about one third of a mile -- but in this part of the Upper Peninsula, that is the most elevation change that there is.

After another 10-15 walk through the woods, the trail rejoins the shoreline.

You can see by the stream bed cut below that the rain as of late has made its presence known.   Later in the hike I take some more pictures of this stream cut from the beach.

If you look real close on the top of this photo, you can see the beginnings of the Jacobesville sandstone shelves that extend out into Lake Superior north for a mile, and west for another mile.

The cedar leaves shed by overhanging trees into one of the creeks made for an interesting photo...

A shot looking east through the trees that line the north side of the trail most of the way.

Tree roots on top of an old dune. 

As you get closer to Au Sable Lighthouse, the boulder fields start.  These boulders skip along the Jacobesvillle sandstone propelled by Lake Superior's powerful waves and end up on the beach.  Most likely they arrived to this section of shoreline in large ice bergs.

Here is a picture of Au Sable Lighthouse that I took just as I cleared the trees.

Continued tomorrow......

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