Saturday, March 29, 2014

Year to Year Differences in Grand Marais Spring Beach

I have received a few emails lately asking when people should head to Grand Marais to hunt for agates.  My standard response is that the day of first-rock opportunity varies between early March and late April, depending on the year.  For curiosity sake, I decided to look at my blog postings for late March to see what photos I have of our local beach.  The differences from year to year are quite amazing.  This blog only goes back to 2009.

2009--March 29
Ice still was clinging to shore, but there was some available rock on the beach in patches.

2010--March 24
 No ice or snow:  beach completely open for agate hunting.

2011--March 28
The beach was mostly still covered in ice.

2012--March 28
The snow and ice had already melted:  the beach was completely open for agate hunting (in Grand Marais and east of town; not in the national park, of course).

2013--March 21
 I guess I didn't get any beach photos in late March last year, but I did take the photo below out of my sun porch.  Although the snow pile/drift on the south side of my house is higher this year--last year was very close.

2014--March 28
The pile is higher this year.  At this point the beach is still mostly snowed in.  I will head down the beach in the days and weeks to come and report back on available first-rock.

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