Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Dunes hike and beach sunset

Yesterday I went on a hike for a couple of hours.  I planned the timing so I could capture sunset.  I hiked into the dunes from the Sable Falls parking lot.  When I arrived at the bluff looking over Lake Superior, I was amazed at how the shelf ice had changed in just three days.  All the rain as well as waved reduced the shelf ice by at least 75 percent.  In the next week the beach should be ice free.

Notice the ice has melted off the bridge.

The shelf ice is mostly gone.

The reduction of the shelf ice is evident by the floating ice balls to the left of what remains of the shelf ice.  To the right are stones on the beach.

From Sable Falls I drove over to Woodland Park to get some sunset photos.

Once I hiked down the steps to the edge of the shelf ice, I noticed the waves were splashing against the ice.

There is still snow and ice at the bottom of the bluff.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Another Grand Sable Dunes Hike

Yesterday I parked at Sable Falls and hiked west.  The ground was mostly snow covered until I got to the dunes.  There was debris everywhere, including several trees I had to climb over or walk around.  The snow was also inconsistent:  hard in one spot and post-holing soft in others.  I was relieved to finally get to the sand!  It was the warmest day of the year so far here in Grand Marais, with temperatures in the mid-50s.  Some spots in the dunes had temperatures in the 70s.  What a beautiful day!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Grand Sable Dunes hikes in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

My training for the upcoming Grand Canyon hike has been going very well!  I went on two long hikes in the last few days.  One was two hours long; the second was three hours.  There is still some snow in the valleys, but the ridges and flats in the dunes are snow-free.

First hike:  Sable Lake straight across to Lake Superior.  There is still ice on Sable Lake.

This photo is looking northwest toward one of the tallest points in the dunes.  The second hike this week was to the spot in the upper left.

But on the first hike I headed down the main lake-to-lake trail.

It is always fun this time of year to get to the bluff and see what the shelf ice and pancake ice look like.

Looking east….

There are lots of stones on the beach!

Looking north...

Second hike I started down the lake-to-lake trail, and as soon as I cleared the forest I bushwhacked to the northwest heading to the highest dune.

More pancake ice blew in during the two days between hikes.