Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Good Harbor, Good view, GREAT geology
In a land full of amazing geologic stories, this might be the best and most easily understood geology stop on the entire North Shore of Lake Superior. It's right at the big curve that swoops down about five miles west of Grand Marais, with the new Cutface Creek wayside down below.
I'm sort of colorblind. For decades I've driven by this rock face at Good Harbor. Maybe I was distracted by the big view of the Grand Marais harbor just up the lake, but I never EVER noticed how deep and luscious RED the lower layer of rock was. It's a 120-foot thick layer of sandstone, siltstone and shale, turned red, I assume, by the oxides of the billion-year old rock below it (Law of Superposition: look it up).
Driving there earlier this winter, before the big snows, I had to stop. Perhaps the gray overcast sky made the difference, but that red rock was really red.
Stop by yourself sometime. Read the plaque that explains the formation of the red rock and gray rock. This is may be the coolest, easiest geology spot on the entire North Shore.