Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Have an ice day on Park Point

There is a whole lot of ice along the Lake Superior shore here on Park Point. Every storm that blew in this winter brought another ridge or two of ice, and now those ridges stack up side-by-side about eight deep headed out to sea. 

It's super fun and a bit scary to explore out on these ice mounds. Everything is built out of shards of ice that have been piled up and frozen back together. Sometimes it's just a field of shards, sometimes the shards build up to a ridge that drops precipitously down toward the lake side, where storm waves had tossed ice chunks up and over. 

To reach the ice beach, cross Duluth's Aerial Lift Bridge from Canal Park and travel five blocks to the "S-curve." and Franklin Square. You can park in the lot on the left, on the lakeside and then just walk right out to the beach. 

Some people use strap-on treads, like Yak-Trax. I just use common sense. Ice is slippery, but the real heart-stopping moments come when you break through a sheen of ice, sure you're going to plunge through to frigid Lake Superior, but land just a few inches lower on the next deeper layer of ice or snow. 

Toward evening, look for little chunks of ice that catch the light. This one looks like the ghost of an agate, with the lines of beach ice turning into bands of color.

Enjoy! With easterly and northeasterly winds in the forecast for the next few days, the ice will probably stack up more and stay around for at least another month.


Bayfieldwis.com said...

Years ago the ice had broken up and stacked up on Wisconsin Point.
It was a fantastic wonderland. It was very high in places and plates of ice were on top of each other almost 10-12 feet high. We had a great time taking pictures and exploring what the NE wind had

Boulder Environment said...
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rootbeerlady said...

The ice gives you the gift of that amazing aqua/blue color too. One of my favorite Lake Superior sights.