Saturday, May 31, 2014

Iona's Beach: May 25th, 2014

You know, we're not always on a mission when we go outside.  Sometimes we go out and just chill in the sun, hang out by the shore, and throw rocks in the water.

Iona's Beach is a hidden little piece of shoreline about halfway between Gooseberry Falls State Park and Split Rock State Park.  It's a boat landing, so there are places to park and some benches.  If the parks are crowded (as they were on this Memorial Day weekend), Iona's Beach is a fine place to stop and enjoy a bit of the North Shore without having too many people breathe down your neck.

What in the heck is this stuff

It must have been 80 degrees and sunny out, and there was still snow on the ground.  It was probably the remnant of an ice floe - as of May 25th, Lake Superior was still 3% covered with ice.  Little icebergs have been crowding the Duluth Harbor and the channels around the Apostle Islands.  My guess is that one of the icebergs came ashore here and is slowly melting away.

The ice cleaved into little spikes when touched.
There was steam coming off of the hot rocks when dropped on the ice.

Iona's Beach is a simple, rocky beach.  No agates or sand here - just pink rock and blue water.  Good for sitting and enjoying the sun, or skipping stones.  While Gooseberry and Split Rock were probably overflowing with tourists, we had some elbowroom here to hang out and throw rocks in the water.  Joe is an expert stone skipper.  He's tried to teach me - I'm lucky if I can get the stone to hit the water.

Iona's Beach: downright crowded on this Memorial Day weekend

My guess is that we hiked about half a mile or so along the paths that skirt the edge of the lake.  Our right shoulders got the best workout after a long winter of not-stone-skipping.

Total miles hiked today: .5
Total miles hiked in 2014: 9.3
Total Superior Hiking Trail miles hiked in 2013: .8
Total ticks today: Joe (still Ticksbane) - 0; Thunderdog - 2; Elly - 2.
Total ticks in 2014: 4

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