Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Capturing the Immensity

We continued west after visiting Grand Marais, heading to the Grand Sable Dunes.

The dunes are located at the easternmost part of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, which stretches between Grand Marais and Munising. The dunes are a perched dune formation. Sand washed ashore by wave action was then blown upslope by northerly prevailing winds until it came to rest atop a glacial moraine. The Grand Sable Dunes today form a sand slope that rises from Lake Superior at a 35° angle, as high as 275 feet above lake level.

The views, both to the east and west, are completely immense, impossible to capture in a photograph - not that it stopped me from trying!

If you look closely at the image above, you can just barely see the Au Sable Lighthouse, a short hike away, well actually 2.5 miles away and our next destination.

The fog had started to drift in as we hiked, limiting the photo opportunities.

It really is a small world, one of my coworkers grandfather was a lightkeeper at this lighthouse and his mother spent many summers "out on the point".

Near the lighthouse, it's a fairly easily scramble down to the beach. Beaches in this area are a mix of stone and sand - and here's the source of the sand:

...the sandstone which forms the cliffs and lakebed.

The various types of stone are due to the glaciers of the past.

This is my part of the world - rock hard, but with a certain desolate beauty. It's not the type of beauty that's easy to appreciate, it takes a particular mindset and point of view,as well as the willingness to get dirty, brave the bugs, and stretch the body. But the rewards and the inspiration are immense for those willing to dig deep, both physically and mentally.

I was dipped in Superior as a week old infant - good thing I was born in August! It apparently made a deep imprint on me, travelling to Superior is always going home.