Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lake's up and we're heading north

Despite dire predictions, including from me, Lake Superior continues to rise. There was talk that the dredging in the St Mary's river north of Detroit was draining the lake and that global warming and its accompanying lack of ice cover had speeded up winter evaporation, but the lake inexplicably keeps rising. It is 6" higher that it was a year ago and lost an inch less water in December than the 3" it normally loses.

I think that's a good thing. Other than higher water and its accompanying higher waves impacting fragile ecosystems this and rare and endagered that, more clean, fresh water in the largest holding reservoir on the planet is generally a positive thing. Something tells me that this cycle of rising and lowering lake levels may have happened before a time or two. The power boaters and sailors can get back into their favorite spots without feverish NPS efforts to install vertical rub rails on various docks. Marina owners and marine mechanics will see a precipitous drop in lower unit and keel replacements but I think they will survive. As a kayaker, I will welcome the additional water. No more picking my way through the Manitou reef in the dark,between the island and the stinking, cormorant infested light beacon rock, and no more slurping through 10 yards of muck to launch in the Bark Bay Slough. We won't see as much of the wreck of the Fedora, off Red Cliff Point (above image with the VOR bobbing in the background), but a changing lake is what it's all about. Part of the draw and appeal of the lake is its changing moods and environment. Heck, one of these years I hope to even round Point Detour in flat calm but I know that's probably physically impossible.

We will check out the lake in person since the VoiceOfReason and I are headed for Duluth and New Years Eve in a few short hours. From there its on to the Bayfield Peninsula and a rendezvous with RangerMark and the GreenThumbChef for some outdoor winter activity, be it snowshoeing or cross country skiing. A foot of lake effect snow is forecast for the Gogebic Range so we may need to move in the direction of Ironwood/Hurley at some point as well, where a few of the SKOAC Renegades will be also enjoying the winter experience.

Enjoy the new year! I really am not a 'resoulution' type of guy but I have vowed to swear off light beer and severely limit chlorine exposure. Before we know it the ice road to Madeline Island and the sea caves will be frozen and shortly after that Canoecopia will be popping up.

Lets all hope and work for a great 2010. Skol!


Silbs said...

Light beer...okay, I get it. But chlorine: It helps get through the winter. Stay well and safe.

DaveO said...

I'm hoping a consistent anti chlorine stance will get me out of laundry as well..... ;) Have a fine New Years Dick.