Thursday, June 19, 2008

The April blizzard and another bear box update

photo courtesy of Alette(Minnesota Power), Duluth 10 April 2008

Readers of this blog and the CASKA blog have to be a bit confused about where those newly donated bear boxes are actually going to be placed. So was I. An email from JimN, Chief of Planning and Resource Management in the AINL, cleared the situation up nicely. Six boxes, including three the park ordered last year and the three donated ones from this year, will be placed on the following islands: Sand (Lighthouse Bay), Mainland, Stockton (Trout Point), Outer, Michigan, and Otter. The logic is to get them to the spots where there have been actual bear problems first and then work down through the list. As I mentioned a couple days back, the mainland site is still closed until mama and her two cubs devour the deer they have been eating and move on. I've personally seen bear tracks all over Lighthouse Bay and have seen them detour around my boat on Trout Point. Great choices in my humble opinion. Thanks to all who pitched in a buck of two to make this happen.

The other item I received from Jim was a shot of Outer camp after the April 10-11 blizzard. There was a nasty low pressure area that developed over Kansas, causing 50-60mph east winds on the lake and 8-12 foot waves. The National Weather Service measured sustained winds aloft(3,900') at 89mph. I've attached a photo of the Outer Island camp from roughly the same spot as the one Jim sent. Here is the before.
And here is after the storm.
Looks like most of the small pines as well as the 3' berm of sand up to the camp have disappeared along with most of the ground cover. The good news is that the gigantic white pine seem to have made it through in good shape. I also noticed the the big logs that we used for seats and keeping the sand out of our gear have been moved elsewhere. I would have loved to see waves that big!

Things keep changing in the park. People ask how I can go up there as much as I do and not get bored by the same old thing. The answer is that the same old thing is never the same, it keeps changing. The other truth of course, is that the worst day on Lake Superior is always better than the best day at work. Keep on paddling!


kykr13 said...

Wow, Outer looks completely different than it did last July. These things happen - a few years ago that nice, long sloping beach at York seemed to mostly disappear too. Part of nature.

I'm glad to hear that your latest report agrees with the info I have on the bear boxes. Trout Point on Stockton was one I figured would be near the top of the list, seeing as that island is "bear central". After these six, just thirteen more to go to put one at every site! Thanks to all who have helped with this project, on behalf of Chicago area clubs Prairie Coast Paddlers and CASKA.

Nan said...

Am in complete agreement with your last paragraph. There's no such thing as "the same thing," although some changes do happen a lot slower than others.

Ranger Bob said...

"The other truth of course, is that the worst day on Lake Superior is always better than the best day at work."

I'm going to have to think about this one for a while. ;)