Thursday, January 30, 2014
Sea Cave Ice - Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
Yesterday Jessica and I hiked the Lake Superior shoreline ice to visit the mainland sea caves at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. What an experience it was! This was the first time visiting the caves for both of us. It's not something you can do every year. In fact it's been about 5 years since the last time the caves were safely accessible via the lake ice. Some years the ice doesn't get thick enough or stable enough to make the trek to the caves. You get there by taking an easy 1 mile hike east along the shoreline from the Meyers Beach access within the park. Well, it was easy for us since it hasn't snowed in a while and thousands of people have visited the caves over the previous week or two, so the the snow was pretty hard-packed from all the foot traffic. If you go right after a snow storm the hike would be more difficult.
After hiking about 1 mile along the shoreline you reach the cliffs and not long after that you start to see the caves. Both the cliffs and the caves are fascinating. Water seeps out of the rock face everywhere and creates beautiful hanging icicles. It was a mind-blowing experience to see all these ice formations. Very different from the north shore and the types of ice that I am used to seeing. My favorite thing to do was to go inside the caves and photograph them from inside, looking out towards the lake. Often I would wait for a person to walk by to add some depth and scale to the scene. The sea caves and the ice were an incredible experience, you should go and check them out while you can. Who knows, it might be another 5 years before they are accessible again!