Apr 20-05

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2005: April: Apr 20-05
Along Superior shores    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Steve Haagen
Taking a break    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Mary Drew

Mary Drew at Pasty Central on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 06:36 am:

It's a welcome sight to see the rocks along Lake Superior's shoreline once again, although the waters are still plenty cold. Did you know you can check what the temperature of the Big Lake is, along with her sister Lakes at the Great Lakes Surface Environmental Analysis site: GLSEA? Not only can we go picking rocks again, but all along the shores that border the U.P., you'll find a wealth of driftwood washed up and scattered like in this shot from Steve Haagen. There's something else you can spot in this photo, if you look real close, you can see a flock of Canada Geese making their way back north. A sure sign that spring has sprung! I was able to catch a couple of them taking a breather right behind my house on Torch Lake. It's nice to hear their honking again!

By smf in troll land on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 06:40 am:

Anyone for a swim along with rock picking?

By Margaret, Amarillo TX on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 06:57 am:

What a chill!!

By Leslie at the Northern Lights Lodge - Cadillac, MI on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 07:09 am:

Good Morning... it looks like April has replaced June here in Cadillac this morning!

By danbury on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 07:16 am:

Thanks for the interesting link, Mary. All I can say is NO, NAY, NEVER! to a dip in THAT! Not ere the temp hits 70 at the very least. Do the big lakes ever get that warm?

By joe on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 07:50 am:

Nice pictures, Mary drew nice picture

By Jane - Allegan MI on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 08:04 am:

Looks cold...but I wish I was there to hear the waves lapping onto the shore and to smell the freshness.

By Rose, Illinois on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 08:12 am:

I don't think the great lakes ever get really warm. Especially not Superior! I know; I've fallen in it, waded in it, and even went swimming in it on a dare. Even though it was summer (and early fall the last time), it was still COLD!!!!

By Beth, Saginaw MI on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 08:33 am:

It is a welcome site to see the rocks on the beach reappear! After camping for many years at Little Girl's Point my family has come to prefer the rocks to sand at other beaches. It is warmer and less messy. We swim in the lake any chance we can get. There is nothing quite like a refreshing dip in the lake. Even the other great lakes are missing that special feel that Lake Superior has. I have become a daily visitor to the Pasty Cam. It is the closest link I have found to the UP and The Big Lake

By Dale B, Lansing MI on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 08:44 am:

April 19, 1987 - Easter Sunday - 18 years and one day ago. Due to a rare spring heat wave, the air temperature in the Keewenaw was in the 80's. A bunch of us from MTU were at McClains enjoying the beach. A convenient fallen tree allowed us to walk out several feet over the water and place the duffel bag of "beverages" in the lake to keep cold. Problem was, the rope we used to tie the duffel to the tree came untied, stranding the bag (and it's contents) in the water. I got elected to wade in and retrieve it. Only went in waist deep, but boy, was it cold! My buddy, Charlie, actually went for a complete immersion swim. Too cold for me!

By Carolyn, AZ on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 09:20 am:

I was raised in the Copper Country. We went swimming in Lake Superior all the time. When I was a teenager and later on in life my kids use to go to camp at Gitche Gumee in Eagle River and we swam in Superior for that. It was quite cold but once you got use to it, it wasn't so bad.

By Scott, Illinois on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 09:23 am:

I used to swim in the big lake all the time as a kid - used to come out looking red as a lobster! The earliest we were ever dipped though was at the end of May......brrrr!

Thanks for the great pictures.

PS, Dave in TN: I remember you. Not sure why I need to give permission for Trisha to TX. E-Mail me and we can discuss (I'm also still on instant messenger).

By JAD, Oskar, MI on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 09:23 am:

The Lake is warmest in early September. Wait for a NW wind and try it at Misery Bay.

By Barb/LL on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 09:25 am:

A couple summers a ago we had a real heat wave in the Keewenaw--well over 100 degrees and the Big Lake provided great relief. There are not to many of us up here that have air condtioning so we just sat in the water.

By SUZANNE/ WISCONSIN on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 10:06 am:

To Barb-Yes I remember those days a couple of years ago. It was around the beginning of July. My husband and I were camping at Fort Wilkins. We meet some friends up there who rent cabins. We have a pop up camper with air conditioning and they wanted to stay with us because it was so hot in the cabins. Then on the 4th the heat wave broke and it was around 70 for the parade and the rest of our vacation. Still love it after 18 years of camping in the beautiful UP.

By Dave IL. on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 10:15 am:

you can almost feel the fresh air off the lake
i wish i was back in the U.P.right now.
does anyone know how the whitehouse in mohawk is
coming along?

By Mary Schei, Florida on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 10:18 am:

As a child growing up in Lake Linden, I spent many hours swimming in Lake Superior, mostly at the Betsy and White City. I can remember begging to stay in just a little longer, through blue lips of course. As an adult living in Arizona, I was referred to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist for a consultation after my GP noticed something in one of my ears. As the specialist was examining me he asked if I'd done a lot of swimming in cold water as a child. When I said that I had, he said that my inner ear had developed an extra, and thankfully harmless, bony "shield" to protect itself which was what the other doctor had noticed. Not something he saw a lot of in Arizona!

By jon/mn on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 10:18 am:

I am a Lake Linden grad and the only way we went into Lake Superior was to hold hands with boys/gals and run in to show our bravery...

By ed/mi on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 10:22 am:

Are the logs standing in the bay the remnents of an old shipping dock...Pass on any info as I am working on a history of U.P. shipping docks and piers from the past. I did find 2 pictures of the Hubbell 1941 flood if anyone is interested shoot me an email..

By Joanne white lk on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 10:27 am:

I think you have to be young and with a lot of sisu to swim in Superior.

By Stix out West on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 10:39 am:

Along with Sisu you need a HOT sauna!!!! That's the best way to enjoy Superior...sauna-dip-sauna-dip!!
Have a great day.

By nora k L.L. on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 11:50 am:

You have to be born and grow up here to love to swim in Lake Superior. Why, it's the largest body of fresh clear water in the world. You don't have to take a shower when you come out of that Lake. It takes a few months to warm up, I admit, but it's warmest late in August. If the waves are coming from the south, it's nice. If the lake is calm,---it's cold!! Also, another indication is, if you put your feet in and they feel numb---then don't go in. HA! HA! It's the most refreshing swim you could ever want. AND, you don't have to be young. I'm 19 years shy of 80 and I went in that lake for my annual swim once a year (the end of Aug. & summer)when the temp in town went up to the high 90"s, up until 4 years ago when we bought a camper with air conditioning.

By Dr. Nat in Nevada on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 11:55 am:

Good morning!
I've traveled far a wide and every place I've wandered through holds some special memories for me. For me, the best part of the Keweenaw was Lake Superior. I loved to sit by the lake and listen to the waves lapping the shoreline. It was always so calm and peaceful. I miss that serenity. I miss watching the sunsets at Calumet Waterworks Park. I even miss swimming in Superior in the summertime. It reminds me of swimming in the North Sea... darn cold but fun all the same.
I'm looking forward to July when I'll be in Houghton for a little while.

By nora k L.L. on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 12:00 pm:

I goofed!! I'm 19 years shy of 100.

By Kathy from Whitmore Lake/Cheboygan on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 12:11 pm:

Nora k.l.l. is right, geting acclimated as a child is a big factor. My family has a vacation cabin outside Cheboygan and I've been going in Lake Huron since I was a kid. My standard as to what is a "refreshing" rather than a "cold" temperature would vary considerably from that of a southerner.

Also as Nora says, the water temperature can vary from day to day, depending on which way the wind is pushing the surface water; with us, it's warmer if the water is coming from the Straits of Mackinaw than if it is coming from the deep, open lake. In Lake Superior, I have found a few places with shallow sandy bottoms that are more likely to be swimmable: Munising Bay, near bay Furnace campground; Pancake Bay, in Ontario; and Bathtub Rock in the Agawa Bay Provincial Park (though wading out to it can be a bit tough).

By Judy Chesaning MI on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 12:25 pm:

Mary Drew...the geese are gathering here at the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge and in the farm fields around us. Won't be long until they are on their way north. 83 degrees here yesterday. Heavy rain and thunderstorms overnight and a cold front on the way that will bring temps to normal 50s for this time of year.
We need more rain!

By sur5er on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 12:42 pm:

Years ago, we had a health scare with our daughter, and she underwent all kinds of medical tests. To get her through the rough times,I told her that I would take her anywhere she wanted to go, when the tests were completed. My daughter kept telling me, "I want to go swimming in Lake Superior...that is what I want do to, more than anything."

When her tests were complete, we were very fortunate, and she got a clean bill of health, and I drove daughter up to the UP to go swimming in da big lake...in da middle of June....brrrr.

After crossing the bridge, my daughter made me pull over, so she could swim first in the Straights. She ran down da beach excitedly, and splashed into the Straights...and stopped about knee deep when the reality of how cold da water was, hit her.

But she was brave...she got back into da car...turned on the heat, and settled in for her trip to da big lake....she was on a mission.

When we got to one of the harbors in Keweenaw, she walked down the beach, and ever so cautiously began to wade into frigid Lake Superior...but she did it...that's my girl :) Aaaaaaaah, is that love for da UP and da Big Lake, or what?

Nora: you are amazing :) One of our friends brings his 90 year old grandmother to our jet ski get togethers, and she actually will go for rides on the jet skis with us. She keeps me entertained with her stories about traveling to da UP every weekend when she was younger (into her 70's ;)

By Karl from Cadillac on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 01:08 pm:

I lived in Ontonagon from late '72 till the summer of '75 and worked at White Pine Copper in '72-73. Around July 4th/5th we had had a heatwave of over 90-100 for several days, with no wind. Almost all of Ontonagon went swimming in the Big Lake during that time. I was in it up to my chin (I'm 6'4") it was like bath water. Not a ripple on the water, totally still. But a little while later a slight breeze started and within a half hour, the lake was empty, beach was full!

By Dave, Tennessee on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 01:12 pm:

You betcha,nothing feels better then a dip in the Big Lake on a hot day,or floating on a air matress,inner tube with the waves bouncing you.Then to get all full of the clean hot sand while playing with your pail you got after the Sheds peanut butter metal can was empty.As a kid of course,even now,then having to go back in to rinse off.As a teen & into my 20's at the camp was great to jump into Torch Lake then run into the hot sanua.
Food for thought; Let's start a Yoosta-Be-A-Yooper-Club.You must be a native born Yooper now transplanted.Each with a number as you sign up made of wood from Frog Valley in L.L.We will have to have By-Laws such as you must take a dip into Lake Superior every so often,also take a Sauna.Eat a Pasty (from you know where of course)We all can't do some of these things every year,maybe 5 or 10? Must have SISU bumper sticker on vehicle so where ever we go people will ask who we are so we can tell them, We are the Yoopers,the kind & tough Yoopers.Open for any more ideas on By-Laws?

By FRNash/PHX, AZ on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 01:12 pm:

I have to vote with Stix out West

1. A HOT sauna and a jump in da big lake!
2. repeat.
Ahhhhh... Brisk!

Reminds me of "Little America" during my days at da Tech back in da 1960's!

By LZ, MI on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 01:38 pm:

Dave, Tennessee, what a great idea! Count me in!
Let us make the duration, "take a Sauna.Eat a Pasty" every 5 years. Not as often as any of us would like, but enough to be realistic and keep the heart fires burning. Those that can enjoy the UP more often, more power to them.

By LZ, MI on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 01:40 pm:

Sorry, forgot one thing.
Continue this on What's Up?

By Wisconsin on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 02:28 pm:

Dave, Tennessee, When you mentioned Eat a Pasty (from you know where of course) could you tell me where that is? We are vacationing in Silver City and Copper Harbor in July. Please tell me where the best place is to get a really good pasty. God bless the UP. We love it there.

I'm pretty sure Dave was referring to a UP Pasty from Pasty.com and there's no need to wait until July to savor the aroma and taste, you can place an order right now! :->

By Stix out West on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 02:41 pm:

FRNash/PHX, AZ Not too many saunas out here in Phoenix.....but all we have to do is step outside our door!!

Where was today's beach and driftwood picture taken?? I use driftwood in my art designs (along with other Lake Superior treasures) and am always looking for new beaches to explore during the summer!
Thanks.....from a professional beach comber!!

By Roudy Mi on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 03:46 pm:

How about that wood hasn't drifted for probably well over hunnerd years. It's anchored in the bottom!

By Margaret, Amarillo TX on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 05:17 pm:

I first learned how to swim in Lake Superior with my cousin Sandy. Gran would stick us on the bus to the park (in Ashland) and we had 50cents to pay for the lessons. It was cold, but dressing and re dressing in an old army tent wasn't a piece of cake either. We will not forget those times. I can swim anywhere now.

By Shirley, Downstate Michigan on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 05:37 pm:

Having grown up in Gay, we swam in Lake Superior on a daily basis. Would bring our lunches and spend the entire day down on the stamp sands. In late August/early September the water was a bit warmer. It was so much fun and brings back so many wonderful memories. Can't wait to get up there again this summer.

By j A P E i on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 05:57 pm:


Here burn.. ;

By joanne white lk on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 06:45 pm:

Nora k l.l. Lets make that young at heart with sisu. My grandma & grandpa had a camp on portage canal and we used to take a sauna and than run& jump in the lake. we called it taking a chocolate dip. ( whatever that means.) (nothing bad I hope)maybe you knew my mom Hilda Huhtelin.John & Fanny were her parents. she would of been 100 this aug.I am moving to houghton this may.i bought my grandmas house.i've vacationed in houghton since i was six.

By Dave, Tennessee on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 07:44 pm:

Not only pretty sure,for sure that is the place i was refering to! New people looking in every day.How can one miss the pasty being made on the opening page? Look for the frog with the long tounge.

By Mr. Bill on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 08:42 pm:


Those pilings look suspiciously like the ones at Eagle River, just southwest of Fitzgeralds.

By 100%yooper on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 10:48 pm:

Pilings near the old Eagle River Fuse Factory? My Great Grandfather had squatters rights there, remnants of the old shack he had and one wall of the fuse factory which he used for a Sauna are still there.

By Steve,WI on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 11:38 pm:

Congratulations Mr Bill, they are the ones at Eagle River just southwest of Fitzgeralds. We stopped with our 4 year old and he wanted to go for a swim. We thought we could get by just rolling up his jeans and that is as far as he would get. Next thing you know we had to take the jeans off because they were all wet. After a few minutes his shirt had to come off because that was all wet, needless to say we now carry extra cloths with us for the spontaneous stops along the great lake. Myself I never made it past my feet that day, at least I think that is how far I made it I could not feel my feet ;'>

By Paul Roberts, Mohawk on Thursday, April 21, 2005 - 12:24 am:

I'm interested in finding outhouses in the Keweenaw to take pictures of. I want to take pictures of them and add them to the collection of photos I have taken.

If anyone knows the location of any please let me know. Just email:



By M.B., IL-WI-MI on Friday, April 22, 2005 - 06:19 pm:

Ed - Those pilings are the ones in Eagle River, MI.

My great-grandfather from Finland (at the turn of the last century) landed on the remnants of that pier in Eagle River, MI. It all started there for my family. I love those old standings!

I did not have a chance to add this posting until now. But, I did save the picture to my computer background on Wednesday!

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