Dec 18-08

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2008: December: Dec 18-08
DANGER    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Art Brabbs
Icy view    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Art Brabbs

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 06:00 am:

These two shots were taken in the Marquette area, that I know for sure. But where exactly Art Brabbs snapped them, I'm not so sure about. I'm guessing by the icy looking rocks in the second photo though, that this might be the area known as "Picnic Rocks". If so, I'm glad to see the warning sign that's been posted, as there have been tragedies that have occurred in this spot when swimmers get caught in the strong currents or the high waves the DANGER sign speaks of. Lake Superior is beautiful for sure, as you can well see in the second photo, but you always have to give the Big Lake the respect she deserves by not taking unnecessary chances.

By Art Brabbs (Transplant1977) on Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 06:09 am:

Yes Mary it was at picnic Rocks last friday afternoon on the way home from work. A nice sunny afternoon in Marquette.

By Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 06:20 am:

I almost died here in the summer of 1976 when I swam with a friend out to the rocks. The waves got a little choppier than I could handle on the way back. I was not a very good swimmer in those days, but fortunately my friend was, and he fished me out. Shortly after that I enrolled for a couple of semesters of swimming instruction, and eventually taught our children to swim. Memories of what almost happened at this spot in Marquette served as motivation during those years.

By Liz B (Lizidaho) on Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 07:44 am:

Glad your friend fished you out!

By Richard J. (Dick_fl) on Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 07:46 am:

I used to go to First and Second Picnic but never made it to Third. That was back in the 60's. It has always been my dream to get to Third. Maybe next time I go to Marquette I can get out there. I'll try it with a boat though.

By Kathyrn Laughlin (Kathyl) on Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 07:50 am:

Yesterday a friend and I were talking about checking out the ice formations that form at the shore of Lake Michigan. My friend talked about going aout a good distance out on the ice. I told her that ever since the time my kid brother fell through the ice, I do not go out onto the Big Lake; there's currents and waves in the winter as well, making the ice move when you don't expect it.

Incidentally, my brother was fine, just got a wetting and a scare.

By Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 07:59 am:

I too remember a time when I swam across a small lake in Michigan. I was a very strong swimmer at the time and I thought "No problem". I made it across okay, but halfway back, right in the middle of the lake I began to get weak. Then a fear struck me that felt like a 50-pound weight tied to my feet. So I turned over and just floated there for a while on my back until I regained my strength and my confidence, but it was pretty scary there for a moment.

By Uncle Chuck @ Little Betsy (Unclechuck) on Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 08:08 am:

Have been there many times, great place to go and relax and eat lunch, and in during the summer go for a swim.

By Donald R. Elzinga (Donagain) on Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 08:19 am:

In the 30s and early 40s the beach went all the way to first picnic and that made a little protected cove to the south with no current. Even between 2nd and first there wasn't much so even us "rocks" (as in sinks like a rock) could manage to get there. Third was something else. They say the Breakwater is responsible for changing the shoreline so that now there is a strong current between the islands and shore.

By shawn (Twoyoopers) on Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 08:43 am:

Thanks for the insight Don Elzinga-amazing you could walk out there at one time.

Someone seems to drown just about every year out there. Heed the warnings on the sign. One of the local surfers in Marquette was just honored for saving a life out there recently.
I've wondered if it is a problem of a current that is strong enough to pull people down and hold them under, or a rip that pulls people out and they fatigue and go under. Beautiful place but that current that develops when the winds are up is really something.

By Hilarie Alwine (Halwine) on Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 09:55 am:

The currents changed when they dredged up the lake floor for the ore docks by Presque Isle and put in the break wall. At least that's what I've been told.

By kay Moore (Mskatie) on Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 10:47 am:

My mom was about 11 when her 9 year old brother Harry Slattery went thru the ice there in Hubbell. I swear she could remember the details of his loss til her last days. That would have been about 1920. I'm keeping the 2nd photo as background for now. Cold and snowy like here these days. The river here is still a little open which I can't figure out. Maybe theres a current at the thinner open places.

By Tom (Tom) on Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 10:47 am:

In the early 60s you could wade out to the rocks. Might have been a very short distance that you had to swim but not much. Back in those days that stretch of beach was very popular with students in the months of May and June.
On a nice day if the breeze shifted to be off the lake it was like someone left a huge refrigerator door open. Every one got up and left---too cold.

By Eddyfitz (Eddyfitz) on Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 12:35 pm:

While doing research at the Marquette Peter White Library in 02,03,04 it would be daily during the spring/summer months when the college kids would swim out and paint their frat names on the rocks..the next day they would be covered by a different paint job.

By CAL, Oshkosh WI (Cal) on Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 02:31 pm:

I had a close call on those rocks in my college days too, similar story to Charlie's. The wind direction changed while we were out on the third rock and as we swam for shore I, being the weakest swimmer, was lagging behind. When I picked up my head to check my progress I was headed for open water. I had just made it to 2nd rock when my friends finally missed me and had helped me up because I was about spent. Never went out there again.

By jbuck (Jbuck) on Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 09:05 pm:

My greatest memories of Picnic Rocks was having Easter sunrise service there - maybe in 1974 ('75)? It was very mild that year and it was a beautiful service. Subsequent years they planned to have the services there again, but we had 'normal' years and ended up in the gym/hall at our home church - Bethel Baptist!

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