Sep 20-05

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2005: September: Sep 20-05
Superior stones    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Trisia Kappler
Shoreline rocks    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Trisia Kappler

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 06:56 am:

Picking rocks on the shores of Lake Superior is one of my favorite past-times. Whether you find agates or not, it's soothing, calming and cleanses the mind and the soul. The waves lapping or splashing at your ankles keep you hopping so your shoes and socks stay dry, unless of course you're brave enough to take them off and wade into the chilly water, over all those rocks! These two shots from Trisia Kappler, were taken on a recent excursion to the Keweenaw Point - High Rock Bay. The varied colored stones, all wet with the wave just receding out of the frame, seem like you could just reach down and pick one up. Check out those big boulders in the second photo. You can almost feel the smoothness that years and years of waves washing over them has created. I especially like the skinny, pointy one, which sort of looks like a seal sitting there waiting for someone to toss him a ball to bounce on his nose!

By Smfwixom (Trollperson) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 07:00 am:

Thanks for the great pics - love picking rocks on Superior's shore & in the water.

By Margaret, Amarillo TX (Margaret) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 07:19 am:

Love the rocks. We had an earlier picture like this this summer.

By NKR (Nkr) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 07:37 am:

Good morning from Mishawaka IN. The pictures this morning remind me of one of my favorite pastimes in one of my favorite places. Walking along the shore of Michigan Lake at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park looking for rocks, including petosky's.

By WishingIWasInDaUP (Sur5er) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 08:05 am:

These pics of the stones along Lake Superior bring back memories of visits to the shore. I can even hear the crunching noises made, as I walked over the shoreline stones. ;)

One of the things about Lake Michigan, that I still have not gotten used to, is all the sand. Sand in the car...sand in the house...sand everywhere! What I wouldn't give for some rocky shoreline, like Lake Superior.

By bethany richards (Beth) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 08:24 am:

Good Morning - The rocks on Lake Superior are wonderful. I have them around my house, inside and out. We choose to lie on the rocks instead of the sand when we camp in August. The rocks are much cleaner and so warm after a dip in the lake. Recently my grandson was swimming in Lake Huron with a beautiful sand bottom and he wondered what that stuff was under his feet!
We love Lake Superior rocks.

By JOHN AND ANNE KENTUCKY (Username) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 08:35 am:

I really,really wish I was up in the UP today. Picking up rocks is our absolute favorite activity when we are there. There have been many trips back home with a couple of five gallon buckets full in the back of the van. Its funny how different they look after they have dried off,some you have to wonder why you picked up in the first palce. I am looking into making a large rock tumbler so as to polish all those Keweenaw treasures.

By Cindy Lee Maki (Cindylee) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 08:42 am:

Good Morning, I to love to pick agates. One time at Keystone I found what you would call a whole agate. That means a agate covered by the shell- I guess. Inside it was the most beautiful agate I've ever seen. The former Lily Haataja from Ahmeek taught us kids how to find them. Now that woman knew her agates!!!!

By WishingIWasInDaUP (Sur5er) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 08:43 am:

John And Anne,
Another way to shine the rocks up, is to spray them with a clear high gloss paint. The kiddies brought home a large haul of Lake Superior rocks one summer...and we spray painted them with glossy clear paint, and used the bigger ones for door stoppers.

By Gordon Jelsma (Gordomich) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 09:13 am:

Are you having trouble with the Zebra Mussels up there? Walking on them can cut up the bottom of your feet.

By Shelley Trowbridge (Shelleyt36) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 09:15 am:

Neat pictures. My kids love to pick up rocks and we had quite a few after the summer excursion to the UP. We hiked out onto Hunter's Point in Copper Harbor and I was amazed at how different the two sides of the peninsula were. One side full of large rocks and the other side full of tiny ones. Between the kids and us adults, we were fully loaded down by the time we returned to the truck! You know Mary, when I first saw the second picture, I thought that rock WAS a seal waiting for a ball!!!

By Capt. Paul & Dr. Nat in Texas (Eclogite) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 09:49 am:

Ahhh, picking beach stones on Lake Superior, I could spend hours sorting through the rocks looking for agates. One trip to the Point I bagged over 200 agates in a single day ranging from very tiny to a couple fist sized beauties, even got a couple colorful datolites.

I have found the best way to polish the stones is the tumbling method. If you spray then with clear gloss laquer, eventually the finish will wear off or it will soak into the rock and look terrible after a couple years. If you can build a tumbler that's great, but if you were to buy one already made, Lortone makes probably the best tumbler, especially the 3A. If you do tunble your rocks, make sure you put it far away from the bedroom; the noise will keep you up all night ;-)

The reason the Peninsula is so different either side is the geology of the land. The west side (toward Isle Royale) is made up of basalts and conglomerates from the Midcontinent Rift volcanics. On the east side, those rocks are mostly sandstones brought in from the south and are the Jacobsville Sandstone. What separates these two formations is the Keweenaw Fault. The fault can be traced all the way along the peninsula, underneath Wadsworth Hall on MTU campus, and into Wisconsin.

Many a lament of the tourist to the Keweenaw....."Gee, I shouldn't have picked up sooooo many rocks, now my car is squished in the back!!!" hehe

By SGT Nate (Sgt_nate_tormal) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 10:05 am:

Oh these pics look so refreshing right now. The nice clean pure water of the Great Lakes. Nice photos. I only wish I could have that water here at Fort Hood Texas, I guess I have to make due with the You all take care and Keep the Faith.

By Marsha, Genesee/Aura (Marsha) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 10:12 am:

Thanks for the lesson, Capt. & Dr.!

By Liz B (Lizidaho) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 10:17 am:

Am sitting here at work with my mayonaise jar of Lake Superior stones right next to the computer. Great pictures that bring on the nostalgia.

By eugenia r. thompson (Ert) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 10:46 am:

Ah, those beautiful Lake Superior rocks! That's where I first learned to love rocky shores (instead of sand).

By Amy Fuller (Ames459) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 12:06 pm:

I am new to pasty cam and have been enjoying all the pictures for about 2 weeks now, and they really make me long for the UP. I have my smaller Lake Superior stones in a candy dish on my desk. My larger one are in my Lake Superior rock garden in my back yard. I have to stick my bare feet in the Big lake every year. I love it. Thanks for this web site!

By Ms. Katie (Mskatie) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 12:47 pm:

Capt. Paul...I love it when you talk geology! A year or so ago I wrote here about how I enjoy my Lake Superior rocks. Put them into any clear glass container, add water and a couple drops of bleach. I kept one on the windowsill above the kitchen sink. I once forgot to empty it before we closed the house and shut off the heat, before we left for Texas for the winter.oh-oh broken glass.

By Fran in GA (Francesinga) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 12:49 pm:

I'll bet all of us from the UP have a stash of rocks from home. I know I do.The larger ones I put round the base of my patio fountain and the small ones I have in various glass containers in the house. They are so pretty and it is a small piece of home.

By stix (Stixoutwest) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 01:58 pm:

Good morning to you all....yes, it's still morning out West in Arizona!! I lug buckets of Lake Superior stone back here after every summer! They make great table tops for my driftwood tables!! I especailly love the Jacobsville sandstone. The markings and colors are so unique. Nothing better than a walk on the beach!

By Marsha, Genesee/Aura (Marsha) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 02:23 pm:

Big, flat stones from my Aura shoreline and Pte. Abbaye are around my pond at home.

By Karl Raasio (Karl) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 02:24 pm:

How are the colors comming in Copper Country? How about Ontonagon area and Marqutte? Can anyone give me an up date? Looking to head up to UP last of Sept or first of Oct for color tour and would like to see something besides "green"!

By Lynn Virtanen (Lynn) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 02:44 pm:

Check the bridge cam link on the bottom of this page to see the conditions on the bridge and in Houghton.

By Dawn White (Yawnee55) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 04:05 pm:

Cindylee, where in the UP is Keystone?
I found my first whole agate in the water at Little Girl's Point in the western UP. I was so thrilled!!!

By Sally/Hocking (Twinb) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 04:26 pm:

Hi Mary,
Thanks for posting the beach pebbles photo...a favorite shot. Walking on that kind of beach can be a real foot massage. I am soooo homesick right now.
Thanks also for the help with posting questions...your a saint.Now, lets give it a try...

By Ms. Katie (Mskatie) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 07:35 pm:

Well you'd think of all those stones going home with people through all these years, that the beaches would be barren or totally sandy! I know I've taken home my share. But it runs in the family. My late dad used to take pockets ful inspite of mom's complaints. :)Bye the bye, did anyone use my receipe for scalloped tomatoes casserole? How did you like it?

By Butch (Butch) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 08:05 pm:

Dawn White
Keystone Bay is the first bay west of Keewenaw Point.

By Brenda Leigh (Brownmoose) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 08:14 pm:

Just recently I met a little girl from Georgia who had a collection of rocks. Believe me they were nothing more than old field rocks she had picked in our little town of Menominee, MI. It tickled me pink to know this little girl of seven has an entire life ahead of her to pick stones.

I just sent a box of colorful Lake Superior stones to her via U.S.P.S - all the way to her home town in Georgia. IS SHE GOING TO BE SURPRISED AT THE COLORS. I am certain she will think Lake Superior has the prettiest stones.

She will have many wonderful hours in her life time picking stones. So happy that I have encouraged her to continue.

I love your comment Mary about calming and cleansing the mind and soul. IT IS A GREAT WAY TO SPEND A DAY. I live in Menominee but have land on Lake Superior - I have a rock garden in Menominee that keeps me close to Gitchee everyday that I cannot be on the her wonderous shores.

By Capt. Paul & Dr. Nat in Texas (Eclogite) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 08:32 pm:

LOL, sounds like I have a geology groupee or two on PastyCam now!! ;-)

It's amazing to think that most people studying geology today were at one time that little seven year old girl (or boy) who just picked up field rocks because they were cool. My first experience was when I was 6 and Mt. St. Helens erupted in 1980 and I said "WOOOOOWW, I want to learn more about that!!" My Grandmother told me to work hard at your dreams and they will all come true. If she could see me today, I think she would be proud.

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 09:06 pm:

It's true, we Yoopers are always lugging rocks
around. Our front yard here in Toronto has
iron from the various mines of Marquette
County and the backyard rock garden is made
of Lake Superior rocks.

One day ln the future, some geologist or
archeologist is going to wonder if there was
an Iron Age in Toronto that nobody had
previously reported on...

Capt. and Dr.--whichever one...I'm sure your
grandma would be proud of you.

1980--I remember flying back from Hungary
and seeing the residue of Mt. St. Helen''s in
the sky. I was not, however, six at the time.
Not even close...

By Charlotte, Mishawaka, IN (Charlotte61) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 09:35 pm:

This Hoosier has a jar of Lake Superior rocks sitting on her desk at school and my husband has a jar at work. Here at home they are everywhere. Nothing I like better than walking the beach and collecting rocks.

By WishingIWasInDaUP (Sur5er) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 10:16 pm:

Capt. Paul,
Here's a link to Mount St. Helen cam ;)

By WishingIWasInDaUP (Sur5er) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 10:18 pm:

Ms. Katie,
Didn't have a chance to make it this weekend...will try and make it this weekend looks delish. ;)

By Cindy Lee Maki (Cindylee) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 10:44 pm:

Hi Dawn, the only way I can tell you how to get to Keystone Bay or Union Bay as some call it is, drive u.s.41 north to the end of 41 in Copper Harbor. At the end of the pavement there is a dirt road. Drive on the dirt road for atleast6-7 miles. Hang a left by the flat big rock, last I seen it was sprayed painted blue. Drive more till you come to a big beaver dam, cross the dam and it's roughly 3 miles give or take a mile past the beaver dam. I'm not an expert at giving directions, but thats pretty close. I'll do one better, I'll show you where it is!!!!

By Ken ja Mimi from da UP (Kenjamimi) on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 11:22 pm:

Mimi and I have a few small glass jars of Superior pebbles (Tamarack Waterworks) and a few around the trunk of a white birch close to the house. (Some sandstone, some iron ore from Negaunee.) I also have a box of Lake Superior 'sauna rocks' in the garage, (from near Munising.) waiting the the sauna to be built. Only been waiting for 10 or 15 years! :o) Even have some limestone from Fayette. Have never found an agate. :>(

By Cindy Lee Maki (Cindylee) on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 12:31 am:

Ken ja Mimi from theUP, sorry to hear you never found an agate. Get a hold of me and I'll find you an agate. But of course you will have to come with me so I can show you what a real agate looks like.

By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Tuesday, September 22, 2009 - 06:37 pm:

Seeing pictures like this, it's no wonder people like 2 collect stones.

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