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cheezehead
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-07-02
Posts: 6063
Location: Hayward, WI. USA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:25 am Reply with quote Back to top

In case there is anyone who has been wanting to make the trip WAY UP NORTH!
Quote:
First Time in 4 Years! Wisconsin's Lake Superior Sea Caves Are Now Accessible by Ice! News from the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore: Colder than normal temperatures created an early freeze up of the waters around the Apostle Islands this year. This includes the area near the mainland unit of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore featuring some of the most spectacular cliffs and sea caves found in the Great Lakes. For the first time since 2009, park rangers determined on January 15 that ice conditions allow over-ice travel to these mainland sea caves. Special thanks go to the Town of Bell, Friends of the Apostle Islands and the Bayfield Chamber of Commerce for their generous assistance in keeping the sea caves open. Due to severe budget cuts, the park was no longer able to keep the parking lot plowed and bring back seasonal staff to provide assistance and safety information to visitors. The Town of Bell stepped up and has been keeping the Meyers Beach road and parking lot plowed and the Friends of the Apostle Islands and Bayfield Chamber of Commerce is providing financial assistance. Park staff goes to great lengths to determine when ice conditions permit access to the sea caves. Conditions are regularly viewed from the shore as the ice pack develops. Images of the lake are posted hourly on the Sea Caves Watch website (http://wavesatseacaves.cee.wisc.edu/index.htm). As the ice thickens, rangers cut holes in the ice near the sea caves to determine the quality and thickness of the ice. Satellite images help indicate the extent of the ice pack around the islands. The lake ice must be in place for two weeks and thick enough before the public is notified that the sea caves are accessible. The 24-hour “Apostle Islands Ice Line” at 715-779-3397 ext. 3 provides visitors with current ice conditions at the mainland sea caves. The sea caves can be reached from the end of Meyers Road, 18 miles west of Bayfield off State Highway 13. There is a $3 daily fee for parking a vehicle at Meyers Road. Mawikwe Bay near Meyers Beach in Apostle Islands National Lakeshore’s mainland unit may be covered with ice for some or all of the period from mid-January to late March. When frigid temperatures turn the surface of Lake Superior into a frozen white expanse, lakeshore cliffs form a crimson border to this arctic landscape. Pillars of ice extend to cliff tops where waterfalls have hardened in place. Frozen lake water encrusts the base of the cliffs while inside the caves is a fairyland of needle-like icicles. Ice formations change constantly with the weather. Thousands of visitors walk, ski, or snowshoe to explore the caves when ice conditions allow. Snowmobiles, ATV’s, and motorized vehicles are not allowed on the ice near the mainland sea caves. Walking on a frozen lake is an inherently dangerous thing to do. Ice conditions can change rapidly, so it is important to keep safety in mind at all times. High wind speeds, such as those forecast for the near future, is a factor that can quickly change conditions and cause decreased visibility. Visitors must prepare for cold conditions and possible extreme wind chill. Wear sturdy waterproof boots. Carry a ski pole or walking stick, or use traction devices like Yaktrax or Stabilicers to prevent slipping. All visitors are encouraged to watch for newly formed cracks, slushy areas, or thin spots in the lake ice. Beware of ice formations falling from the cliffs. Pets must be on a leash and under control at all times. Pet owners must properly dispose of pet excrement in trash receptacles. Finally, don’t forget a camera to take home a tangible reminder of this spectacular landscape. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore 415 Washington Ave. Bayfield, Wisconsin 54814 715 779-3397 phone
 
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beccaday
WGA Secretary
WGA Secretary



Joined: 2010-09-22
Posts: 3610
Location: Waukesha

PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:03 am Reply with quote Back to top

I wish!!!!! Alas, no money for travel.

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Not all who wander are lost, some are geocaching.

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Trekkin and Birdin
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-02-08
Posts: 5997
Location: West Salem WI

PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:32 am Reply with quote Back to top

I've been watching this and we're tempted. We'll have to see if all the other stars can line up for us before it's too late.

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Trekkin' and Birdin'
Let's just go out and find caches and be done with it! 
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Braid Beards Gang
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-28
Posts: 5025
Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:29 am Reply with quote Back to top

Just saw this on CNN:

http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/weather/2014/01/24/early-vo-lake-superior-ice-caves.cnn.html

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Braid Beards Gang
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-28
Posts: 5025
Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:12 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Smithsonian Magazine's story:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/frozen-lake-reveals-secluded-ice-caves-180949470/?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=socialmedia&utm_campaign=01242014&utm_content=travelsuperiorcaves1

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BigJim60
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-01-02
Posts: 7176
Location: Auburndale, WI

PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:35 pm Reply with quote Back to top

A co-worker id going up there this weekend. We are tentatively planning to go see the ice caves next weekend. Kind of interested in taking the ice road to Madeline Island as well.

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BigJim
There are three kinds of people in this world ... the wee, the not-so-wee, and the frickin huge. 
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Team Northwoods
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-09-29
Posts: 119
Location: Bruce, WI

PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:26 am Reply with quote Back to top

I really got to find a time to get up there. Hopefully we will get a warmer weekend soon.

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sevencards
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-06-05
Posts: 508

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:18 am Reply with quote Back to top

Our plans are set in stone now. Though we did have minor issues like another broken bone with a child's foot. This week we worked out the final details, hotel room, etc. The closest hotel availability currently is 2 hours away. All supplies accounted for from snow shoes to a portable back pack blind and a propane heater with an extra bottle of fuel. If all goes good we will be on the ice about 7am on Saturday morning.

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In a bet there is a fool and a thief. ~Proverb 
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beccaday
WGA Secretary
WGA Secretary



Joined: 2010-09-22
Posts: 3610
Location: Waukesha

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:45 am Reply with quote Back to top

7cards, I'm happy that you get to go. I'm really jealous! Have a good time and take lots of pictures.

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Not all who wander are lost, some are geocaching.

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Team Northwoods
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-09-29
Posts: 119
Location: Bruce, WI

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:09 am Reply with quote Back to top

We are planning on March 21st. The way this year is going I am sure there will still be ice out there. We were going to go on Feb. 24th but with the winds and low high temps we figured it would be better to wait and enjoy the caves instead of getting frozen off.

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sevencards
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-06-05
Posts: 508

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:27 am Reply with quote Back to top

I am not sure how many pictures we will be taking. I hope the cameras work being that cold. The son with a broken foot is making me a lot less enthusiastic about this trip. But when the children saw the news report about the ice caves they were the ones who said they wanted to see this. Therefore they have been holding us to it, but who knows we might just try and see what we can do.

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Braid Beards Gang
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-28
Posts: 5025
Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:46 am Reply with quote Back to top

The cold does have an affect on camera batteries. I usually get about 6 hours of shooting from my camera battery. When I was at the caves, I got less than three. The temps that day were -27 to 11 degrees. Have fun and get there early. You do not want to walk three miles to get to the ice, because the better caves are a 2+ mile hike on the ice.

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sevencards
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-06-05
Posts: 508

PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 2:19 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Our walk today was at about -6 to. -8. We made about 2 miles one way
Then cold started to set in on the youngest. Well worth the trip.

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