Ice Water on the Rocks

October 28, 2014

Ice Water on the RocksNot all adventures need span thousands of miles, baggage carousels or highway tollbooths.

To get my taste of the wild on Monday morning, I didn’t have to go much past Bluefin’s lakewalk — out to where the basalt rock met the onslaught of Superior’s waves. Anyplace along the shoreline will be a sight to behold when the lake is up, but some of the best action that morning was near Tofte Cove, where the boulders and rock faces stood perpendicular to the oncoming surf. Here was where the rollers smacked head-on against the shore, sending plumes of white skyward in thunderclap explosions. The droplets shone against the early-morning sun like crystals in a chandelier, then collapsed back into the churning blue.

With Canon Rebel slung around my neck, I ventured close to the lake as I dared, mindful of where the spray had slicked the rocks. The game of trying not to wipe out and smash my camera was all part of the adventure. Then there was the challenge of actually trying to capture some of Superior’s grandeur through the lens. I gave it my best, firing off several shots with 1/8th of a second shutter speed. My aim was to show the velocity of the spray, but avoid jiggling the frame and coming home with blurry pictures.

The lake rewarded my concentration by sending an extra-powerful roller crashing in while I took a break from shooting, soaking me with 40-degree water. Well, no adventure is without risk. Today, the price of admission was a damp jacket.

As the cold and windy weather systems move into Northern Minnesota, I look forward to more adventures scrambling the rocks along the pounding surf. Another consideration: it’s nice to be able to go inside where the fire and a hot cup of tea are waiting.

-Tom Fagin, Activities