Wednesday, August 22, 2012

One Heck of a Slide....

Wildflowers to the west of Grand Marais
The main reason we had driven into Grand Marais was because my friend Janine Bauchat, who works at Dancing Eye Gallery in Northville, Michigan, had told me about a shop a friend of hers owned, Campbell Street Gallery, there in town. Janine had told me the owner, Jo, split her time between Grand Marais and downstate, so we weren't sure if she was around. We had stopped at the gallery we first arrived in town but it was after regular business hours so we couldn't be sure if she was in or out.

Looking east over the Log Slide
When we got up Saturday morning, we decided to check out the Log Slide about which the gentleman whose garden we had visited had told us. We took a long, winding drive on County Road 58, which now connects Grand Marais with Munising. Finding the turnoff for the Log Slide, we parked and walked into the woods, a mixture of American Beech (Fagus grandifolia, now being hit by Beech Bark Disease), Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) and Striped Maple (Acer pensylvanicum). There were all kinds of wildflowers in the understory, including False Solomon' Seal (Smilacina racemosa), beautiful native sedges (Carex spp.) and Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans). 

Looking west toward Pictured
Rocks National Lakeshore
We finally made our way to the promontory and the lookout over Lake Superior. To our right, we could see the remnant scar of the great log slide used by the timber industry, where the huge trees were flung down to the lake to be rafted east to Grand Marais, thence to be shipped south for the rampant building industry. To our left, we could see the sweeping coastal bluff, heading toward Picture Rocks National Monument.

On our way back to the car, I was once again struck by the floral diversity and the immense leaves on the Beech and Maple saplings. (Oftentimes, the leaves on juvenile trees are larger than on mature trees of the same species, in order to maximize the plant's ability to generate food on a limited amount of wood.)

We drove on back to Grand Marais, checking in at Campbell Street Gallery, which was still and silent. A peek in the windows let me see that my friend Melanie Boyle's (Clever Lotus Design) work is available there, which was good to see. Leaving a CD in the door, Theresa and I began our uneventful trip back south, feasting on pasties along the way....

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