We had some time to kill so we drove down to Brighton Beach in Duluth, Minnesota to check on winter conditions. Not what we expected. This is what mid March weather should look like at Brighton Beach.
With the cold weather folks have been able to get out on Lake Superior to fish for Lake Trout. This past weekend a small city sprang up just off Brighton Beach. This is the second year in a row that folks have been able to fish on the big lake. We drove out to Brighton Beach and found a steady stream of fishermen headed out onto the lake.
Getting out to the lake was difficult because there was a large pressure ridge just off shore. Fisherman had to work their way through a wide area of ice that looked like broken glass.
We’ve been driving up the Minnesota North Shore for a number of years and this is the first year that We’ve see fisherman fishing on the ice at Brighton Beach. We couldn’t believe the number of fisherman out on the ice. It was if an entire city had sprung up overnight.
In talking with one of the fisherman we found that many of them had been out on the ice since 3am. It didn’t seem that the fish were biting very well but this was probably one of the last weekends that fishing could take place out on the lake until the lake opened up and boats could be used.
Yesterday strong winds caused the ice to shift resulting in 911 calls because fishermen were out on the ice. No assistance was required but the fishing season is over for this year.
I woke up about an hour before sunrise to drive down to Brighton Beach in Duluth, Minnesota to photograph the sunrise. The weather report the night before said cold but clear weather. As I drove out of the garage I noticed it was snowing. I thought about turning around but since I was already up I continued on to Brighton Beach.
As I walked on onto the ice I noticed that the cracks were about five times wider than they were the day before. Never-the-less ice fisherman were streaming out onto the ice. Some of them were going way out onto the ice.
When we drove into the area we notice a truck that was blocking the road to the north east end of the beach so we parked and photographed along the shore. We also encounter another photographer that was stuck in the parking lot but were not able to get her out. A little cat litter would have worked wonders.
As I walked along the beach I noticed a police car and several other cars driving into the blocked off area. We later learned that a young man had committed suicide by walking into the lake. The found his wallet and car keys on the ice and later found his body in lake.
In looking at photographs of the Duluth. Minnesota area I frequently see sunrise photos taken at Brighton Beach in Kitchi Gammi Park. Kitchi Gammi Park is located just past the Lester River heading toward Two Harbors on Highway 61. I had never been stopped there although I’ve driven past it many times. On a recent trip to Duluth my wife and I decided to drive out to the park during the day and check things out. Even though it was during the week there were quite a few people out walking along the beach. It was a beautiful, but cold, afternoon and we did find a bit of ice still frozen in the rocks.
The next morning we decided to drive back out to the park to take some photos. As it turned out there was not much of a sunrise but I did manage a few photographs along the beach. While we were out photographing the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. exited the harbor carrying a load of coal. She is a frequent visitor to Duluth-Superior. We were again surprised at the number of people out walking at sunrise. This is apparently a very popular place.
More Photos from Brighton Beach can be found on my website.