The agate hunting this summer has been OK, but not great. We were expecting a superb summer due to the massive amounts of ice on Lake Superior last winter. It has been many years since we had a lot of ice. In fact, according to NOAA the ice coverage on Lake Superior is down 70 percent since the mid-1970s. When the ice first begins forming in early winter, it forms at the high water mark where rocks get stuck under the ice. Wind shifts can cause the ice to break away and float around Lake Superior carrying its load of rocks. Normally, the spring storms with their north to northwest winds blow the ice with imbedded rock to beach between Grand Marais and Whitefish Point, where the ice melts and dumps its load. Memorial Day weekend we were down the beach and calling the icebergs in. Nature had another plan. For the next four days the wind blew strong from the south and blew the ice north to Canada. The ice never came back.
Despite the ice not bringing new rock to our beach, there have been several great agates found this summer. For this web page update I’ll include several.
The first agate was found by Grand Marais resident, Michael Kinlaw. Good job, Michael!
The next agate was found in the Grand Marais area in June by Sally Shippy.
Gordon Stanlake from Brown City, MI found several nice agates in the Grand Marais area.
My process for trying to link the photos with the agate finder names is to write their names on a business card along with their home towns and dates that I took the pictures. I have one card with no date so I am hoping that this is Peggy Bowman from Clyde, MI with her agate. If not, please send me an email to .
Jack Kitchen from St. Clair Shores, MI found this nice candy striped Laker that also has some shadow bands.
B.B. Bodin and Mark Bowen are rookie agate hunters. They bought my book and took the online class last fall and winter. Here are just a few of the dozens of large agates they have found this spring and summer.
Summer resident, Carol Rose, took my onsite rockhounding class several years ago. She is now an avid and successful agate hunter. Good job, Carol!
Jane Anderson from Fridley, MN stopped by the Gitche Gumee Museum to show me some of her agate finds. She did find these in Minnesota.
I may have mixed up a few of my note cards. The only card I have that corresponds with the dates for the two photos has listed Janel Novak. If these are your agates and you are not Janel, please send me an email to .
I have a feeling that the agate found by Peggy Bowman from Clyde, MI is shown below. I face polished this agate; the before and after pictures show the transformation.
Tyler Orton from Caro, MI found this nice Lake Superior agate.
The Chickering family had good agate hunting luck as they visited various beaches across the Eastern Upper Peninsula.
Here is an agate found by Priscilla from Kingsford, MI. She found it near Muskallonge State Park around three years ago. This is a “skipping atom agate.” After seeing several of these, I believe that the quartz in these specimens have metamorphosed into this unusual pattern.
A frequent museum visitor who did not want to be photographed brought into the museum on June 11th. It is an interesting tube agate.