Johnson Shut-Ins State Park
May 10-12, 2013
Scouts had a blast exploring the rhyolite rock, chutes and plunge pools at Johnson Shut-Ins State Park. The East Fork of Black River becomes constricted or “shut-in” as it passes through this erosion-resistant gorge. The rhyolite rock at Johnson Shut-ins first formed approximately 1 1/2 billion years ago during the Precambrian era through a series of violent volcanic eruptions. The hot ash-flow (tuff) from that volcanic activity welded together creating the hard igneous rock. Fractures in the rhyolite were slowly enlarged by the erosive action of the East Fork as the rock was sculpted into the beautiful blue-gray formations we see here today.
We arrived at the scout area of Johnson Shut-Ins State Park at about 7:00pm Friday evening. The scout area is at the far west end of the new campgrounds located on Goggins Mountain ½ mile northwest of the state park’s day use area. We were pleased to see the scout area had new facilities that included restrooms, showers and a large pavilion with electrical power and lighting. After setting up camp, scouts collected firewood, built a fire and ate s’mores. Overnight temperature dipped to about 50
We spent the day Saturday at the “Shut-Ins” portion of the park. Our group was the first to arrive on the river. At 10:00am the skies were mostly clear, air temperature of about 60 with light north breeze. The scouts were cautioned that the rocks are smooth, slippery and when wet are “slicker than snot!” So Sean was the first to let us know the temperature of the water.
Sean says, “Hey, I’m just going to put my foot in to see how cold the water is!”
Leader says, “Be careful, those rocks are slicker than snot.”
Sean says, “Here goes……AAHHHHHH!!.......GASP!........SPLASH!.....SPLASH!......SPLASH!”
I guess from the air temperature and the gasp reflex that the water temperature was between 50 and 60 degrees.
After spending the morning exploring the shut-ins, we ate lunch in the picnic area. After lunch we walked the shut-in trail to the cliffs. After this the boys voted to spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the shut-ins. We stopped at the visitor center at around 3:00pm before heading back to the campsite. At the campsite the boys played an improvised game of whiffle ball.
After dinner scouts collected more firewood, built another fire and prepared more s’’mores.
Temperatures dipped much lower tonight with a low temperature in the mid-thirties and frost on everything. This was the coldest start to a Mother’s Day I can remember. We took down tents which were still wet. We attended 8:30 mass at St. Marie Du Lac in Ironton and came home.
Thanks to all the adults that attended. Thanks especially to Mr. Strebler for getting the trailer ready for this trip, to Mr. Lamb for hauling the trailer, and to Mrs. Cain for helping with the food shopping.
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Just "horsing around" in the visitor's center.