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In winter, a park on Lake Erie is the gateway to a sci-fi moonscape.

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Don't climb the ice dunes, warn the rangers and the signs. Yet danger seemed remote amid the serene frosted landscape near the entrance to Presque Isle State Park, a 7-mile spit of land arching into Lake Erie from Pennsylvania's far northwest corner.

Nevertheless, locals share tales of daredevils who have attempted ice dune ascents only to crash through and break an arm or a leg, or succumb to hypothermia, or risk drowning in a frosted tomb. Then there was the woman stuck on a dune that broke free and drifted away from the shore.

For those who aspire only to plant their eyes, not their feet, on the dunes, the rewards come with lesser risks, such as fingers numb from clutching cameras.  more...



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