Tuesday, June 14, 2016

2016 - Wisconsin & Michigan's Upper Peninsula - Part 2

June 7th  (Happy 41st Anniversary)
We again got up early and headed for Munising, MI and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.   One of many deer spotted during our trip.  This was along South Boundary Road leaving Porcupine Mountain.

We arrive late morning and picked out a campsite at Twelvemile Beach Campground, on the bluff overlooking Lake Superior.  The view was great and the 20 foot bluff was easy to navigate to the beach or the staircase which was an easy walk from our campsite.  It was windy and cold, which kept the Sable flies at bay.  We dropped our stuff off at our site and headed into Grand Marais for lunch and re-supply.  Stopped at the Lake Superior Brewing Company / Dunes Saloon for a burger and brew.  Little did we know that we would  return for lunch or early dinner each day that we were there.   On the way back to camp we stopped at Log Slide Overlook.  This is where they dropped the logs down the chute into Lake Superior where they were loaded aboard ships heading for the mill.  This was a very steep slope to the beach, so we hiked along the edges.  The sunset each evening was truly amazing.

 Log Slide Overlook
 Grand Sable Dunes

 Au Sable Lighthouse

 Sunset from our campsite overlooking Lake Superior

 Views from our campsite

Michigan Highway H58 through Pictured Rocks N.L.

 Lake Superior Brewing Co. & Dunes Saloon.  I had a burger and Susan the White Fish Tacos

 Not sure whether this was a woodpecker or how this occurred

June 8th
Got up early and took the dog for a walk on the beach and then lowered the top and headed back into Munising along Highway H58, a beautiful road lined with White birch, red and silver maples, oak and  pines.  We had our daily sightings of white tail deer, in the road, along the side of the road, or crossing in front of us.  Today we would also see two Sand Hill Cranes along the side of the road and a turtle crossing the road.  We stopped first at the Interagency Visitors Center (National Park Service & U.S. Forest Service).  We went to the trailhead for Munising Falls and they had the trail closed for repairs.  Guessing the trail was damaged by the heavy rain as we observed other hiking trails to be washed out and muddy. 

After the attempt to see Munising Falls we drove out to Sand Point to the National Lakeshore headquarters, which was formerly the Munising United States Coast Guard Station.  The station was built in 1932 for a cost of $12,230.  The station closed in 1960 and donated to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in 1966, the year PRNL was established.  We got to see the small museum and motor surf boat.  We walked down to the beach and viewed the sandstone cliffs along the shore of Grand Island and the main coastline.

 PRNL Headquarters - Formerly Munising US Coast Guard Station
 Grand Island

From there we headed to Miners Falls and hiked to the falls from the trailhead.  This was another beautiful waterfall.  We stopped again for lunch at Lake Superior Brewing Company and then headed to Sable Falls.  The hike was short and the results were again picturesque.  The trail to Grand Sable Dunes was closed.  The posted signs said the dunes were closed due to unstable sand.  We had gotten to view the coastline of the Dunes the day before from the Log Slide.

We headed to Hurricane River to walk along the North County National Scenic Trail to view the Au Sable Light Station.  Unfortunately pets aren’t allowed on this trail and the 3.4 mile round trip hike and viewing of the Lighthouse was too long to leave the dog in the truck during the heat of the day.  The North County National Scenic Trail extends between new York and North Dakota.  We walked down to the Hurricane River mouth where it flows into Lake Superior.  Another great place.  I decided to get a fishing license and return the next day.

 Miner's Falls
 Lake Superior

 Miner's Castle
 Sable Falls

Mouth of Hurricane River

June 9th

We got up early and headed back east on Highway H58 to grab breakfast at the Bear Trap.  I opted for the Northern Omelet, measuring 12” X 8”, and I ate the entire thing.  Sorry everyone, in my shock and excitement I forgot to take a picture.  There was a saying on the wall:  “May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light, may good luck pursue you each morning and night”.  After a more than hearty breakfast we drove to the trail head for Mosquito and Chapel Falls.  The road was being repaired and there were numerous holes and stretches of soft sand, so 4-wheel drive was needed.  We opted to take the 2.2 mile roundtrip hike to Mosquito Falls first, but only got a third of a mile in when the trail became washed out and muddy (major repairs needed).  We turned around and took the Chapel Falls trail, approximately 3.4 mile round trip hike.  These falls were also very beautiful.  We went back to the Hurricane River and I fished along the shore and then the mouth of the river.  No luck.  Saw some Suckers spawning in the rocks and they were the only fish I saw.  Another person fishing with live bait caught some Lake Superior white fish.  We picked up some firewood for a great evening along the shore.

 Chapel Falls

 Sunset from our campsite

 Enjoying a night around the campfire

We visited with Larry & Wendy, a couple from California with a 2013 Northern Lite pop-up camper.  They had left California mid-April to attend a nieces wedding in New York and were working their way back west.  Also met another couple from Junction, TX with a Little Guy Teardrop Trailer.  Tonight was another beautiful sunset.

The one thing we really wanted to see was Pictured Rocks from a boat on the lake.  The boat trip was 2-1/2 hours and we couldn't leave the dog in the truck.  We found out from Larry and Wendy that they have a kennel and will board your pet for free while you take the cruise.   We were a bit disappointed we didn't look more thoroughly into this, but will make another trip up there for sure.

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