Friday, August 9—Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

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Up early, we had coffee in bed and read the news of the day on smartphones; what would we do without them! When quite hours lifted, we ran the generator to recharge the batteries from yesterday afternoon and last night’s use—our first night of dry camping in this motorhome.

At about 9:00 AM, we drove to Munising, purchased tickets for the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Cruise, and waited in line. The excursion provided a good overview of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, but except for the multi-colored sandstone bluffs and a few unique formations and caves, the shoreline was overshadowed by the clarity and turquoise color of Lake Superior, the world’s largest body of fresh water. And, of course, it is the lake itself which create these formations with it’s constant battering with swells and waves which can reach 30+ feet.  And there were dunes, over 100 feet high.  

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Subsequent to the 2+ hour cruise, we ate lunch at the recommended Muldoon’s, which specialized in homemade pasties. Kay had beef, I had chicken, we both had slaw, split a side of gravy, and added a cherry pastie to go. They are a very hard dish, and as the Cornishman from Eagle Harbor said, best served when the weather is lousy.

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After the filling—and heavy—lunch, we drove to Grand Marais, the eastern terminus of Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore, turned around, and drove back west, stopping at the various viewing areas along the way, including those we saw on the cruise. Also, there were many waterfalls in the lush forest with heights up to 70+ feet along the lakeshore making their way to Lake Superior.

Back at camp, we ran the generator another hour, and I hiked the 3-mile Songbird Trail. Though there were not many birds along the way, it was a good hiking trail through the Hiawatha National Forest, and the last mile or so was adjacent to the Au Train River.

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With no television, Kay read while I wrote new entries for the blog to end the evening.

P.S. Lake Superior was indeed awesome as we had been told:

  • Able to see clearly to depths of 40+ feet
  • Cold, with surface temperatures ranging from 43° to near 60° 
  • Docile at times, then quickly raging with 30+ foot waves

The Uppers (pronounced “you pers”, people from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan) were friendly, with few signs of wealth and affluence; just good, hard-working folks dispersed with a few rednecks, just like home. We found them to be very likable. On the other hand, this is another case where we’re glad we came to this area, but in all likelihood won’t return; just not enough to do. And while the views of the lakeshore were good, they did not compare to those in Lake Powell, in our opinion. Would we have come had we known what to expect? Probably not. But, we can now check it off the bucket list!

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