Here I am a week into my travels of the Upper Peninsula and I am really excited for today because I booked a cruise to see the Pictured Rocks. Well, I was really excited until I woke up to light rain, mist and fog. So, like a sensible human being I thought it will clear up by 4 p.m. so I spent the morning doing laundry.
After laundry and grocery shopping I returned to the camper and the mist and fog had cleared but it was still cloudy out. The lady at the visitor center told me that this was the best time to go because the rocks were more colorful if they were wet.
After a nice walk with the girls (Harlie & Frannie) I ventured back into Munising. I was a little early so I thought this would give me time to go check out a few sites.
First the village of Christmas, Michigan. Well there’s a casino there if you feel lucky! That’s about all though.
Looking for another lighthouse, please! This one was barely noticeable from the road and there was no signage. This is the Grand Island Harbor Rear Range Light which was abandoned in 1969.
Next the Munising Range Lights which are still in operation.
I got to the dock for the cruise at 2:45 p.m. and was first in line. I met two really nice couples while in line. One couple from Florida and the other from Oregon.
3:45 and time to load. I am thinking my pictures aren’t going to be very good because of the gloomy skies but I was still excited to go see the rocks!
The first few pictures I was like, yeah this is going to be interesting.
Oh wow! What’s that I see coming into view? Remember my Miners Castle from yesterday? Well today I get to see it from the lake.
Next were the Painted Coves and Bridalveil Falls
The picture above and below are of Bridalveil Falls. See where the split at the top is and the darker rock from the water runs down? There was no water today because the beavers have built dams and the water only flows in the spring after the melt.
This is Mosquito Beach and Mosquito Beach Falls
On down the shoreline you can see some of the shallow caves and the arch is called Lovers Leap. The arch can be seen from the front and again as we pass it.
The amphitheatre looking rock is called Rainbow Cave.
Can you see an Indian head? Thats what this is called. You can see a nose, a forehead and what looks like a head dress.
Yeah, I didn’t see it either and if you do well consider yourself special!
The next arch is called Grand Portal and you can see where it has collapsed. The Captain stated that boats use to go through it.
You can notice in a few of the pictures the fog. It was really dense at times.
These rows of rock are called the Battleship Rocks.
This one is called the flower vase.
This one is called Indian Drums. They say when the waves crash into them it makes a drum sound.
This cave below I am not certain what they called it. If you have been here and know, please let me know!
There were several kayaking expeditions today as well.
The lonely tree on top the one rock is called Chapel Rock. Notice in the second picture how the roots of the tree go over to the other cliff to remain living.
These are the Spray Falls and they are a 70′ drop falls right into Lake Superior.
When the boat turned to return to the dock this is how it looked as the fog was rolling in.
Lastly there is one lighthouse left to see. Built in 1868 to guide boats into the harbor, this beautiful lighthouse is called East Channel Lighthouse and sits on Grand Island National Recreation Area. It no longer is in use.
So, the colors we see in the Painted Rocks are due to these minerals in the sandstone rock; manganese, limonite and copper.
The park was established in October of 1966.
The park is 42 miles long and runs from Munising to Grand Marais. The Picture Rocks comprise about 15 miles of that 42 miles. There are more waterfalls and beaches to be enjoyed by hikers and adventurists.
Intetesting fact. Lake Superior is the largest, coldest and cleanest of all the Great Lakes. It would take all the other 4 Great Lakes and 3 more Lake Eries to fill Lake Superior. One more, if you had a 5′ deep swimming pool shaped like the United States, Lake Superior could fill it. Well, at least that is what the Captain said!
As we docked the Captain also gave the passengers some tips for dinner. I took his advice and ate at the Fish Basket. I had the quarter pound of whitefish with french fries. It was yummy too!
Oh and a terrible Key Stone light beer. I will stick to Michelob Ultra!