Sunday, September 3, 2017

Sep 2,3 – Waterfalls around Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Yesterday we finished our move east to a campground near Munising, Michigan in order to explore Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

It was a good day to waste travelling because the rain came down in buckets all day. I think we followed the storm east and just got a bit ahead of it. As we were setting up at our campsite it started again. Here is our campsite, today, in much nicer weather.


The site is huge and runs from the post in the foreground up to that post past where we are parked and then back to that trailer in the background. When we got here I wasn’t exactly sure where to park. The hookups are also back by that trailer so I needed a long power cord.

I also screwed up the reservation a bit but it turned out for the best. I had wanted to book for a week but it seems I only booked for 6 days. Our site is booked on the seventh day so we couldn’t stay here but there is a full hookup waterfront site available that day. I asked if it was available sooner and sure enough we can move there tomorrow to have it for 5 of our 7 days.

We got two solid waves of heavy rain with a great (for us in our nice motorhome) thunderstorm to watch.

The tenters were not so lucky. The ones on either side of us got it worse though. The people on one side didn’t have a fly on their tent so the rain must have been dripping through all night.

When the people on the other side arrived they spread out this huge tarp on the ground to set their tent up on. Then they realize they would have to drive the tent pegs through the tarp so they bunched the tarp up around the edge of the tent and then drove the pegs in around it. This actually turned the tarp into a big bowl and all the water that ran off the tent just pooled in it. In the morning the guy said they had about 2 inches of water inside the tent.


There are some campsites under this pool but I don’t think anyone stayed there last night.

The campsite we are moving to is one of the ones in the background.

Today, with all the rain last night, we thought it would be a good time to visit some of the close by waterfalls. Seeing as it is the Labour Day weekend a lot of other people had the same idea.

First up, just south of Munising, was the roadside Alger Falls. This is the view from the road.


Of course I wanted to get closer and in doing so managed to sink both feet, up to the ankles, in the mud.  After a quick rinse in the stream the waterproof shoes were OK, however my pants didn’t look great.


Just around the corner was Wagner Falls State Park. It was really just a roadside parking area and a short path and boardwalk to a viewing platform by the falls.


There was a pretty stream flowing under the bridge.


Waiting for my turn.



The photosphere.

Next were three much less known falls that are not one the park map. Most people just drive by. You first park on a residential street on the east side of Munising and then take a path that is a little hole in the trees.

The ground around here is mostly very soft sandstone so even small streams have created large, deep gorges with dramatic undercuts as the water falls in.

Just down from the car are the Twin Memorial Falls. You first walk over a bridge at the top of first twin.


Then up the hill and down the edge of the gorge until you can get down and walk back up to the falls. You can see the end of the trail and someone at the falls in the lower right, below.


The path back was carved out of the gorge wall.


Tiny me behind the falls.


A photosphere from where Jennie was standing.

A photosphere from where I was standing. Even the photospheres don’t really capture the feeling of being there. You just have to go yourself.


If you continue under the falls and around the wall, the twin is just around the corner.


A look back at the first twin.


A hole in the rock right at the corner.


Another “tiny me” shot, although I felt a lot smaller than this picture conveys. Those undercuts where huge.


The photosphere from where I was standing. Again it fails to really capture the feeling.

The falls were just a trickle and you can just barely see them flowing over the lip.



Retracing our steps to near the top of the first twin we took a trail south along the ridge towards Tannery Falls. This one has a really long gorge and the trail carved out part way up got very narrow with a steep dropoff in some spots. Not a fun trail for Jennie.



This photosphere does a better job. I guess I have to pick my vantage point a bit better.

Back to the car and just up the road to Munising Falls. They are the most popular falls because they are large, close to town, have a large parking lot and are only a very short distance from the car. It was busy.

We had to wait our turn at the front of the viewing platform. No scrambling around here.


Actually I was not that impressed. The ones we had just been to were much more interesting but they were much harder to get to.




There was a side trail that climbed a long set of stairs to another platform.



By now it was well past lunch time. We had decided to not bring our lunch and to finally try the Yooper (UPer) delicacy called Pasties. It is a folded over crust filled with meat, potato and vegetable. We had been told to go to Muldoons.


We both got chicken. They were huge but so good that I ate all of mine and Jennie nearly ate all of hers. The crust and filling were great. They also have beef and vegetable. We are definitely going back.


When we got there we were second up to the counter, which is at the back of the store. While we ate a hoard descended and the line was out the door.


Our next stop was going to be the hike to Miner’s Falls but when we got to the parking lot it was so full that cars were parked for 100’s of yards down the road. Since we are here for a week we decided to come back at a less busy time.

We moved on to the nearby Miner’s Castle Overlook. Since people don’t stay long at viewpoints we managed to find a place to park.

Miner’s Castle is the tip of a point that was eroded away and looks like it has some turrets on top. The high overhead viewpoint was right next to the parking lot.



There were some snorkelers working their way through the tunnel at the bottom of the castle.



Taking a break.




Then the kayaks showed up.


There is a trail that takes you down to a platform just behind the turrets.


The tour boats were out in force today.


A photosphere from here.

Off to the east you could see some of the cliffs of the Pictured Rocks.



I later realized that we could see the tiny ribbon of Bridal Veil Falls . Here is a close-up from the above image.


I think I can see a couple of profile faces on these points.


We tried to go to nearby Miner’s Beach to relax and have a snack but again it was a zoo so we just headed home.

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