Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

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Colored sandstone cliffs, emerald waterfalls, and miles of forest to explore and hike. Welcome to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

This was our first stop after spending a week in Illinois visiting friends and family. It is in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and is right on Lake Superior. It is part of the National Park Service and was the first National Lakeshore.

We decided to explore the park by going on what we thought would be a quick hike. After driving 5 miles on a primitive road (meaning it had potholes the size of Texas) we set off to the Chapel Basin trailhead. We discovered that the 6 mile hike to a waterfall we planned on could be lengthened to 9 miles and we would also get views of the lakeshore. It was only an extra 3 miles so we decided to do it.
The trail started in the forests and after 1.5 miles took us to Chapel Falls.

 

Chapel Falls

 

We continued on the forest trail and marveled at how different the forest looks from Washington. Washington forests look like you are in a Jurassic Park movie with the variety of ferns, the many colors of green, and the towering evergreens. The Chapel Basin trail was a cross between dirt and sand, and the birch trees grew tall and thin.

Once we got to the lakeshore, we were surprised to see emerald green water and couldn’t get over how the lake looked more like an ocean. The sandstone cliffs were an awesome sight next to the water. We enjoyed going out to all the viewing sites along the shoreline.
On the water below us were boat tours and people kept waving at us. It was pretty funny.

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We’d hit the 6 mile mark and were getting a little tired as the hike was taking a bit longer than planned due to all the picture taking we did. By the time we finished, the hike ended up being almost 10 miles.

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We stayed one night at Munising Tourist Campground, which was right on Lake Superior. We wanted to head out early the next morning. Storms were predicted for the afternoon and we wanted to cross the Mackinac Bridge before they hit.

 

View from the campground

 

We are all set to go when our back stabilizers wouldn’t budge.

This was our first real issue on the road. After 15 minutes of trying to figure out how to raise the electric stabilizers, we asked for the assistance of our camping neighbor Rob. He was very helpful and between the three of us, we were able to raise the stabilizers the old-fashioned way—by using a hand crank. It only took an hour to figure this all out. 😉
Looking back, it was a pretty funny site watching Brad craw under the 5th wheel—one slide out—to use the crank. We were lucky that when we got to the next destination the stabilizers worked just fine.

We have had limited internet access the past two weeks so I apologize for the delayed post! Currently, we are off visiting friends and family in Michigan. Our next big stop will be at Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island.

Till then!


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