La Chappelle: The incredible Chapel Rock

Chapel Rock by John Gagnon

Chapel Rock by John Gagnon

Atlas Obscura says that although there’s a whole lot to see in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, hikers should keep their eyes peeled for one feature in particular: Chapel Rock, once known as La Chappelle:

Composed of Cambrian age sandstone dating back approximately 500 million years, Chapel Rock is the result of the erosion caused by a proglacial lake somewhat confusingly referred to as “Nipissing Great Lakes.” This giant body of water consisted of separate basins joined by straits, and once occupied present-day Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, and Georgian Bay. Around 3,800 years ago, the high waters of Nipissing Great Lakes carved through the soft sandstone, resulting in today’s dramatic formation, which juts out into Lake Superior.

Although Chapel Rock’s stone is mostly beige, its base is a warm orange, thanks to mineral concentrations. The sandstone cliffs that comprise Pictured Rocks are full of iron, copper, manganese, and limonite, which impart red, orange, blue, green, brown, black, and white hues. Not long ago, a natural rock bridge spanned the area between Chapel Rock and the mainland. It collapsed in the 1940s, leaving the formation unconnected with the rest of the shore. Thankfully, the rest of the structure has remained intact and is protected from climbers by order of the Lakeshore Superintendent.

The rock isn’t the only thing that has proven to be remarkably durable. Charles Penny, a member of the Douglass Houghton expedition responsible for exploring Lake Superior’s southern shore, admiringly described a single pine tree that grew like a “spire” out of the sparse dirt covering the top of the outcropping. Till this day, the same resilient pine stands sentinel over Chapel Rock, connected to the mainland by its extensive root system.

More at Atlas Obscura & check out more Chapel Rock photos on Michigan in Pictures that include pictures of the pine tree’s astounding root system.

See more in John’s Pictured Rocks gallery on Flickr.

 

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Superior’s Wink

Superiors Wink by James Woolcock

Superior’s Wink by James Woolcock

Back in May, James took this photo & shared: “Superior, for our 8 days along your shores, your waters have been so calm, belying your reputation as the angry instrument of so many shipwrecks. I get the wink, o’ great one. I won’t tell a soul.”

See more from James on his Flickr.

PS: Don’t trust the wink, James – Superior is wily!!! More from Michigan’s mighty Lake Superior (including another pic from James) on Michigan in Pictures.

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Daybreak at Little Presque Isle

Daybreak at Presque Isle by Michigan Nut Photography

Daybreak at Little Presque Isle by Michigan Nut Photography

The Michigan Department of Natural resources says that the Little Presque Isle tract is often called the crown jewel of Lake Superior, with its beautiful sand beaches, rugged shoreline cliffs, heavily timbered forests, and unmatched public views:

The rock comprising the area represents some of the oldest exposed formations of its kind. More than a mile of bedrock lakeshore and cliffs adorns Little Presque Isle, including sandstone cliffs that reach nearly 60 feet high toward the base of Sugar Loaf Mountain. One kind of bedrock, granitic, that occurs here is the least common bedrock type along the Great Lakes shoreline, with less than eight miles occurring in total. This is one of three areas where the public can see these 2.3 billion year old formations in Michigan.

The proposed wilderness area is a local landmark, which has significant historical value. The island was reportedly connected to the mainland sometime prior to the 1930s and was a landing place for early explorers and native inhabitants.

John took this photo last week. See the latest at Michigan Nut Photography on Facebook. View & purchase more of his work at MichiganNutPhotography.com.

More Michigan islands on Michigan in Pictures!

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Fog Rainbows

Fog Rainbows by Noah Sorenson

Fog Rainbows by Noah Sorenson

Noah caught some awesome shots on a recent visit to the Keweenaw Peninsula. For sure follow him @noahsorensenphoto on Instagram!

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The Beacon

The Beacon by James Woolcock

The Beacon by James Woolcock

James caught an awesome sunset at the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse on the Keweenaw Peninsula. Head over to his Flickr for more!

You can read about Eagle Harbor Lighthouse & see another angle on Michigan in Pictures.

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Sunset over Munising Bay

Sunset over Munising Bay by Michigan Nut Photography

Sunset over Munising Bay by Michigan Nut Photography

The hits just keep coming from Michigan Nut!! See lots more from John on his Facebook page and view & purchase his work at michigannutphotography.com.

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The Stuff DREAMS Are Made of

The stuff DREAMS are made of by Shelbydiamondstar Photography

The Stuff DREAMS Are Made of by ShelbyDiamondstar Photography

Shelby got an absolutely stunning shot of the aurora borealis on Saturday night on Lake Superior’s Keweenaw Peninsula. Head over to ShelbyDiamondstar Photography on Facebook for more!

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Michigan Lights Up the New Year!

Michigan Lights up the New Year by Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) UW-Madison

Michigan Lights Up the New Year by CIMSS UW-Madison

This satellite photo from the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) at the University of Wisconsin shows:

…two of the first 2021 images from the Suomi-NPP and NOAA-20 satellites when they flew over the U.S. overnight to acquire stunning VIIRS nighttime imagery with light from recently full moon (98% illumination). City lights shimmer in the wintry landscape while a large storm swirls in the Mississippi Valley. Including a zoom into the Great Lakes Region because there’s no place like home!

Indeed!! Head over to their Facebook page for more & congratulations for being a part of the most welcoming state from space on the planet!! ;) 

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November Gales batter Michigan

November Gales by Kevin Pihlaja

November Gales by Kevin Pihlaja

WOOD-TV has a report on the high winds that ripped Michigan this weekend:

Peak wind speeds reached 68 mph in some areas, causing intense waves along Lake Michigan. Waves at the Ludington buoy peaked at 13.5 feet.

…According to the Consumer’s Energy power outage map, 27,704 were without power across the state as of 5:20 a.m. Monday.

Norton Shores was tops with gusts of 68 MPH, and it was blowing hard in Jackson (64), Grand Rapids (63) & Lansing (54). The Detroit Metro Airport in Romulus recorded a 61 MPH gust as well. 

Kevin took this photo of waves on Lake Superior battering the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse on the Keweenaw Peninsula last November. See more in his Lake Superior photo gallery on Flickr.

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Ring the Bell for the Fitz

Ship's Bell by Bill

Ship’s Bell by Bill

Today is the 45th anniversary of the sinking of the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald, and if you’re in Michigan, you’ll probably hear The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot today. I’m pretty sure, however, that you won’t enjoy it more than when you’re watching this video.

Joseph Fulton put together this amazing tribute to the 29 men who went down with the Edmund Fitzgerald in Lake Superior on November 10, 1975. This video is one of the best I’ve ever seen on YouTube and I hope you can watch it.

Bill took this photo of the bell from the Fitzgerald at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point. See more in his Whitefish Point album on Flickr!

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