July 29, 2015
Go Waterfalling’s page on Spray Falls begins:
Spray Falls is the remotest, and perhaps the most impressive of the several waterfalls in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The 70′ waterfall plunges over the cliffs at Pictured Rocks and lands directly in Lake Superior.
The falls is right on the edge of the cliffs, and the creek has not cut back into the cliffs at all, so it is impossible to view the falls from the front unless you are on the water. The cliffs are sheer for miles in both directions, so there is no way to get near the base of the falls without a watercraft. Lake Superior is too cold for swimming. :)
The Lakeshore Trail passes right over the top of the falls, and you can get right to the brink of the falls. Be careful because the cliffs are undercut and unsafe in many places. About 1/4 mile east of the falls there is a safe lookout point from which you can get a nice, but distant, side view of the falls. There is a sign marking the lookout.
July 25, 2015
The Michigan Historical Center’s page on the Fayette Historic Townsite says:
The Fayette Historic Townsite includes 20 historic buildings, exhibits, a walking tour and scenic overlooks. Fayette has 20 preserved buildings and structures. Eleven buildings house museum exhibits and are open to the public, including the hotel, machine shop, company office, town hall, and residences.
A massive blast furnace still stands on the site, and is part of the well-preserved history of this former 19th century industrial site. Fayette is a living museum, telling the story of a company town in the 19th century, nestled on the Garden Peninsula in the central Upper Peninsula.
The limestone bluffs on Snail Shell Harbor were mined for use in the blast furnaces.
Exhibit with clothing and toys, part of the children’s exhibit at Fayette Historic Townsite.
Exhibits at Fayette focus on life in a company town, including what it was like to grow up there. At its height, half the population of Fayette was children.
The townsite is part of Fayette Historic State Park and on the second Saturday of August the annual Heritage Day celebrates Fayette with period displays, food, and music. Click through for more.
More Michigan ghost towns on Michigan in Pictures.
July 21, 2015
Sorry folks, but people keep adding these awesome shots of Petit Portal in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Near the top of my personal Michigan Bucket List is being where this kayaker is.
July 16, 2015
As the mercury climbs and some crazy people (such as yours truly) start grumbling about the high temps, it’s probably a good time to take a look back at last winter’s spectacular ice caves.
Aubrieta Hope shared the story of her trip with Craig and two other photographers (Neil Weaver & John McCormick) to check out the Grand Island ice curtains. All four are Michigan in Pictures regulars – click to check out In Search of Superior Crystal on the Pure Michigan Blog. It has a bunch of photos and begins:
In the heart of winter, when the drifts are as high as houses and snow-dusted pines line the roads, photographers travel to the Upper Peninsula in search of crystal. Not antique-store crystal, but Superior crystal, the kind that occurs when the north wind turns every drop of open water into something sparkling and new. During the coldest months, the great lake freezes, heaves and breaks, forming mountains of crystal rocks, so tall they seem like permanent landforms. Icebergs and volcanoes rise in the harbors and bays, reflecting all the colors of the sky. Waterfalls slow from a rush to a trickle, building columns that bubble and sing. And, on the sandstone cliffs, springs that flow unseen in the summer months create glittering ice curtains.
During winter’s last stand, at the very beginning of March, I headed north to find Superior crystal. My trip was inspired by winter photographs of the U.P. that I’d viewed online. I’d seen dramatic images of enormous frozen waterfalls, great Superior ice fields, and shining rivers wreathed in morning mist. I wanted to experience and photograph all those scenes, but more than anything, I wanted to see the legendary ice curtains of Grand Island in Munising Bay. These immense, aqua blue ice curtains form when cold temperatures freeze the springs that seep from the island’s rocky cliffs. It can be tricky to get to the ice curtains, though. The island is not accessible every winter because the currents are strong in the bay, preventing adequate ice buildup. During last year’s historically cold winter, the bay froze sufficiently to allow foot traffic. For awhile it looked like Grand Island would not be accessible this year, but February’s arctic blast arrived just in time.
PS: The Grand Island National Recreation Area is located just off the coast of the UP in Munising and is an amazing place, complete with mountain bike trails!
PPS: More ice caves on Michigan in Pictures too!
PPPS: I really am a fan of the PS. If you are too, please PS in the comments!
July 10, 2015
Michigan comes from the Chippewa language where “Michi-gama” means “great water” or “big lake”. With 3,126 miles of PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE Great Lakes shoreline and countless public beaches, there’s no excuse not to get out to beaches like the fabulous one at Grand Mere State Park near Stevensville in southwest Michigan this weekend!
More great beaches & beach photos on Michigan in Pictures.
July 8, 2015
The second in our series of “Cool Places Your Kayak Can Take You” features this cool rock formation in Lake Huron. Port Austin Kayak’s page on kayaking to Turnip Rock says:
A trip to Turnip Rock in Port Austin is unmistakably one of the best activities for kayakers on Lake Huron. The trip consists of a 7 mile out-and-back trip via the Point aux Barques trail. The shallow waters surrounding Turnip Rock allow you to get out and enjoy the area as well as snap a few photos while you are there. Be sure to wear suitable footwear if you are going to exit the kayak as the rocks are slippery. For an account of what it’s like kayaking out to Turnip Rock, read this adventurer’s great story. While this story also goes out to the lighthouse, that leg of the trip is for experienced kayakers only and is reserved for the calmest weather days, as you will be kayaking two miles out into Lake Huron.
Please note that the property surrounding Turnip Rock is privately owned, which is why kayaking is the premier way to access the rock. The owners of the surrounding properties take great care of the land and we ask that you respect their space by not trespassing or littering.
If you don’t have a kayak, they can certainly rent you one. That link goes to one of my favorite photographer’s trips: Lars Jensen and his Turnip Rock expedition.
July 7, 2015
Here’s a shot from a place on my Michigan kayaking bucket list – Petit Portal (also known as Petit Arch and Arch Rock by some) and other cliff formations of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The Lakeshore’s Geologic Formations page begins:
The geologic formations of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore are most spectacularly represented by the 50-200 ft. sandstone cliffs that extend for more than 15 miles along the shoreline. Sea caves, arches, blowholes, turrets, stone spires, and other features have been sculpted from these cliffs over the centuries by unceasing waves and weather.
The name “Pictured Rocks” comes from the streaks of mineral stain that decorate the cliffs. Stunning colors occur when groundwater oozes out of cracks and trickles down the rock face. Iron (red and orange), copper (blue and green), manganese (brown and black), and limonite (white) are among the most common color-producing minerals.
Geologic history recorded in the sedimentary rocks and surficial deposits of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is limited to two widely separated intervals of geologic time, the Late Precambrian, Cambrian, and Early Ordovician Periods (500-800 million years before present), and the Late Quaternary Period (two million years before present to the present).
You can read on for more about each geologic era, and I think that that this report by Lakeshore Volunteer Geologist Robert Rose (pdf) has some graphics that really help to understand how the layers fit together.