Never heard of Pictured Rocks? It's in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on Lake Superior, near Munising. Still can't "picture" it? Googlemaps can...
The park sits on 40 miles of shoreline, and while there are some cool things to see and do on land, to really see the painted rocks you need to be on a boat. And we weren't.
DAY 1: After a brief visit at the Interagency Visitor Center and armed with a brochure with directions to waterfalls and lighthouses, we started driving. First stop was Munising Falls, but the Visitor Center with passport stamps was closed until the 26th. (The season doesn't really start around there until July!!!!) We took the short walk to the waterfall, alongside a little creek with lots of wildflowers.
HQ for the park is at Sand Point at the old Coast Guard Station. We met the new park superintendent. She'd recently transferred from the Grand Canyon, so my sweatshirt started the conversation.
This is is the view of the pictured rocks from Sand Point. Impressive, huh? (Remember, no boat.)
In the boathouse is an old lifeboat. They had a faking box here too, but I really liked the rope bumper that looks like a mustache.
DAY 2: Pictured Rock Cruises is a concessionaire for the NPS. It was warmer (on land) than it had been the day before (sort of) but cloudy (which makes some of the pictures look incomplete). I, of course, wanted 80 degrees and bright blue skies. (Oh, well, at least it was better than yesterday, with wind and 5' swells and seasick people.) I got tickets for the 4:00 Spray Falls cruise. We found seats on the top deck. (A couple hours later, the top deck was pretty empty because it was pretty cold.)
The cruise is over 35 miles round trip and takes almost 3 hours. We headed out of the bay, past Grand Island, and stayed close enough to the shore so we could (finally!) see painted rocks.
Miners Castle does look different from the water. (You can see the platform on the left where we were standing yesterday.)
|Caves of All Colors|
|Chapel Cove (the captain took us all the way into it!)|
Tree's on the rock; roots swing across to shore
Day 3: I opened the blinds way too early the next morning to see the sun lighting up the sky over Lake Superior, so I grabbed the camera and headed about 10 steps to the beach. George rarely sees sunrises unless I show him my pictures. (And, hey, George! I really don't think that counts!)
Painted Rocks Natl Landmark. I've included some closeups of the rocks so you can see the colors.