It's difficult to choose just a few photos from Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The dramatic scenery, alight with the late afternoon sun, is a camera’s dream.
This long stretch of sandstone cliffs along Lake Superior towers some 50- 200 feet above. The cliff faces are massive canvases filled with nature’s colors and textures. The National Park Service (that is, We the People) protects 73,000 acres of this awesome coastline.
Should you find yourself in this part of the world, I recommend the sunset cruise that leaves from Munising, MI. I monitored the forecast closely that day before buying the ticket. After an overcast morning, it began to look like a perfect evening for it.
And it was!
"Save your camera batteries," the captain tells us at this point. "There is much more to come".
He was right.
The vibrant colors on display come from seeping groundwater composed of iron, copper, and other minerals.
We pass the Grand Island Lighthouse.
Two-and-a-half hours in length, the boat travels slowly among the cliffs, often getting quite close. At times, the water near the rocks are only 2 feet deep (as in the arch below) so you really want an experienced navigator at the helm!
One can't help but think of Lake Superior's reputation as the graveyard for ships. And the shoals between here and Whitefish Point have been the undoing of more ships than any others.
At one point, we pull into a small sea cave at Chapel Rock. I still don’t know how the captain managed to wedge us in there (and get us out). It was intense!
We are much closer to the walls than this photo conveys. Like rocking in a giant womb!
When we back out, the captain asks “Have you ever done anything like that before?” Nervous chuckles, to which he responded, “Neither have I”!
We passed a rookery of cormorants
and more miles of vivid sculptures.
Almost dark, we reverse course for the harbor.
And return, minds officially blown.
Thanks to Nina at Wheeling It for recommending Pictured Rocks Cruises! Speaking of Nina, I have to share this magnificent shot she captured on the same cruise weeks earlier.