Sunday, March 18, 2012

Keweenaw Peninsual Trip--Post 1

My son and daughter-in-law (Kevin and Jericho) are in the Upper Peninsula from Vermont. They flew into WI and drove up to Baraga with Jericho's mother. Thanks to Sandy for providing the transportation. I did not get a chance to implement the blog update this morning because I decided to go kayaking with Kevin instead. The pictures were ready, but there was no Internet connection where we were -- so I am finally getting to the update now after driving back home late this afternoon.

I have been visiting the Keweenaw area for at least a couple of decades.  I almost drove off the road yesterday as I was rounding the curve between L'Anse and Baraga, right at the southern base of Keweenaw Bay.  The level of Lake Superior must be down at least a couple of feet.  I guess this makes sense since everywhere in the U.P. communities are way down this year in snow totals.  But there are sandbars and beach areas in places where I have never seen them before, as you can see in these first two pictures.

After arriving, I hung out with Kevin, Jericho, and Jericho's mom and brother (Sandy and Taylor).  We went over to the marina in L'Anse to see the dredging project that Jericho's uncle has been hired to do.  Here is a shot of an anchor on display, as well as one of the ducks and Jericho's uncle at work.

Then we drove around ten miles east and walked into Canyon Falls, which is located along US-41 near Alberta, where the Ford museum is located. The trail head is at a roadside park, but it is still closed due to the fact that no one expected the snow to melt so quickly.   The trail to the falls is about one mile over level terrain.   Yesterday due to the snow on the boardwalk it didn't seem as easy to navigate as it usually is.  We stopped at the first falls, which has a drop of 50 feet.  We did not continue beyond the falls where the river has cut a gorge into the rocks.  Along side the river is an unmaintained trail that continues along the rim of the gorge. The gorge is quite interesting since the very ancient nonesuch shale rock has broken along straight line faults, resulting in a very boxy canyon. Numerous rapids and some smaller drops can be found downstream.   The Sturgeon River that goes through the canyon was just roaring yesterday.

Here is a shot of Kevin standing right next to the torrent.

There was not a lot of ice -- but I did find some to photograph.

Here is a shot of Jericho (right) with her mom and brother.

Canyon Falls.

More ice....

One of the smaller falls in the canyon...

Next we drove back to L'Anse and walked back into the Power House Falls, located on Falls River. 
The Falls River was well named. There are no large waterfalls along the river, but there are a lot of small ones. By some counts there are a dozen falls, although some are quite small. The largest is Power House Falls, which is a couple miles south of L'Anse. The Baraga County Waterfall Guide lists the three drops as the Lower Falls, the Middle Falls, and an Unnamed Falls.

It was a muddy walk in, but well worth it.  The waterfalls were not that big, but we enjoyed the roaring river.

Here is a shot of the old power house that has been closed for many decades.

Sandy wanted me to be in a shot, so we lined up next to Falls River.

Some of the old insulators....

I think there was even more water flowing down this river than there was down the Sturgeon River.

When we were walking back, Kevin noticed that some river kayaks were being launched.  So we ran back down to a vantage point to watch them go over one of the falls.  I simply could not believe anyone would kayak the fierce white water.  We saw their vehicles later -- they came from Colorado, Minnesota, and Wisconsin to kayak this river. 

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