Saturday, April 7, 2012

Porcupine Mountain State Park -- Post 1

As promised, today I'll start posting the pictures from my time in the Porcupine Mountains, located on the western end of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. I had to head this way to pick up my boxes of purchases from the Quartzite and Tucson shows. Thank you Rirchard Whiteman for facilitating the shipment of my boxes back to Michigan. If any of you go to the Tucson Show, make sure to stop by his store front on the north side of town (Red Metal Minerals). If you are in the Ontonagon area, also stop by the store he and his wife own. It is called the "Gitche Gumee Landing." We tease each other about who owns the real Gitche Gumee. You can find out more about his store at

My friend, Helen, came with me so we could get some hiking in. I stayed Thursday night in Marquette with Helen and her husband, Jimmy. Then Helen and I headed out early yesterday morning. We picked up the boxes and headed for the Porkies, located 15 miles west. Rather than do one long hike, we decided to do several shorter hikes so we could see more of the park. It was a beautiful sunny day with temperatures rising to near 50.

Yesterday we decided to explore the Lake of the Clouds end of the park.

First we stopped and had lunch.  Here are pictures looking both ways from our picnic table, located on the side of the highway.  The whole day we say less than a half dozen cars.  We basically had the park to ourselves.

We noticed that all of the trees are budding out.

Then we headed to the overlook at the Lake of the Clouds.

Some of the interpretive signs.....

Despite the warning, we did not see any bears.

The view......

If you look close, you will notice the bridge in the middle of the picture that is over the river that feeds the lake.  We decided to hike down to that bridge.

Just as is true near Grand Marais, there are trees down everywhere.  The intense wind we have had this past year or so it taking its toll.  This may be one of the bigger "root balls" I have ever seen.  Of course, these pine trees are growing on rock so it is difficult for the roots to gain any foothold.

A ways down the trail we came to a fork and headed right to the bridge.

It was quite a climb down through a rugged but gorgeous forest.

We sat on this cool Copper Harbor conglomerate rock.  It is just one of many different rock types found in the park, as well as throughout the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Here is a map of some of the rock types.

More trees....

Then we finally reached the bridge.

Here are a couple of shots looking back up to the top of the escarpment.

1 comment: