Our hike today at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore was so beautiful, so perfectly summer-y, that I couldn’t decide which of the many photos I took to include here. If you would like to view all six, or enlarge them, click on “View Full Album”.
If you look at a map of the U.P. of Michigan, you will see tiny (400 fulltime residents) Grand Marais, Michigan at the very end of Highway 77 on the shore of Lake Superior. From the turn off of Highway 28 at Seney to the end of the road at Grand Marais is a trip of 25 miles of virtually unpopulated Upper Peninsula wilderness.
Your reward at the end? The very tiny and appealing town of Grand Marais: a diner (with ice cream), a brewpub, a hardware store, a grocery/convenience store, a big campground (click here to read our review), a protected harbor, a number of homes, and miles and miles of Lake Superior shore.
We came here to explore the eastern end of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, immediately adjacent to this little town. Usually you can drive through the park from end to end but, this summer, a construction project has closed a portion of the paved road. To see the big sand dunes, Au Sable Light Station, and “The Graveyard Coast” (named for the many ships that have been wrecked there), you need to enter from the east, the Grand Marais side.
After a 75 mile drive yesterday, we arrived in early afternoon, snagged ourselves a campsite facing Lake Superior, and took off on a tour of the town. The wind was blowing hard, and big waves were crashing on the sandy beach below the bluff where we are camped. The harbor was a different story, and the protection it affords made Grand Marais a boomtown during the lumbering years (long since passed).
Today was a different story: calm, sunny, cool. We packed a picnic lunch and headed the short distance into the park. I’ll let the photos (album at the top) speak for themselves, other than to say: It was a perfect summer day for beach walking, light house viewing, and exploring the wreckage of ships long drowned.