Porcupine Mountains in Michigan Upper Peninsula

We got up early on Tuesday, July 28, to drive to the Porcupine Mountains which are in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and on the shores of Lake Superior.  These mountains were fairly close to our campground – only about an hour and forty-five minute drive.  It was a beautiful day for a drive and a hike to the summit to catch another beautiful view of the forests and lake.

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As you can see by the sign, it is a wilderness state park.  Believe me, as you drive through it, you really feel like you are in the wilderness.  Don’t get me wrong.  It was peaceful along with gorgeous, and you never know what might be around the next curve.

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First stop was at Summit Peak Scenic Area.  We once again hiked to the top of Summit Peak and enjoyed another one of God’s beautiful creations.

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Here we go…up the mountainside again.

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When you are under the canopy of the forests up here, the colors are amazing!

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There was a smaller overlook platform before you got all the way to the top.

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Beautiful!

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Getter closer to the summit tower.

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There is the tower. If you know me, you know that I’m afraid of heights. This tower wasn’t too bad to climb, though.  However, whenever I’m in high places like this I am still VERY cautious!

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Map of things you can see from the top of the tower on a clear day.

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After climbing to the top, on the way down, I saw this rock and thought I might as well “conquer” it as well.

Next, we drove through more of the park to get around to the east side.  There were a couple of campgrounds over there.  What we really wanted to see was the view at Lake of the Clouds from the escarpment (a long, steep slope, especially one at the edge of a plateau or separating areas of land at different heights) that runs parallel to Lake Superior in this area.  ANOTHER overlook filled with gorgeous views!

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Ok. So you think it is beautiful up here…eh…

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OK…..I guess it kind of IS beautiful

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Now, I am going to rest!

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We drove along Lake Superior for a little while before heading back home.  I just can’t get enough of this beautiful lake!

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So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!

Betty

Michigan Upper Peninsula: Day #3

Our last day in the Upper Peninsula started out with breakfast and checking out of our motel.  We had a big day planned.

First, we visited Presque Isle Park which is located on the northern edge of Marquette, MI, just north of Northern Michigan University (“presque-isle” is from the French meaning almost an island).  This is a lovely park right on Lake Superior.  There’s a 1,216 foot breakwater with a lighthouse at the end.

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There is also an iron ore dock exactly like the one in downtown Marquette that is no longer in use. This dock was completed in 1912 by the Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railway and is still in use today.

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The dock is built of steel-reinforced concrete and is 1,250 feet long.  It is 75 feet tall above the water, 60 feet wide, and has 200 ore pockets with a storage capacity of 50,000 tons.  After the ore is mined, it is crushed and put through a process that results in it being rolled into small balls and fired in a kiln.

These balls are known as taconite pellets which are shipped by rail to this dock next to Presque Isle Park where rail cars dump them into bins within the dock.  Once a freighter is ready to be loaded, chutes from the ore dock bins are lowered into the cargo hatches, and a door at the bottom of the bin is raised. This permits the pellets to roll into the ship.  This would have been interesting to watch, but, unfortunately, we weren’t lucky enough to be there on a day that a ship was being loaded.

Next we followed a road through the park and stopped several times to enjoy the view.

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Then we headed a few miles north of Marquette to Sugarloaf Mountain.  My teacher friend who grew up in this area, recommended hiking to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain to enjoy the stunning views.  It took us about 30-40 minutes to hike to the 1,060 ft. summit.  There were 311 stair steps to get to the top (on the “easy” path, of course!), but it was worth it.  Look at these spectacular views!

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At the beginning of the hike, and all eager to go.

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The trail gets steeper.

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First view of Lake Superior.

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GORGEOUS views all around us!

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Top of the final set of stairs!

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In the distance is Presque Isle Park. You can see the two smoke stacks that are close to the iron ore loading dock.

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The lake is such a BEAUTIFUL color blue! Can you see that tiny island out there?

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These two guys did NOT take the “easy” path that we took. I’m pretty sure they took the “more difficult” path. In this picture is one of the three platforms at the summit.

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The main overlook platform.

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I’m not sure Zoey enjoyed the beauty as much as we did.

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I zoomed in so you could really see the smoke stacks.

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Another one of the three platforms.

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Ready to hike back DOWN the mountain. This should be easier.

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Walking in the forest here is just GORGEOUS!

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“Hurry up, Mom! We are almost to the car and I’m tired, hot, and thirsty.” Which one of these two do you think said that? 😆😂

After Sugarloaf Mountain, we returned to Marquette for some lunch.  We had planned to drive up to Copper Harbor.  After putting Copper Harbor in my GPS and seeing how long it would take to drive there, we decided it was too late in the day to do that much driving.  It would put us back at the RV too late at night, so we headed home.

All in all, we had a wonderful time in the Upper Peninsula and can’t wait to go back some day.

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

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