Sunday, September 01, 2013

Vacation Pictures, Part 1

Jim and I recently took a trip we’ve been dreaming about for a long time, and it was just great!   Isle Royale is a National Park in Lake Superior, the deepest, cleanest of the Great Lakes.  The island is the least used American National Park, and only 12 miles from Canada.   What a beautiful place, home to foot traffic only, wolves, moose, and a select few other special animals.   I’d been there twice before, but Jim had never been there, so we needed to make a trip for him to experience it.

We left home in Northern Indiana, drove through Chicago, and north through Wisconsin.   We spent the first night in a motel and arrived in late afternoon the second day at Porcupine Mountains State Park, at the Southwestern tip of Lake Superior, to camp the night.   It was wonderful to drive along the shore of that beautiful lake.    The shore alternates between old worn lava flow benches and white sandy beach.  

It’s so amazing, how the people use the park areas.   In our part of the country, on the great Lake Michigan, all beaches are privately owned and blocked off to the public, or special access areas are set aside as parks, and jealously regulated for use.   I do understand, with our population, overuse would quickly make the beaches unusable and overcrowded, but there, the population is so low, that for mile after mile, there are simple turnouts, with picnic tables, and people  park, walk a few feet to the water and enjoy. 

This water is so clean that you can see the bottom a dozen feet down, and cold enough that even on a hot day in August, you don’t spend long in the water.   But there were hundreds of blue-lipped people, enjoying the beautiful water, all along the way.  
We found our camping spot, and drove to the end of the Porcupine Mountains Park to see the waterfalls.
  So beautiful.  This is old worn lava flow area, with clean water splashing down the mountainside.  It’s dry enough at this time of year, that there were big areas of dry lava benches available for people to wander around on.   Just gorgeous, and well worth the tall stairstep access points to hike to get there.   Lots of trails wind through here, including the North Country trail, marked on the path we took to the waterfalls.

After a good wander there, we returned to the campground, and followed a short trail down to the water, just about 40 feet away from our camper, to soak our feet in the water.  

Jim laughed, said the line from the song kept running through his head, so he had to stretch out on the rock and act the part. “The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead when the skies of November turn gloomy.” It was hard to be too gloomy with the beautiful weather we had, and the wildflowers and lichen on the rocks made it a photographer’s joy.

I caught sight of my wet footprint on the hot rock, and thought about the ecology saying to “take only pictures, leave only footprints”   so I did. 
I'll add more pictures when I get the time and energy.   We took along three cameras on this trip, so there's lots of good stuff to share.