Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Thursday, August 4th - - Unless you want to travel on back-country dirt roads, the route to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore takes you south, then west, and then back north to County Highway 58, which follows the shoreline of Lake Superior for a few miles then takes you back inland. The drive reminded me of the route through Canada last August on the Alaska Highway – curves and hills midst a tree-lined road, with nothing in sight except more trees!

One of the first stops within the National Lakeshore is Au Sable Point where there is a very nice, but not very photogenic cascading waterfall. Too much contrast with bright sunshine and heavy shade. If I was into HDR (High Dynamic Range) Photography, this would have been a good place to experiment with it.

A short distance down the road was a place called Log Slide Overlook. A flyer picked up at the waterfall trail said of the Log Slide: “The 1,000 foot trail to the viewing platform from the picnic area is worth the walk. Newspaper accounts tell of logs sent down the dry log chute generating enough friction to cause the chute to catch fire. Today the chute is gone, but the lumberjack stories still linger as you gaze out over the Grand Sable Banks and Dunes.”

A short walk on a very well manicured path leads you to a small sand dune, about 25 feet high. This is the view from the top, overlooking Lake Superior. What you can't see is that beyond that opening is a 500 foot drop to the water's edge!

Perhaps “drop” is a bit dramatic, but a nearby sign states that the distance from the top of the dune to the lakeshore is 500 feet with 200 feet being nearly vertical. It also states that it takes only a few minutes to get to the bottom but can take an hour or more to climb back up!

The view looking to the east toward Grand Marais.

This is the view looking down toward the lakeshore, 500 feet below.

And this is the same view showing some rather energetic and youthful people near the bottom of the dunes. Provides a bit of perspective, doesn't it?

Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway), I did not even attempt this feat. I was pretty sure the old legs would give out on the way down and if they didn't the heart and lungs would get quite a workout on the way back up!


Jasia said...

Oh yeah, you are truly immersed in Pure Michigan now! More great pics!

Lisa Wallen Logsdon said...

Just beautiful!!

Susan Clark said...

So love those dunes. And no kidding about the climb back up - I was in the best shape of my life when we lived atop a much smaller one. Gorgeous shots!

Carol said...

I have Pictured Rocks envy!