Thursday, July 7, 2022

Temperature 76 Degrees, Overcast

Pictured Rocks Cruise

Yesterday was our first day of sightseeing. The number one thing we wanted to do first was a cruise along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

Some background first on this breathtaking and beautiful region of our country.

Congress authorized the creation of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in 1966 inorder to preserve the unique shoreline, cliffs and beaches. Little more than six miles across at its widest point, it hugs Lake Superior for about 40 miles. The Lakeshore consists of two zones: the Lakeshore Zone managed by the National Park Service; and, the inland buffer zone, a mixture of federal, state and private ownership.

The spectacular cliffs of Pictured Rocks consist entirely of sandstone. The cliffs were formed long ago, over a long period of time when mineral sediments accumulated in thick heavy layers transported by water, wind or ice.

Regarding the colors

Vertical streaks result from groundwater seeping through the porous sandstone carrying with it dissolved minerals. iron creates reds and oranges copper creates blue and green manganese creates brown and black Time now to go on a tour.

We were told the only real way to see the Lakeshore is by boat. Well, we didn’t bring our own, no way we were going to take a kayak, so that left a cruise as the only alternative.

This, for a fact, was much more to our liking. Some 70 feet long, twin hulls, and two 1300 HP engines it moves along at 26 mph. Yup, this is the way to go.

What a beautiful day we had. Clear blue skies. Abundant sunshine. And a big plus, Lake Superior was calm with just a light wind out of the north. We were told any wind out of the west always spells trouble. Thankfully, nothing like that today. Now, some of the sights we saw. Please understand any pictures this armature photographer took will give you an idea of the breathtaking beauty of this region, but to truly appreciate these spectacular cliffs you need to see them in person. That said,

This is Miners Castle. It us made up of several eroding caverns at its base with a steep sandstone wall leading to a crown like structure on the top. It used to have two turrets but in 2006 one fell off into the lake in dramatic fashion. This is the only cliff area in the park that is accessible by car.

This is called the Caves of all Colors. The coloring has been changing over the years as mineral enriched waters continue to seep down the cliffs.

This is known as Lovers Leap. It features an impressive arch that juts out from the shore line to an outcropping located directly in Lake Superior. Local lore has it that a couple displayed their love for one another by leaping off the arch together. However, the fact is the water under the arch is only three feet deep. Therefore, I would not suggest trying to recreate their act of love.

This mammoth cut into the cliff wall is known as Rainbow Cove. It has great mineral stained walls that are distinctly unique along with moss clinging to the upper part of the cliff wall.

The name given to this cliff is Indian Head. I thought immediately of Crazy Horse as soon as I saw it. OK, I have a very active imagination! The unique feature of this formation is the nearly vertical walls from Lake Superior to the top of the cliff.

They call this the Grand Portal. A suspended arch and a massive rock face make you feel sort of small as you slowly cruise past it.

A unique set of rock outcroppings that look like the bows of three battleships preparing to head out to sea. Hence the name Battleship Rocks.

This is appropriately named the Flower Vase. It is narrow at the base as it protrudes out of Lake Superior and widens at the top with trees lining its peak.

This has been given the name of Chapel Rock. A captivating rock formation with twin columns part way up and a lone tree clinging to its top.

This is Spray Falls that shoots out about 70 feet into Lake Superior from the top of the cliff. Many consider this the best of the best in terms of the waterfalls in this region.

Our cruise is one we will remember long after this summer trip is over. The vastness of Lake Superior, the grandeur of the cliffs, the unique rock formations and the palette of colors on display was breathtaking. This is an attraction that merits being on everyone’s bucket list of must see places.

Yup, another T-shirt.

But wait, one more thing we had to do. Well, more like try.

We were told that if you’re in the UP, then you just have to try a Pasty. A what you say?

This is what I’m talking about. It’s called a Pass-Tee. A one time staple of miners and loggers in Northern Michigan and still liked by many today in the UP. OK, we were willing to try it.

We had the Yooper. It was filled with potatoes, rutabaga, onions, carrots and beef. Let me just say one time is enough! Neither of us will be coming back for another.

So that was our day yesterday on The Road of Retirement. What a day it was. A day that will long be remembered. This summer has been one that constantly reminds us of how blessed we are. We are truly making the most of every day that God gives us. Thanks again for spending some time with us.  It’s always great to be able to share our story with family and friends. Comments? Feel free to share them with me. And always remember, cherish every moment of every day that God gives you and live those moments to the fullest. Our continuing mission remains the same: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have not been before.


  1. Pictured Rocks has been on my bucket list for awhile. I am so glad you visited there! Thanks for the tour. It really is quite beautiful, and I can’t wait to visit. I enjoyed seeing your pictures – which will have to do for me until we get there. I don’t think we’ll be trying a yooper. I did see “ice cream” in the sign though. Keep enjoying Michigan!


    1. A visit to Pictured Rocks is one I guarantee you will enjoy. Oh indeed forget the Yooper. At least I can say I tried it. But I will not recommend it! So far the only thing we don’t like about MI are the bugs. I have outside work I want to do but just can’t because even with bug spray you can only stay outside for about 30 minutes max. Have a great weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hopefully, the bugs will be better farther south. Usually, I only have to put on bug spray in the evenings when we are in Pentwater. Bugs love me. The feeling is not mutual though.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s