Friday, July 19, 2013

A Superior Shore

Having recently returned from a Superior beach vacation, I'd like to share some of the beautiful  sights found in Northern Michigan. Put the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on the top of your must-see list for any trip to the Upper Peninsula (UP) of Michigan.

"Twelve Mile Beach" on Michigan's northern most shore.
Miles and miles of pristine beach are available, where waves lap the shore on a calm day.  Lake Superior is the deepest of the Great Lakes.  It is a "drink of water" almost beyond my ability to perceive, having lived on the shallowest of our Great Lakes (Lake Erie).  Erie is but a tablespoon to this great bucket of water.     

If one could pull the plug on Superior and spread it out across America, it would create a pool of water -four feet deep- from Wisconson to Texas stretching to both borders.  Now THIS is a natural resource, the second largest lake in the world..

Shelly investigates the wide assortment of beach pebbles.
 Brr, it is deep and cold!  You'll not find any swimmers here.  Beach bathing is also deterred by the swarms of insects, although we had no problem with them during our visit.

The rocks are comprised of many different types of  minerals.  Basalt is a hard volcanic rock, often containing pits. Agates were formed in the volcanic rock and have multicolored bands created by silica. Granite is represented in the white, pink and gray rocks which first traveled to Michigan within a glacier. Green stones are formed of epidote, and the bright iron-red rock is jasper.  Last, but not least are the many-colored  pebbles of quartz.

Picturesque high bluffs are layered with minerals and geological formations. 
Thankfully, this is all protected as a National Lakeshore.  It is free and open to the public every day of the year. Remember that when you pay your taxes and you will immediately feel great about being an American!

Map of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Click on the map above to enlarge it, and follow our trail from the left: Munising to Miner's Castle, to Twelve mile beach and on to Au Sable and  Grand Marais.

Left to right, at Miner's Castle, Michelle Goodman, Cheryl Harner, and John Boyd
We had a tremendous opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful Lakeshore in the U.S., and better yet, it was an opportunity to share some wonderful memories with my oldest daughter and my father.

No matter what the beer ads might try to tell you, it doesn't get any better than this.

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