Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Park on $20 a day
This is part of an 18 week, 7,532 mile, Vanabode road trip detailed in the
book from Amazon
We’ll be camped in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Park along Lake Superior or somewhere in the tiny town for a few days.
Above: Maps in hand we hike to an eighty-foot high tier
of waterfalls, then follow the twenty-foot wide tributary down to the
sea. She winds and twists back and forth on the beachhead and erodes the
sandy dunes. She delays her disappearance into the lake for as long as
gravity will allow. This little two foot deep beach stream provides what
I need, a somewhat warmer clear clean place to bathe.
Above: This crazy girl was hiking barefoot (old school) through the forrest and had rigged up this leaf bandage since whe nearly tore the end of her toe off on a rock. Barefoot hiking? If my son had seen this girl it would be so on!
This park offers forty miles of pristine lakeshore with over one hundred miles of trails winding through hardwood forest. The rangers described a ten plus mile hike the day before at the visitor center in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Park. One ranger stated her challenge, “if you don’t go on this most difficult hike and take the long way around the outside path, you won’t see anything but big trees. It’ll just be a waste of your time.” Of course, as soon as Kelly hears that, she immediately makes plans to go. Ten miles is no joke though. Insect repellant, a map, water, hat, and good shoes are imperative or you’ll ride out on a stretcher.
Above: Pictured Rocks kayak tours and rentals on waterfront.
Lake Superior, just one of the great lakes, is the largest fresh water
lake in the world. The lake holds so much water; that if drained, it could
fill a pool the size of the entire lower forty-eight states five feet
We drive the shore at twenty-five miles per hour along winding roads
through dense small tree forest. We stop every two miles or so to disembark
and walk down boardwalks to scenic overlooks, grab fresh water, photograph
a small waterfall, and walk the pebbly agate strewn beaches.
The ten-mile hike turns into more than eleven miles because we take a lot of side trails to scenic outlooks and hidden places for Kelly to swim or potty and tromp over car sized boulders, sharp rocks, noisy gravel, twisted tree roots, uphill, downhill, over bridges, along precarious cliffs, through bug infested shrub, and along slippery rock waterfalls.
Waterfalls fill the heavy white pine forest. For hours tiny mice and
chipmunks run the trails ahead of us leading us on and on and on, until
finally they give up with a squeal and scurry off to the side and disappear
into the ferns.
This is what it looks like when you are hiking on the rocky shores. There are thousand places to fall to your death. We investigate rocks, examine driftwood, photograph the lake, skip flat stones, sand the soles of our feet with course sand, sunbathe, smile a lot, and rest.
Kayaks float among the cliffs offshore in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Park Lake Superior.
For thousands of unforgettable experiences on this affordable
18 week 7,500 mile road trip