U.P. UP

Destination: Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park
Miles Driven: 184

Rebecca atop Summit Peak.

Rebecca atop Summit Peak.

June 16

Bloomsday. I was pondering the quote “U.P. Up” since we were on the U.P., and wondering if I didn’t recall it from Ulysses. Sure enough, Google found it for me. It also reminded me that today is Bloomsday.

How’s that for coincidence.

The Porcupine Mountains rise out of Lake Superior pretty close to the farthest northwest you can go in Michigan. It’s getting close to the summer solstice, and it doesn’t get dark much before midnight. It helps that we’re close to 600 miles west of Maine, the easternmost segment of the Eastern time zone.

The campground at Union Bay has ten prime sites located right on the shore of Lake Superior. Ours isn’t oneFLS_5751 of them.

We got in our best hiking of the trip so far in this park.

First we drove to the Summit Peak loop trail. (I didn’t name it.) The trail starts from a parking lot, rises to the highest point in the park, and third highest in Michigan, about 800 feet above the Lake Superior shoreline. There’s a long stretch of steps, leading to a small, wooden observation tower.

The loop trail descends rapidly from the summit, bottoming at Mirror Lake. It was too windy for there to be any mirroring effect.

FLS_5685The park has had more than normal rainfall this year (eat your heart out, N.C.), and we had our first encounter with swarms of mosquitoes. Yea, Deet.

Surprisingly, the ascent back to the parking area was not nearly as strenuous as the trek down would have suggested

Next we drove to the Lake in the Clouds area. This is the crown jewel of the park.

FLS_5726The Porkies were formed by volcanic lava flows. The Lake in the Clouds area provides a dramatic overlook of a lake, from a walkeway perched along the edge of a sheer cliff that drops a couple hundred feet. TheFLS_5702 scenery is breathtaking.

We hadn’t had enough hiking, so we took the trail down to the lake’s edge and back.

FLS_5722I should mention that Rebecca has been perfecting her recipe for S’mores whenever we build a campfired. Tonight she got pretty close.

The next two days will be driving-intensive as we approach the Badlands of South Dakota, where the temperatures are apparently more South-like. It didn’t get out of the 50’s here today.

FLS_5686

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2 thoughts on “U.P. UP

  1. Still #*@($*@! HOT. Spotty thunderstorms overnight, but no cooling. Grandfather Mountain was featured on local news channels as the best locale to beat the heat in NC.

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