Destination: Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park
Miles Driven: 184
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.
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.
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.
The 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. The scenery is breathtaking.
We hadn’t had enough hiking, so we took the trail down to the lake’s edge and back.
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.