The area in Michigan with Lake Michigan on the west and Lake Huron on the east is called the Lower Peninsula. Heading north is the Mackinaw Bridge which crosses to the Upper Peninsula, referred to locally as “U.P.” and then Lake Superior.
The bridge is five miles long (longer than Golden Gate) and was the longest suspension bridge in the world when completed in in 1957. Now it is fifth longest.
It can sway up to 35 feet in either direction but moving cars do not feel it.
Upper Tahquamenon Falls (rhymes with phenomenon) is the second most voluminous waterfall east of the Mississippi River in the United States, behind only Niagara Falls.
Locals call them the “Root Beer Falls” because of the rich brown color of the waterfall and the white foam. The dark brown water is from the tannins that leach from a cedar swamp.
Today’s river flow was 3,030 gallons per second which appeared huge to me. Its record is over 50,000. Often in the Spring it flows at 10,000 – 20,000 gallons per second. That must be a mind-boggling sight.
Besides the hike to the falls, we negotiated 275 steps each way to get to the perfect outlooks.
Next up was Whitefish Point, known as the graveyard of the Great Lakes, about 200 of the 550 sunken vessels in Lake Superior have been lost near here.
The beach was fabulous as was the weather. We have been very fortunate weatherwise this entire trip.
The lighthouse was picturesque.
The Shipwreck Museum was quite interesting.
The Ship’s Rudder and Tiller displayed here were recovered from the wooden steamer M.M. Drake which was shipwrecked on October 2, 1901.
Our fifth and final overnight in Michigan was at Marquette, which is located in north central Michigan on the shore of Lake Superior.
On the way, we stopped in Munising to take in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore via a 2.5-hour cruise. We toured 15 miles of sandstone cliffs that hugs the south shore of Lake Superior. It’s known for the dramatic multicolored Pictured Rocks cliffs, ergo the name.
The Pictured Rocks are sandstone cliffs rising 50 to 200 feet above Lake Superior. All the color is natural from different mineral seeping. There are no rock paintings here.
Today we hiked to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain which has a huge panorama. Unfortunately, it was rainy. We didn’t let that deter us though. It made it tough because it was steep, slippery, and wet. Up top the view was still extensive but not nearly as awesome as in other photos.
It’s tough to complain though, since it was our first rain day of the trip, and we started 25 days ago.
We have found the trails marked better in Michigan than elsewhere.
We enjoyed the U.P. so much. How could we not stop and shop at a store called Da Yoopers Tourist Trap in a city called Ishpeming.
A Yooper is a person who lives in the Upper Peninsula (for at least 10 years).