Monday, July 30, 2012

Lake Superior - 29 July 2012

This morning was another fairly early start as we decided to fit a boat-trip into the day.  The campground offered all-you-can-eat pancakes for a reasonable price so we took up that offer then set out to travel almost exactly due west along miles and miles of seemingly endless straight roads.  (One section was 25 miles without a bend.)

We tend to think that NZ's South Island is uninhabited and the roads are empty but it is not alone in this regard. Today was mile after mile with hardly any traffic and long periods when there was not another vehicle in sight in front or behind.   With the cruise control set at 60mph it felt as if we were idling along at 30 as we
passed through an ever changing vista of pines, lakes, forests, swamps and so forth.  To begin with the Lake views were all of Lake Superior but as we neared our destination in Wisconsin the lakes dotted along the road became more frequent as there are over 11000 lakes in this State.

But, back to the boat-trip: We drove an hour west to Munising and arrived 10 minutes before the first sailing of the day for the Pictured Rocks boat trip.  This 2:40 hour trip takes you along the full length of the Pictured Rocks National Park.  The "rocks" in question are actually cliff faces rising up to 200' above Lake Superior and we had an absolutely beautiful morning to enjoy this delightfully relaxing trip with a witty and informative commentary and the views.
The cliff faces are stained with the leachate from various mineral deposits in the ground; iron (red), manganese (black-white), limonite (yellow-brown), copper (pink-green) and tanin from the ground above (brown). People "see" shapes or pictures in the resulting patina of colours hence the name "Pictured Rocks".  Erosion has also created a number of shaped rocks and outcrops which have been given names, most fairly obvious, like 'The Vase' and 'Indian Head'

Back on shore we made a short detour to take the walk to Munising Falls and have some lunch before setting off for the very pleasant drive to our most delightful campsite yet and the prettiest spot on this trip that this blog has been written.

240 miles today, total trip 1788. States Michigan, Wisconsin.

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