Day “Trippin”: Western Pictured Rocks Edition

I’m trying to keep up with blogging about our adventures while on the road full time but I find myself falling behind from time to time. There is so much to do on the road. Such as exploring, daily chores, working, relaxing, maintenance, upgrades, supply runs, laundry, and much more. I’ll keep this one short and mostly sweet with some photographs from our trip into Munising and the Pictured Rocks area.

One could spend a week or more at Pictured Rocks, exploring all of it. We had one day set aside for the western side. The middle section we skipped because we have Josie. Dogs are not allowed in that area. With warmer temperatures we opted to go only where she could. I’m sure we missed some awesome sights but we were treated to some pretty amazing places nonetheless.

Miners Falls

This one surprised me. The trail leading down to the falls was scenic on it’s own. With tall trees all around and a wide path along a ridge. The trail is 1.2 miles round trip with a bit of elevation change but nothing too strenuous. There are also some stairs down to the viewing platform. For those feeling a bit more adventurous (that’s us), there is a rugged and steep path past the viewing platform to the base of the falls.

With Josie along for hikes, we’ve come up with an easier way to get her down stairs and steep inclines without her pulling us down. One of us stays at the top with her while the other goes ahead. Then she is released on her own to join the person on the other end. It works quite well. We did the same with this spot and she navigated it like a champ. She does have 4 fully independent suspension paws, making her built for this kind of stuff. We spent time walking in the creek and enjoying the base of the falls as they plunged 50 feet from above. The water was cold and refreshing on this warm day. I wish I had a video of Josie making her way back up to the top, no problem!

Miners Beach

This one did not disappoint either. Upon arrival the parking lot was jam packed with cars parked along the road going in. We parked at the end and opted for the long walk in. Just as we arrived, loads of kayakers were coming in. The beach was littered with kayaks from a day tour. I should have snapped a photo.

Instead of taking the stairs down to the crowded beach of kayaks and people we walked along the trail overlooking the beach. A little ways down we found a trail leading to the less crowded part of the beach. The water here felt so refreshing and it was crystal clear. I spent my time wading in the water near shore enjoying the view of the cliffs. Boats taking people on tours of Pictured Rocks caused some waves to come in but otherwise the water was calm. Not always the case on Lake Superior. With more time I would walk further down the beach toward the cliffs. But hanging out in the gorgeous water of Lake Superior was just fine with me.

Miners Castle

This one took my breath away. I wasn’t expecting it to be that beautiful. It’s a short walk down to the viewing platforms. As we approached the first one, the highest point, my expectation was not terribly high. I was wrong. I was greeted by the most beautiful turquoise blue water. The water was so clear you could see the rocks beneath. It is truly a postcard moment.

While we were there a kayaker came around the big rock formation known as Miners Castle. I must admit to feeling some jealousy of their view from the water. However, without the proper kayaks we knew it was best to stay on shore.

Sea kayaks are needed along with the ability to rescue yourself if the water gets too rough. This area is mostly high sandstone cliffs with no shore to land on. Only experienced kayakers with proper equipment should attempt it or take a guided kayak tour. Lake Superior is mighty and must be respected. That’s my safety bulletin. The lower platform offers a closer look at Miners Castle Rock and if you look through the trees you can catch a glimpse of the cliffs along with the upper viewing platform. I had no idea we were that high up. They even have little window cutouts (covered with safety glass) for smaller children to look through.

Note: This is as close as you can get to the rock formation known as Miners Castle. There are signs everywhere threatening of arrest and fines if one is caught crossing the fenced area. This is due to the danger of the rock formation crumbling underfoot.

I took more photos with my Nikon that I will eventually get around to offloading, editing, and uploading here.

Munising Falls

This one was a short walk and a nice way to end our day of exploring western Pictured Rocks. A beautiful waterfall with a paved trail. There were stairs leading up to a higher trail for a different viewing angle. We checked out both before heading back through town for dinner and to stock up on supplies.

To end this post I must tell a quick story. You know me but I’ll try and keep it short. While in Munising we explored around town before lunch and ran into a few locals. One an older gentleman in Ace Hardware. He told us he got married for the first time when he was 71! He was an interesting fellow with lots of local stories to tell. We chatted with Peter for quite some time. I chuckled at his comment about not wanting kids, his words “I hate the little bastards”.

Then while walking toward our lunch destination, two older ladies sitting on a bench stopped us to give Josie some love. While chatting the question came up where we are from. We gave our usual response. “Our last known address was southwest of Indianapolis, now we live and work remotely on the road in our RV.” One of the ladies (sadly I didn’t ask their names) said to us “you are living the perfect life”. At first I was thinking well it’s not perfect but it’s pretty awesome. Then she explained further. Telling us how she and her husband used to go away for a month once a year. Picking a direction and going. She explained how she treasured those times, as she lost him 4 years ago and was herself diagnosed with breast cancer.

She said you never know what life holds for you or what phone call may change it all. To sum up she said, “so good for you guys doing this while you can, that’s wonderful”. In that moment I understood what she meant by “living the perfect life”. Words of wisdom from a local and something that will stick with me for sure.

UP NEXT: Installing Solar!

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