We booked a hotel room in Munising, just outside the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore several weeks ago – sometime in September. Astute readers will spot the problem right away: what were we going to do in the area if Pictured Rocks was closed thanks to the childish behavior of our elected officials? Head west, that’s what.
Au Train River as it spills into Lake Superior, west of Munising
We spoke to one of the hotel staff ladies, who relayed some secondhand rumors she had heard: park officials were ticketing trespassers. We won’t even discuss why park officials are working during a shutdown, or why we could be considered trespassers. After looking up the potential costs (up to $500 fine, up to six months in jail), we instead headed to the Porcupine Mountains.
The near end of the park is just over three hours away from Munising (Do you like how I measure distance in time units?), so we again broke our journey into segments. We first played around on the vast expanse of unblemished sands at the Au Train River park before continuing through Marquette.
Fall splendor specimens
A few miles south of L’anse at the Canyon Falls Roadside Park, we hopped out of car for a hike. Tony and I stopped by this area during our trip North in January. The smell and crunch of fallen leaves, glorious golden light, and lack of waist-deep snow conspired to make the place more welcoming this time.
And then we followed another trail down the canyon a ways.
At some point, we realized that the trail didn’t actually lead to a destination. On another day, a trail along a beautiful river has all the makings for a perfect day, but this day we were headed for the Lake of the Clouds. So we about-faced and jaunted back to the car to continue ever westward to our state park haven…where I’ll pick you up tomorrow. Or Friday.