Tahquamenon Falls & Pictured Rocks, August 2000

Day 4

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Click here for map, mileage and trail elevation information - Tahquamenon Falls
Click here for map, mileage and trail elevation information - Pictured Rocks

Thursday morning began with warm weather and a clear, sunny sky. After breakfast we dismantled the tent, retrieved our supplies from the bear pole and repacked the backpacks. We didn't have a long or difficult hike ahead of us but it was pretty clear that today would be a hot, sticky day, as the humidity was already on the rise. We left the camp area and continued our hike west down the trail. Along the way we passed several unique and awe-inspiring features of the Pictured Rocks Lakeshore. The cliffs have been worn down and weathered by many years of exposure to the elements which in turn has created some peculiar and unique shapes and landforms. A couple formations have been named for what they look like, such as Indian Head and Battleship Row, others have names like Chapel Rock, Indian Drum, Grand Portal, Lover's Leap, Rainbow Cave and Miner's Castle. The cliffs that the trail parallels are up to 200 feet tall and are made of sandstone. The exposed faces of the cliffs are colored by black, white, green, red and brown stains which appear when water that has been exposed to various minerals in the ground seeps out of cracks in the rock or washes down over the edges. The land protrudes out a bit in several places which allowed us to see the faces of the cliffs we would be hiking on or gave us an opportunity to look behind us and see the place we just came from. Views from 200 feet up made the kayakers on Lake Superior look very small and insignificant as they paddled close to the tall rock faces.

As the day wore on it became more hot and humid making the hike through the tree-covered parts of the trail quite enjoyable. About mid-day we decided to stop for a break. We put our shirts over some trees to dry out in the breezy sunshine, ate lunch and relaxed near one of the cliff edges. A couple pictures I have manage to show the true scale of these locations. Ken took a picture of me during our lunch break while I was kneeling near the edge looking down at the lake and rocks 200 feet below. The other photo is one that I took at the same location (just a different angle) which captured two other hikers out ahead of us. If you look closely at the larger picture you will notice the two people walking in the sand near the upper left corner of the photo.

After a leisurely lunch we hit the trail again anxious to make it to the Mosquito River camp site. With the humid weather we were experiencing we were hoping that the camp site was named Mosquito River just for the heck of it and not because it was known for an infestation of the tiny, biting insect. After a couple hours we arrived at the camp area and claimed our site for the night which was in a small open area under a couple large trees. We set up the tent and then walked around to see what there was to do by the camp area. We found the river close by and discovered that it emptied into Lake Superior. The river exited the woods near an interesting area of the lakeshore. The shore in this area looked like it was built up by stacking large, thin sheets of rock on top of each other; it had a very unique appearance. We walked back to camp and gathered bottles and the water filter and went down to the river to get water for dinner before it became too late. We cooked dinner, cleaned up the pots, put on our bathing suits and went down to take a swim in the lake. The Lake Superior water was pretty cold, but soon I was away from the shore in neck-deep water. It felt good to cool off and get rid of the dusty, sweaty, sticky feeling that came from hiking all day in the heat and humidity. I swam for a bit and then got out and dried off. After putting on some clean, dry clothes we headed back to the shore. I took a few pictures and then relaxed as the sun painted the sky various shades of orange and red as it slipped below the horizon. We eventually made our way back to the tent and talked about the plans for the next day.

Miles covered today: 8.7
Total trip miles: 24.2

Day 5

This page last updated on 02-25-2016 @ 11:22 AM