Sunday, June 15, 2014

June 8th-13th Porcupine Mountains

It seems like it has been a while since I posted a hike.  Well this post should make up for the lack of one.  I have been on a hiking vacation to the Porcupine Mountains (The Porkies) in Upper Michigan.  Ron, Tom and Gary left early on Sunday morning, whereas my brother Jimmy, Joe and I left at 3:00p.m.  Joe was scheduled to do a hike at Starved Rock and I had to work also.  It was a 7-8 hour drive.  We stopped in Coloma Wisconsin for dinner around 6:00p.m  We arrived at the AmericInn in Silver Springs and spent the night.  We had the free breakfast in the morning and then we were off.

From the left: Joe- Starved Rock Hiking Guide. Tom from Kansas City. Gary Starved Rock Walker's Club. Jimmy my brother.  Ron - Starved Rock Walker's Club.  I am proud to call them all my friends.

Entrance to the Interpretive trail
Day 1 The first thing we did was to hike along the Interpretive trail.  Here we learned about the copper mining that took place here and a bit of Geology.  The trail was about a mile long with information plaques along the way.  Very interesting.  We also found out early on that we all needed our mosquito nets.  We had all packed them for years and never used them.  We all were soooooo glad we had them.  We put them on first thing and didn't take them off until the last day.

Blue Beaded Lily
We have seen this plant for years on Isle Royale but always in late August.  There was a few stems coming out of the center with blue beads on them.  Very poisonous.  Now it all makes sense.

They also have many wildflowers that we have and some that are similar.  When I got to the Visitor's Center I looked a few up.

False Lily of the Valley (we have a patch of this near Lover's Leap)

Jack in the Pulpit

Nodding Trillium (the ones we have at the park, the flower droops on the top of the leaves)  interesting!
Very small light blue/purple flowers - Forget me nots

Swamp Buttercup (I think)
We also went to the Presque Isle Scenic Area.  Here we saw some of the most impressive waterfalls they have in the park.  I love waterfalls and wildflowers.  Enjoy!
Very powerful waterfall.  Warning Sign

Suspension Bridge to the Presque Isle area
Gary pointing to something on Lake Superior

Rock formation on the beach

Wild Lupine

There were 3 main waterfalls in this area.  Manabezho Falls, Nawadaha Falls, Manido Falls

Pink Lady's Slipper

Our Cabin
The Porcupine Mountains have cabins for 2 people that come with 1 canoe. The 4 people cabins come with 1 row boat.  We had an 8 person cabin, we had 2 row boats.  Tom loves to canoe, so he was the one who flipped over our row boat and took us for a ride.  He was also the one that went to the cabin down the path and borrowed their canoe for a ride with Gary.  Thank you Tom!!
Tom taking the Canoe out.  Great view from our cabin
Gary and Tom canoeing
Twilight cabin view - Full Moon (or close to it)
Day 2 we hiked out from our cabin on the way to the Big Carp River Trail.  This was one of my favorite hikes.  We hiked along the Escarpment (a backbone ridge).  Very scenic. As usual I loved the views.
Uphill trail
looking back at the waterfall from the trail
View of the Escarpment from afar
Tom enjoying the view
View of Lake of the Clouds from the Viewing area

Gary, Edna, Jimmy, Joe and Tom (Ron was taking the photo)
Wild Columbine
Multi flora rose
My favorite trail lunch. Bagel with peanut butter and jelly
Day 3 We hiked back out this day and did the other half of the escarpment and also went to the Summit Peak Scenic area.  There was a tower here that we climbed up (63steps). 
View from the Summit Peak Lookout tower

Gary and Jim
Ox Eyed Daisy
View of Lake of the Clouds- from the Escarpment
Copper mine opening- one of many
Nodding pink trillium
This is a pink trillium, but it is a double!
View from behind a mosquito net.
Day 4  We could hike or not.  Go as far as we wanted and turn around. It was hiker's choice.  I chose to go to Lily Pond and see how I felt at that time and also judge the weather.  If it was raining, I was going back.  It turned out to be fine so I hiked all the way to the Overlooked Falls and back.
trail with lots of rocks
Patch of pink lady slippers
Gary at Lily Pond pointing at a turtle
Snake grass (I think) and lily pads
Huge tree that had fallen.  I just thought it looked neat.
Lily Pond Cabin
Someone, before us had some free time.  They carved this bear out of a stump nearby.

Jim crossing a stream.  We were rock balancing

When we arrived at the Overlooked Falls, there were sooooooo many mosquitoes we couldn't stay very long, even with the nets it was crazy.  We took some photos and we were gone.
Sign marker
1st half of falls
2nd 1/2 of the falls
We saw LOTS of ferns

Tom and Jimmy strategizing

Mancala Game board

My bunk is on the top
Small counter for the 6 of us
Gary starting the fire in the stove to warm us up
Our last day once we returned back to the cabin, the wind and rain blew in and the temperature dropped.  All the guys pitched got together and lit the stove.  Thanks for a toasty night!
I color coded the map so I could do my best to put the photos in the right order.  I think I have most of them in the correct day.  Hope you enjoyed the photo trip.  It was a muddy, mosquito trip. I got to know my brother a little bit better (I now know he's left handed and is a great hiker).  I am really looking forward to hiking with him again.  We all had a great time with more than a few laughs.  When I go hiking I feel so in tune with the outdoors.  It is hard to explain but I feel it is the place I need to be (at least twice a year).  It is very relaxing for me.

I will leave you with this: Wherever you may hike or walk, just put one foot in front of the other.  It's all about the experience not the destination.


  1. I enjoyed the pictures and commentary. Thanks, Edna!

  2. Terry, If you think this trip was neat, wait until you see the Isle Royale trip in August