My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

My vacation in the UP, the highlights

I’m home a day early from my planned vacation. For one thing, I have a huge task ahead of me sorting photos. For another, I also had a lot of stuff to do when I got home, so it made more sense to cut my vacation a little short, and not have to rush around on Sunday to complete everything. And, as I always seem to do, I ran myself ragged trying to hit every spot in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in just one week. By Thursday morning, I was so worn out that I couldn’t even remember how to operate some of the features of my camera.

I was up at first light every morning, and on the go until after sunset, which is when I did most of the distance driving that I did, rather than the short hops between photo ops that I did during the day. You’ll get an idea when you see the photos.

Well, I’m not going to list excuses, but I’m going to post of few of the photos that I shot this week, and I think you’ll see that I was on the go all day, every day. Most of the subjects in the photos required hiking, from 1/4 mile up to 3 1/2 miles one way, 7 miles round trip. I think that I averaged 10 miles per day on my feet.

I slept in my Forester, which saved time messing with my tent. It was cramped, but it worked. Subaru makes a terrific vehicle, I averaged 30 MPG for the trip, which included a lot of twisty, hilly, dirt and gravel roads. The Forester handled the back roads with its typical sure-footed nimble handling due to its excellent all wheel drive system. Enough of the advertising.

I shot well over 1,000 photos, this post will serve as a highlight reel for what’s to come.

Mackinac City Lighthouse

Mackinac City Lighthouse

McGulpin's Point Lighthouse

McGulpin’s Point Lighthouse

Mackinac Bridge

Mackinac Bridge

Tahquamenon River sunrise

Tahquamenon River sunrise

Lower Tahquamenon Falls

Lower Tahquamenon Falls

Upper Tahquamenon Falls

Upper Tahquamenon Falls

Grand Sable Dunes

Grand Sable Dunes

Au Sable Point Lighthouse

Au Sable Point Lighthouse

Chapel Falls

Chapel Falls

Miner's Rock

Miner’s Rock

Munising Falls

Munising Falls

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Teal Lake sunset

Teal Lake sunset

Eagle Harbor Lighthouse

Eagle Harbor Lighthouse

Eagle in the early morning fog

Eagle in the early morning fog

Emily's Lake sunrise

Emily’s Lake sunrise

Just a lake

Just a lake

Fort Wilkins State Historic Park

Fort Wilkins State Historic Park

Rocky Lake Superior shoreline

Rocky Lake Superior shoreline

Lake of the Clouds

Lake of the Clouds

Porcupine Mountains State Park sunset

Porcupine Mountains State Park sunset

Fayette Historic State Park

Fayette Historic State Park

Portage Bay (Lake Michigan) sunrise

Portage Bay (Lake Michigan) sunrise

Raven in flight

Raven in flight

Spruce grouse

Spruce grouse

Red-breasted nuthatch

Red-breasted nuthatch

Otter

Otter

Flaming gull

Flaming gull

Lapland Longspur

Lapland Longspur

Not bad for just the tip of the proverbial iceberg so to speak.

I’m still deciding if I should post by day of the week that I was up there, or do posts on lighthouses, waterfalls, wildlife, bridges, parks, etc. No matter how I do it, I have enough photos to last me for quite a few posts.

I had wished for more color in the foliage, but green isn’t a bad color for backgrounds, it beats bare trees all to heck.

I had hoped for more wildlife, but one can’t have everything.

So, I need time to sort and organize, I hope that you have enjoyed this teaser of sorts.

That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!

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38 responses

  1. Nice pics particularly the Lapland Longspur!

    September 28, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    • Thanks, it’s easy when they pose for me.

      September 28, 2013 at 3:41 pm

  2. Wow-you sure brought back some georgeous photos! The waterfalls are excellent, especially the Munsing falls. Were you in a boat when you got the pictured rocks shots? It looks like you were fairly close. All of these are excellent and I’d have a hard time choosing one that I didn’t like. It was worth getting up early and staying up late to get the sunrise and sunset shots!

    September 28, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    • Thanks Allen! It’s funny, the stream that makes Munising Falls is about 4 feet wide, but that was one of my favorite falls, just something about it.

      Yes, I shelled out for the tour boat for the Pictured Rocks, it’s the only way to see them unless you have a boat of your own. I could have kayaked it this past week, that’s not often possible on Lake Superior as rough as that lake normally is.

      September 28, 2013 at 3:54 pm

  3. Beautiful! I love the UP – haven’t been up there in about 2 years, but it is always a treat!

    September 28, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    • Thank you, I don’t get there often enough!

      September 28, 2013 at 3:55 pm

      • I usually try to go in a weekend, so I am pretty limited to how far I can make it. Glad you had a good time!

        September 28, 2013 at 3:56 pm

  4. Beautiful misty river sunrise…I wonder why those falls are so orange…Munising Falls & Miner;s Rock – gorgeous – Emily’s Lk sunrise…the grouse is cool! I look forward to seeing more and I think it’s very easy to imagine you racing around at night to conserve the daylight hours for shooting, planning every possible side trip, and crashing exhausted each night.

    September 28, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    • Thanks! The water looks orange to brownish from all the tannin in the water from decomposing plant life. Now that I have a scouting trip under my belt, I hope to make a single area that I covered this trip to be a week long destination in future years.

      September 28, 2013 at 5:50 pm

  5. Love your photos (especially the waterfalls). It looks like it was a wonderful vacation.

    September 28, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    • Thanks, I had to return a day early to rest up so that I’ll be able to work again.

      September 28, 2013 at 5:52 pm

  6. Thanks very much for the preview, Terry! Very nice set of images. Looks like you had terrific light for the shot of the bridge. Looking forward to seeing more.

    You covered a ton of ground in a relatively short period of time–I know what kind of driving is involved to go all the way from Mackinac to Tahquemenon to the Porkies to Escanaba (Fayette SP) and back again. Pictured Rocks appears to have been–as expected–almost entirely green; looks like the trees in the Porkies were just starting to change (based on your Lake of the Clouds overlook shot). This all squares with the reports I was getting. Did you get into the northern part of the Hiawatha N.F. at all (don’t see any shots from there, but given how many you took that might have just been a sorting thing).

    September 28, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    • Thanks!

      Funny thing, it was almost solid cloud cover as I was shooting the bridge from Mackinac City. As I crossed the bridge, the clouds began to break apart, I paid the toll, parked in the first spot to the east, then ran across I 75 to catch that light. I didn’t want to risk going to St. Ignance and turning around to get to the west side of the bridge.

      I know I crossed through the Hiawatha NF each way, but I went west along the Superior shore, and east on US 2, so everything was about as green as you saw in my photos where I was.

      September 28, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    • Thanks!

      Funny thing, it was almost solid cloud cover as I was shooting the bridge from Mackinac City. As I crossed the bridge, the clouds began to break apart, I paid the toll, parked in the first spot to the east, then ran across I 75 to catch that light. I didn’t want to risk going to St. Ignance and turning around to get to the west side of the bridge.

      I know I crossed through the Hiawatha NF each way, but I went west along the Superior shore, and east on US 2, so everything was about as green as you saw in my photos where I was.

      September 28, 2013 at 6:00 pm

      • You really have to drive 13 north-south to get even a rough of idea of what’s going on around the many undeveloped small lakes in the forest south of Munising (and even that won’t account for some significant microclimate differences). The part of M-28 that goes through the Hiawatha is far too close to Lake Superior to provide any guidance and US 2 is way too far south.

        No biggie…I’ll have a complete picture of what’s going on when I drive up there on Wednesday.

        September 28, 2013 at 6:21 pm

  7. My favourite among a host of beautiful pictures was Tahquamenon River sunrise. The UP is a completely new place to me but it looks wonderful.

    September 28, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    • Thanks! Funny thing, my favorite shots from the trip are of unnamed places, just pretty spots that I saw along the way. I nearly froze my fingers the morning when I shot the photo you said is your favorite, there was still frost on the ground an hour after that shot was taken.

      September 28, 2013 at 6:04 pm

  8. The U.P and upper MI are my favorite Midwest locations. You captured some amazing shots. I would post via subject matter….just my opinion. Looking forward to seeing more 🙂

    September 28, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    • Thank you! There will be more to come shortly.

      September 28, 2013 at 7:36 pm

  9. Lovely photos. You are very keen. I would want to put my feet up for a week now! I especially liked the soft colors in the Tahquamenon River sunrise (had to copy and paste that one!) I think category posts would be good.

    September 28, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    • Thank you! It wasn’t the hiking that did me in, it was going on little to no food for five days. Eating takes time, I had photos to shoot!

      September 28, 2013 at 7:39 pm

      • Yikes! No food either. I feel hungry now.

        September 28, 2013 at 7:46 pm

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  11. Jerry, all of these are terrific, but my favorite (though it was pretty tough to choose) was: Tahquamenon River sunrise! You’re doing a fantastic job on the landscapes now that you’re out away from the crowds!

    September 29, 2013 at 12:05 am

    • Thanks! It isn’t only the crowds, as there were some this past week. It’s finding things on my own to photograph, rather then the big name places that every one photographs. I put more effort into getting it right when it’s something that I have found on my own.

      September 29, 2013 at 12:08 am

      • That’s generally what I do. I hate being amongst the masses. It’s far easier to concentrate on shooting when you’re not being jostled by the crowds.

        September 29, 2013 at 12:17 am

  12. I feel like I’m watching the best travelogue for my own state. Can’t wait to see more.

    September 29, 2013 at 8:19 am

    • Thanks, that was the basic idea, and there’s lots more to come.

      September 29, 2013 at 8:43 am

  13. Just beautiful! Really incredible photos of so much gorgeous nature…

    September 29, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    • Thank you Kathy, I knew you would appreciate them.

      September 29, 2013 at 2:40 pm

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  18. No wonder you were so worn out from your trip. I agree, always plan a buffer day between vacation and back to work. It helps to rest and get caught you. Your images from the trip are nothing short of glorious and really need to be a postcard portfolio or book for visitors.

    October 6, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    • Thanks, I put 2,000 miles on my Subaru in a week, and probably 45 miles on my hiking boots in the same time frame. But, I think the photos I shot made it all worthwhile.

      October 6, 2013 at 9:26 pm

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