"Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground."
– Theodore Roosevelt
I like this quote very much. To me it says - - keep dreaming but stay level headed. That's what Steve and I are doing right now so it seemed to fit for us. Anyway, it's good to write to you again. Since our last post, Steve and I have moved twice so let me get on to the details of this week's adventures.
We left our beloved state of Michigan the day after our visit to the Porcupine Mountains in Silver City. What a fantastic place that was. We began our visit there with a hike to three waterfalls at the western-most point of the park. These falls flow from the Presque Isle River toward Lake Superior. Very beautiful. What is it about the sound of moving water that is so peace-inducing? I don't know but the Nawadaha Falls were quite lovely. Steve crawled down to the very bottom and sat in a rock crevice to take some pictures of it. Thank God for life insurance!
From that hike we went on to Summit Peak and a rather challenging climb. First we had to traverse 1/2 mile up the side of the hill and then climb about 200 steps to the top of the observation tower (elevation 1958 feet), but boy was it worth the heavy breathing. The colors in Upper Michigan were well into their full glory when we made this journey so that provided us a spectacular show when we arrived at the top. Nice!
Our final stop at the Porkies was Lake of the Clouds along the Escarpment Trail. This stop was different from the other two in that it had sheer cliffs of black and red stone mixed with the beautiful fall colors and the green of the pine trees. The lake itself is man made and one mile long but only 15 feet deep. Again, the scenery is breathtaking and as I have said before, Michigan has much to be proud of in terms of its natural beauty. As I looked around from the top of the trail, the view reminded me of being in Yellowstone National Park - it was just that pristine and breathtaking.
There is just so much to do in this park, but these three hikes were all we had time for this day and it was just as well since the weather was headed into its cold and rainy phase.
The next day we packed up our "house" and said goodbye to Michigan. Our three weeks in the UP were truly a great time and again, if you have a chance to visit, please do. It is worth the trip.
We then traveled to Copper Falls State Park in Mellen, Wisconsin. The journey from Houghton to Mellen took us a little over 4 hours. Many peaks and valleys to cross on the way and the fall colors were spectacular. There were also a lot of cute little towns along the way (like Ironwood and Wakefield) that would have been fun to explore if we hadn't been pulling 34 feet of Wendy behind us. Anyway, we arrived at Copper Falls and were immediately taken aback at the beauty of our campsite. First of all, we were surrounded by trees of varying species and color. Secondly, the site was huge. For those of you who have camped, typical site width is about 30-45 feet. This was more like 100, which affords a ton of privacy.
What it does not afford, however, was any hint of cell service, internet service, or a sliver of open sky through the trees so that we could get a satellite hookup for our TV. HOLY COW! Again, our technology dependence slaps us in the face and to make matters worse, it rained nearly the entire time we were there. Thank God we like each other or that could have gotten ugly.
Anyway, despite the weather we had a great time. We finally spotted some wildlife! We saw four deer on the way in and then a mother and two babies one day while we hiked. They appeared to be the standard white-tail deer like we have in MIchigan except they were not the tannish-brown we are used to seeing. They were more of a brownish-gray which was odd to see. No males were present, of course, but the deer that we did see were very comfortable with people as three of them came about 10 feet from us on the trail.
Speaking of which, the hiking in Copper Falls was the best we've had so far. There are three falls within this state park and the trail around them is exceptionally well done. That is not to say it was without challenge, however. To get to the vistas of the three sets of falls you have to climb a lot of stairs but boy is it worth it. These falls and the forest setting they are in are so beautiful. The park provides really great boardwalks and overlooks from which to get spectacular pictures. Steve calls this week's pictures the "Screen Saver Edition" because the natural beauty we saw not only at Copper Falls but all week was too breathtaking for words. It was along this waterfall trail that we met the deer. That was a very nice experience because they hung around by us for a few minutes before moving on. That made up for our complete lack of moosage in Upper Michigan I would say. Anyway, while in this park we also climbed to the top of the observation tower, which was a complete disappointment. Needless to say, it was an observation tower so you know there are steps involved (about 100 or so) but when you got there, all you saw were tops of trees. It seems as though the Parks system built the tower a long time ago and then the trees grew up around it to the point that the tower has almost no views to see. Oh well, what do you do? Do you cut down trees to make the tower meaningful again, or do you add another level to the tower so that you can have a view from the top? Who knows. But the hike around the falls more than made up for that little disappointment. We stopped for ice cream and did a little geocaching in the park which was fun.
The next day was a severe wind storm and rain all day. As I mentioned earlier, our campsite was surrounded by trees. This ended up helping us out tremendously with the storm by blocking most of the wind for us. I had ventured out late in the afternoon to try and get a cell so that I could check the weather and when I got onto the road, the wind speed scared me a little. The gusts were huge but we never really felt any of that in our trailer which was good. We were, however, absolutely covered in wet leaves in the morning, which all had to be cleaned off before we packed up Wendy and moved to Baraboo. We knew the weather south was going to be sunny and warmer so we were anxious to get moving. We enjoyed our time at Copper Falls and recommend it if you are ever in the Ashland, Wisconsin area (which, by the way, is a VERY cool little city on the shores of Lake Superior).
Ok, that's it for this week. We will be in Baraboo exploring the Wisconsin Dells and surrounding area until Sunday October 9. Today (October 2) is our son, Stevie's 30th birthday. Tuesday (October 4) is our son-in-law Gary's birthday. We love you both very much and miss you like crazy! Happy Birthday boys!!!!
Take care everyone!