tahquanmenon lower falls

Day 220 – Upper Peninsula Drive – Part 2

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Day 220 of Year Long Road Trip Along America’s Scenic Byways

This morning I investigated another portion of Pictured Rocks National Seashore.  Since Petey wasn’t allowed on the trails, I did a quick hike through the hardwoods to Chapel Lake and Chapel Falls.  The Chapel Lake Overlook is a bit of a misnomer. My only view was a splash of water through the trees. 

The falls was relatively protected by trees as well, but with a little work I was able to snap a photo of the water streaming down the cliff. Overall, I wasn’t as enthusiastic about this hike as my book led me to believe I would be.  Perhaps I needed to make the six mile roundtrip to Chapel Rock.

Old Post Office Museum

From Pictured Rocks we continued east through the Hiawatha National Forest and along the shore to Grand Marais, where I took a short break to walk Petey around the local park and make a quick stop at the Old Post Office Museum which displayed hand stamps and scales.

scale at old post office museum in Michigan's Upper Peninsula

Seney National Wildlife Refuge

From Grand Marais we turned south to Seney and stopped at one of the few gas stations around before visiting the Seney National Wildlife Refuge.  Animal pelts seem to be popular here the Upper Peninsula.  I had my pick at the filling station.

animal pelts in Michigan's Upper Peninsula

Seney National Wildlife Refuge was having a photo contest, so I took numerous pictures, but the birds just weren’t that close, even with my zoom lens!  The reserve is home to several Trumpeter Swans and one pair had two cygnets.  In addition geese, turtles, and loons dotted the marshes along with countless lily pads.

Shortly after leaving Seney National Wildlife Refuge, a small rodent (didn’t get a good look) scurried across VANilla’s path.  I wasn’t sure if my reactions were fast enough to miss squashing it, so I looked in my rear view mirror to see if it was ok.  As it flipped from its back to its belly a hawk came swooping down and grabbed it…oh, it was awful!  I guess that is why it never slowed down or even tried dodging VANilla…it was already running for its life.

Tahquamenon Falls State Park

Continuing on our scenic drive through the Upper Peninsula, we ended the day at the Tahquamenon Falls State Park which was lovely.  The campground was one of the best I’ve stayed in for a while.  I believe it was only $21 for electric and offered free showers.  Furthermore, the sites were shaded and it was only a mile walk to the Lower Falls of the Tahquamenon River, the same river described in Longfellow’s poem The Song of Hiawatha. A much longer walk from the campgrounds would have gotten me to the Upper Falls, but I’m saving that for tomorrow.  ETB

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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned award winning travel blogger and photographer sharing the earth's beauty one word and image at a time.

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