Pictured Rocks

Miner’s Castle, Pictured Rocks NLS

On our recent trip west across the UP, after Seney, we drove to Munising and the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. We checked into our motel and then headed down to the docks, to pick up our will-call tickets for the sunset cruise. We have both been to Pictured Rocks before and Anne has even cruised the shore before too, but this was my first time. Which is a pity, because Pictured Rocks is best viewed from the water and with their western facing, sunset is the best time of day to see them.

The cruise was packed, but the tour boat company ran two boats. We couldn’t snag a roof top seat, but did get a shore side seat in the cabin. The tours run the opposite of posh. You want starboard seating out and port home. We got to see everything and the tour was all that I had hoped for.

Pictured Rocks is about forty miles of Michigan’s Lake Superior shore. Our tour covered about a third of that distance. Most of the shoreline is composed of rock cliffs. These multicolored rock formations range up to 200′ above the water. They were created, because the top layer of rocks is relatively hard, while the bottom layer is softer. This allows the lake to eat away at the cliffs.

After the last couple of years of travel, I have become quite the aficionado on tours and I must say that this tour’s guide had quite a good patter. At one point, while he was maneuvering the 200′ long boat into a narrow cleft in the cliffs, he asked everyone, if this was the first time that they had done this. Anne was all set to answer no, when he answered his own question, in the affirmative. As we were backing back out, he took time to point out some green rocks that were probably colored by copper salts or maybe boat paint. 

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