I have lived in America all my life and am continually amazed at the beauty and diversity of this great nation. When we sing the words of “America” I think we sometimes overlook just how accurately the words describe her beauty. Each time I set out on a road trip, I expect an adventure – and am never disappointed. So when I saw a little town on the map of Michigan with even smaller words “Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore”, I knew I wanted to investigate further. This was one of my most exciting discoveries yet. Join me on this journey.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
When we arrived in Munising, Michigan we had already driven along back roads skirting the southern shore of Lake Superior. Out of Sault Ste. Marie we traveled a small highway to Brimley, MI. This led us to Point Iroquois Light Station and Museum.
Point Iroquois Light Station and Museum
Continuing Along the Lake, We Hiked at the Tahquamenon Falls State Park
Whitefish Point Light Station and Museum
Leaving the Falls We traveled north out of Paradise, Michigan to the Whitefish Point Light Station and Great lakes Shipwreck Museum.
Many Places along the Lakeshore Offered Scenic Views
Along the Lake – prior to arriving at the National Lakeshore, we waded into the water and studied the beautiful variations of rock. If I weren’t such an avid seashell collector, I might have been tempted to become a rock hound. They were beautiful.
Arriving At our Featured Attraction – Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is located on the south shore of Lake Superior. You’ll enjoy miles and miles of beautiful pristine beach nestled at the base of towering sandstone cliffs. You will discover a quiet hush as the Northern Hardwood Forests wrap you in the coolness of their shade. The Lakeshore is open year round and has no entrance fees. (Always check weather in the winter – we did see many road markers along the highway with regular signs indicating where the road lay.)
Boat Tours and Cruises
I encourage you to save up a little extra pocket change for the shipwreck tour. We took the Shipwreck Tour and the Sunset Tour. I highly recommend them both as the best way to enjoy the Pictured Rocks. You will be transported away from the dock and feel that you’ve entered another world.
Your tour guide will amaze you with the knowledge and maritime facts as you cruise along the shore, out into the deep, around islands, and above shipwrecks.
Grand Island East Chapel Light
The Grand Island East Chapel Light is one of the most photographed Lights on Lake Superior. It is privately owned with no public access. Standing only 45′ tall, it’s one of the shortest lights I’ve visited – and maybe the most intriguing. I have this thing about lighthouses.
When the captain explains that it is not open to the public, I discover I am entertaining thoughts about how far it is to shore – could I discreetly abandon ship, swim to shore and set up housekeeping in the lighthouse – with no one noticing. Okay – not really, but I did at least entertain the thought. There is so much romance to the whole experience. It is quaint, on beautiful water, remote (perfect writers retreat) and accessible only by boat.
Our boat captain circled it repeatedly (on both boat tours). He turned off the engine and let us drift along for several minutes – just enjoying. Maybe he felt the same thing I was feeling.
Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes covers a surface area of 31,708 square miles. It is approximated to be the size of South Carolina. The lake on the day we visited was calm, smooth, clear, and inviting. But there are stories of many ships who sailed these waters and were caught in serious storms, plunging them to the depths of the lake and to their deaths. How many ships were buried beneath theses waters? Historians vary in their estimates of anywhere from 6,ooo to 25,000 ships to have sunk on Lake Superior with over 30,000 lives lost. I think of the sailors of these mighty boats as they saw their peril and knew that within moments their lives would be lost. I think of the accounts in the Bible where the disciples of Jesus were so often out on the sea fishing, toiling, and crossing to the other side. So often they encountered storms that came up all the sudden. On one occasion Jesus was sleeping peacefully in the boat when the disciples charged at him, saying, “Master, do you not care that we perish?” They called out to Him, “Lord, save us.” I love this account as it is recorded in Matthew and Mark in the Bible when Jesus being wakened merely says to the storm, “Be still.” And the storm stops.
That’s the kind of faith I want in my journey. I want to be able to see a storm as it blows its damaging winds across the portals of my heart and rest gently in my soul. My Master will walk me through it, or He’ll simply command it, “Be Still!”
Do you have any storms in your life right now that need the attention of the Master?