It has been almost a month since we returned home from our small group guided trip to Munising and Marquette in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Needless to say the trip was a success an incredible time for everyone. As planned, we had a nice big picturesque campsite on the beach overlooking Grand Island and a few other smaller islands, that made for a tranquil place to call home for the weekend.
We reached our campsite, around 12:00 pm on Friday, August 17th, after embarking from Saginaw, Michigan a little after 6:00 am. After setting up camp we grabbed a quick pasty lunch at Muldoon’s Pasty Shop and then headed off to go and check out some of the waterfalls in the area. The weather during this time was quite perfect with temperatures in the 70’s and partly cloudy. We visited Wagner Falls, Tannery Falls, Memorial Falls, and Munising Falls in that order taking out time at each waterfall site and exploring their surrounding areas as much as we could and then did some shopping in town.
We then headed back to our campsite just before it started raining around 5:3 0pm. Itwas also then that Landon, the third member of the Asharu team, met up with us after spending the day mountain biking in Marquette. around 6:00 pm we headed to grab dinner at a local burger spot called “Eh Burger!” which is a pretty tasty place with a cool atmosphere and friendly employees.
After dinner we headed back to the campsite sight to take cover in our tents and wait out the rain and at around 9:00 pm the rain finally let up and the skies began to change to a rough partly cloudy, with more clouds than sky. With the help of some lighter fluid, we manged to get a small fire going that night to hang out around till we decided to climb back into out sleeping bags to rest for the night.
In order to beat the crowds we headed out about an hour earlier than we initially planned. So at 8:30 am we headed out for Marquette. We stopped for breakfast at Huron Mountain Bakery before going to our first excursion of the day, which was to hike to the top of Hogback. The weather was perfect with almost no clouds in the sky and temperatures in the low 70s. Everyone in the group made the strenuous hike and climb to the top of Hogback to experience the 360 degree view of the surrounding area.
After the seemingly long hike down Hogback and back to our cars, we headed to Black Rock on Presque Isle to do some cliff jumping off of a 15-20 foot cliff face into the cool, turquoise waters of Lake Superior. This was a really good time for the group as everyone worked up the courage to make the jump into the water from the top of the cliff multiple times. Asharu team member Bobby put his skill on display performing back-flips into the water multiple times as he jumped off of the cliff.
We grabbed lunch in Marquette and then made the 45 minute drive back to our campsite. With no other plans on the agenda for Saturday, we took the rest of the day to enjoy the campsite. At one point we ended up playing wiffle ball with a tennis ball that Bobby had brought and a piece of drift wood that washed up on shore, using the lake as our field. Around 6:30 pm we headed in to town to grab dinner, from each persons place of choice and eat together at Binsfeild Bayshore Park, which overlooks the pier and Lake Superior. Then after a quick stop at the grocery store to grab some supplies, we headed back to our campsite to have a fire and nature put on quite the show in the sky in the form of a stellar sunset, unleashing a calm array of color into the world. We enjoyed the fire and the feeling of being on a beach under the stars late into the night before heading into the tents.
Today was the day to head home and after we packed up the campsite, we headed out at about 9:00 am for our final adventure before we began the journey home. We reached Miner’s Beach around 10:30 am and immediately began to head to the somewhat hidden water caves underneath Miner’s Castle. After walking along the beach and the cliff as much as we could we jumped in to the cold water and swam the rest of the way to the caves and the caves are a sight that never seems to get old. They are magical really and the clear, blue water flows into them. You can view the different layers of rock along the cave walls and as you explore them you suddenly feel like you are no longer on Earth, for the surrounding landscape is truly surreal. We manged to make it to all the caves, each varying in size and depth and we also swam through the cave that carves its way completely through the cliff. Swimming from opening to opening of this cave. When we decided to embark on the long swim back you really start to reflect on the wonder you find when one journeys to these caves carefully sculpted by nature.
When we made it back to the beach we packed up our things and headed out, stopping at Miner’s Falls before beginning the trip home. It was truly a successful trip to this part of the Upper Peninsula and I think will go down as one of our favorites. The feeling is a good one, when we get back home from leading a group and they tell us how much fun the had on the expedition and that they want to camp more in the future. Being able to share the places one Loves exploring with others and watching how it makes them come alive is pretty spectacular. Until next time…
– Team Asharu